Android 5.0 Lollipop comes with an Ambient Display setting – similar to Moto X's Active Display

Android 5.0 Lollipop comes with an Ambient Display setting – similar to Moto X's Active Display
So, Android 5.0 has about a week or two left in the pipeline, however, naturally at this stage before release, system dumps of the Lollipop have started popping up left and right, each more "complete" than the last, allowing enthusiasts to flash the new OS on their Nexus devices before Google releases it officially.

One such leak (leakster of which claims it to be a full Lollipop build, but we won't dabble into that) has shown a new feature in the phone's display settings – a so-called "Ambient Display". What this does is – each time the phone receives a new notification, the display will light up for a few seconds, showing a preview of whatever the message is, allowing the user to react appropriately. This is a stock feature on some Android skins from different manufacturers, and has been on iOS for quite a while, however, it's new to vanilla (Google) Android. Additionally, the Ambient Display setting will also light up the screen when you pick the device up – much like Moto X's Active Display does.

Of course, such a feature will drain a bit more battery, which is probably the main reason why Google took so much time to implement it (Lollipop comes with Project Volta, after all, which should offset any additional battery drainages). According to Google Play's page for the Nexus 6, a single battery charge will keep the device on standby for up to 330 hours when Ambient Display is off, whereas it will take 250 standby hours for the same phone to drain its juicebox with Ambient Display set to on. That's around 20% standby time lost to this feature, which may or may not be that bad, depending on the Nexus 6's real-life battery drainage results.

via: Android Police




Posts: 146; Member since: Sep 11, 2014

Keep it coming Google.

2. tech2

Posts: 3487; Member since: Oct 26, 2012

Can someone explain how exactly this is such a battery draining feature ? I am currently using ActiveDisplay on my phone right now. Haven't seen any significant drain in battery yet :/

3. vincelongman

Posts: 5724; Member since: Feb 10, 2013

Probably not that noticeable if your's AMOLED or OLED But probably very noticeable if your's is LCD But is not available for the Nexus 5 so I cant test it (maybe too much battery drain because LCD?)

4. tech2

Posts: 3487; Member since: Oct 26, 2012

That is what I thought too ! But those battery stat posted by Google are for Nexus 6 which has an Amoled panel. ! That is what making me scratch my head. BTW, I should've clarified I am using ActiveDisplay on my LCD phone and don't see any significant battery draining issues certainly not to the extent posted in the above images let alone an Amoled display where the difference would be even more minute.

7. Smarter

Posts: 60; Member since: Jul 18, 2014

What smartphone with LCD do you have, sir?

8. tech2

Posts: 3487; Member since: Oct 26, 2012

LOL.....I am talking about Moto G.

10. shahrooz

Posts: 792; Member since: Sep 17, 2013

becaus the gyro should be on to monitor movements of the phone, so it can turn display on when you pick it. I have installed Peek on my Nexus 5 it turns on gyro for a limited time after reciving a notification so if you pick your phone up in that time window (30 for me) you can intract with your notification without unlocking phone.

5. slh163

Posts: 140; Member since: May 19, 2014

that's one of the benefits of AMOLED screens because with Ambient Display the whole screen is off except the pixels used for the clock or notifications

6. Sniggly

Posts: 7305; Member since: Dec 05, 2009

This may have actually tipped me in favor of getting the Nexus instead of the Turbo or Moto X, or maybe I'll even wait for Ara, since this would be the feature I would absolutely miss the most if I got something other than a Moto X or Droid.

9. tech2

Posts: 3487; Member since: Oct 26, 2012

Why do you want to sacrifice one-handed usage in favour of a feature which you can get through an app anyway ?

12. Sniggly

Posts: 7305; Member since: Dec 05, 2009

1. You assume that I don't know how to handle big screens and that one would be a detriment to me. 2. I prefer features to be baked either into the OS or provided by the manufacturer, since (especially in Motorola's case) the updates are more reliable and work better with the phone.

13. tech2

Posts: 3487; Member since: Oct 26, 2012

1. I am not doubting you can't handle big screens but saying the fact that with Nexus 6 you're definitely sacrificing one-handed usage. 2. Its your preference so I can't really say on that front. BTW, I am using AC.Display and it really works well (on my Moto G). Peek is a better option if you have gyro in your phone (I don't).

14. Sniggly

Posts: 7305; Member since: Dec 05, 2009

1. Perhaps, and that gives me a little pause, but it's not a primary consideration for me. 2. I think I'll keep it to my preference.

15. remixfa

Posts: 14605; Member since: Dec 19, 2008

I'll play with the nexus 6 in store to see if i can deal with it, but its just so darn big. A GSM variant of the M-Turbo launching on Tmobile very soon would be a near guaranteed sale. I really want to stay in Nexus, but the 6 is just way too much for me. lol Not that I can or cant handle it, I just have a lot of s**t in my pockets already being an RN haha.

16. somenoise

Posts: 1; Member since: Oct 24, 2014

...The Moto X already does this.

17. Sniggly

Posts: 7305; Member since: Dec 05, 2009

Yes. I know. I already said that Active Display would be the feature I would miss most if I didn't use a Moto phone or variant in the future, since I have one now. It's good to see stock Android adopting many of Motorola's best value adds to the system.

11. maazvahora

Posts: 2; Member since: Sep 05, 2014

Copy from windows phone.where it is known as toast notifications.

Latest Stories

This copy is for your personal, non-commercial use only. You can order presentation-ready copies for distribution to your colleagues, clients or customers at or use the Reprints & Permissions tool that appears at the bottom of each web page. Visit for samples and additional information.