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"Ambient Display" is basically Lollipop's equivalent to Moto Display

The Nexus 6 and other compatible devices with Android 5.0 Lollipop will introduce a new "Ambient mode" that sort of works a bit like Moto Display.
October 20, 2014
Nexus-6 9 lollipop

It seems that the Nexus 6 borrows a lot more from the Moto X than just its overall aesthetics. As it turns out, Android 5.0 Lollipop will add a new “Ambient mode” feature for the Nexus 6 and other compatible Android devices that works a bit like Motorola’s active display (aka Moto Display) technology.

If enabled, the feature makes it so your device will wake up as soon as it is picked up or new notifications arrive. Google’s official Lollipop page makes mention of a similar feature though it doesn’t call it by name, stating that “where supported by the hardware, your device will wake up as soon as you pick it up or tap the screen twice.” From the sounds of it, that means certain devices may also support a sort of Knock-on-like functionality as well.


While Google hasn’t clarified on how it will work, from the sounds of it, Lollipop devices with AMOLED displays like the Nexus 6 should allow notifications to show up in a manner very similar to the Moto X. Other devices without support (IE, devices with a LCD display) will still benefit from things like the ability to wake through lifting or taping, etc. Before you rush out to try and see if the feature can be turned on from the latest Developer Preview, we’ll save you some time: no, it doesn’t. The feature will only be found in the final build.

Based on what we know, what do you think of the new “ambient mode” feature, excited to see it become part of the stock Android experience?