Thanks to some intrepid Android developers, two of the Motorola Moto X's highlight features — Active Notifications and Quick Capture — can now be had on devices not actually made by Motorola. Though the Moto X isn't even on store shelves yet, you can install third-party apps on your existing Android device to replicate some of the coolest features it offers, albeit with some limitations.
Moto's Active Notifications, the system that passively displays notifications on the screen without you having to pick up the device, was one of our favorite features when we reviewed the Moto X. If you have an Android 4.3 device, which is admittedly a small market right now, you can install ActiveNotifications from the Google Play Store to replicate the Moto X's functionality. The app will light up your device's screen when a new notification comes in, and give you the option to jump right to the app that pushed the notification or dismiss it entirely. You can set how long the screen stays awake and which apps will trigger the notification. ActiveNotifications doesn't yet mimic the "breathing" feature of the Moto X, which will periodically light up the screen if you haven't acted on a notification, but the developer says that he is working to add a similar behavior in later versions. Support for older versions of Android is also in the pipeline.
Another cool Moto X feature is Quick Capture — the ability to twist the phone like a screwdriver and quickly launch the camera from wherever you are. The aptly-named TwistyLauncher, also available in the Play Store, gives you the ability to launch the camera with three different gestures: a double chop, a double twist, or flipping the phone over twice in a row. You can even set the app to launch apps other than the camera with the remaining gestures — for example, if you have the double chop set to launch the camera, you can launch a flashlight app with the double twist. Unlike the Moto X's Quick Capture, you do have to turn the screen on before TwistyLauncher will work, and it can be slow to launch apps if you try to use it just after hitting the home key. The gestures can also get confused with each other, especially the twist and double-flip options. Like ActiveNotifications, TwistyLauncher is limited to a handful of devices right now (we tested it on the Nexus 4, but it does not work on the HTC One), but we suspect that more device compatibility will be added in the future.
While you can't quite match the Moto X's hardware customizations with just any Android phone, if you already own an relatively recent device and have been lusting after the X's neat software tricks, these apps will get you some of the way there. We wouldn't be surprised if other developers figure out ways to bring over the Moto X's voice control features and Assist functionality in the future, as well.