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Moto G (2013) tips and tricks to improve your device

The Motorola Moto G has taken the place of the Nexus 4 as the best budget phone around, making it the perfect phone for beginner users or even those who just hate bloatware and want a phone they can easily root. Though the Moto G wasn’t jam packed full of pre-installed software, there are some features that beginners or newbies to the Motorola line might still not know about. Here are some of Moto G tips and tricks owners old and new.

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Here are our best Moto G tips and tricks. © ANDROIDPIT

How to open multiple browser windows

When using Chrome, the native Moto G browser, you have the option of opening multiple windows at the same time just like on a desktop computer. Just click on the square icon next to the menu (the three vertical dots). The browsers cascade vertically so you can move from one to another with ease. Simple.

androidpit moto g multiple windows

How to increase storage via USB

It has to be said that one of the weaker aspects of the Moto G is the storage space. Though users can now get their hands on a Moto G with an SD card slot, originally they were limited to 8 GB or 16 GB version. This, as users quickly discovered, is not much.

Fortunately, the Moto G uses a service, named USB OTG (on the go), which allows the handset to be connected to other USB devices and accessories, like a mouse or keyboard, for example. What OTG also lets you do is connect the Moto G to an external flash drive or hard drive, meaning you can easily plug a USB drive directly into the Moto G to swap files between them. While it’s not as convenient as an internal SD card, it still provides a handy way to extend your storage capacity.

How to set up a cool live wallpaper

Motorola comes with a bunch of nifty looking live wallpapers that were built right into the phone. By accessing the Settings menu, which can be located either in your Quick Settings or via the app drawer, simply scroll down under the subcategory 'Device', tap on Display and select Wallpaper. You have the choice of choosing from the phone’s gallery, normal wallpapers or live wallpapers. Some of the Moto G’s live wallpapers are also found on other smartphone devices, like the Galaxy S3, such as Bubbles and Phase Beam. My personal favorite is Nexus.

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Moto G comes with quite a few cool live wallpapers, like Water here on the right which interacts with touch input. / © ANDROIDPIT

How to take a screenshot with the Moto G

Many of you may know how to do this already, but just in case:

Press and hold both the POWER BUTTON and VOLUME DOWN BUTTON for a couple of seconds, or until you hear the camera shutter click or see an on-screen flash.

And you’re done. To view the screen image, touch Apps and go to Gallery > Screenshots. If you press and hold the image you will get some sharing options, which will appear at the bottom of the screen.

How to set up Daydream Mode on your lock screen

Daydream Mode was first introduced with Android 4.3 in July and is a software feature that not only looks cool but also saves battery life. Daydream now has four different settings: clock, colors, photo frame and photo table. Your phone can daydream either while docked or charging or both, which you can select in the menu (aka action overflow button). Photo frame and photo table will draw either screenshots or pictures from the camera gallery (or both). To preview, choose “start now” to see how it will look. Clock comes in digital and analog as well as night mode to dim the display for dark rooms so as to not disturb you while sleeping.

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Daydream mode is launched either when docked or charging and will display pictures, a rainbow background or a clock: the choice is yours. / © ANDROIDPIT

How to turn on the Battery Saver

Unlike the Samsung series, where the power saver is found in the notification bar, you need to access the battery option by tapping on the battery status icon in your Quick Settings, which is accessed by two-finger swiping from the top to the bottom of your display. Here you can turn on the battery saver toggle. If you want a realistic look at what is draining your battery, it will show you the percentages underneath.

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All smartphones are battery suckers, make sure you enable this feature to make your Moto G last longer. / © ANDROIDPIT

How to get help with Moto G problems and learn the basics

Motorola pre-installed an app on the Moto G called Moto Care, which is there to help answer your questions which don’t even need to be Moto G-related. You can also request help on the basics to do with smartphone usage: how to use a touch screen, how to send and receive text messages etc. Most of these answers can even be briefly answered while offline, however for further explanation you'll require internet access. Once online, you also have the option of chatting to or calling a Motorola support rep. There’s a pull-out menu from the left side of the display which provides further tutorials, FAQs, how-to’s, tips and information about the phone, which gives the same information as in the settings. The settings button on the top right corner of Moto Care provides you with optional assistance in helping you reduce your mobile data use as well as tip settings and privacy policy. There’s a quick fix option if you like your device to be  automatically updated according to their suggested changes.

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Motorola is geared for even the most beginner users thanks to the Care app which will answer all your questions and connect you with a rep. / © ANDROIDPIT

Program your phone to act like your assistant

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Whether in a meeting, sleeping or driving, your Moto G will act like your personal assistant to make sure you get a good night's sleep or work without interruption. / © ANDROIDPIT

Thanks to another super helpful app, called Motorola Assist, you can set up the phone to behave how you would like it to when you are sleeping or in a meeting. To get a good night’s rest, you can set up times during which notifications or calls won't ring. You can however create a few exceptions to the rule, like with incoming favorite calls or when someone rings twice within 5 minutes.

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You can adjust the settings like you see in the screenshot left or reply to messages with a pre-made answer. / © ANDROIDPIT

There’s also the option of setting up your device for meetings to avoid interruptions. You can set up silent mode or auto-replay with, again, the same exceptions. The settings within Assist allow you to either activate and deactivate these various situational modes and choose whether activity is displayed in the status bar.

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Check and uncheck the situations that apply to you and read the privacy policy to see what Motorola is doing with your info. / © ANDROIDPIT

How to find your Moto G if lost

Thanks to your Google account, Motorola services will be able to provide you with Moto Care tips for your Moto G, as well as locate your lost phone. In the Settings, under Motorola Device ID, you can choose which account will be used for your Motorola Device ID. Using the action overflow button on the top right corner, you can unlink the account if you change your mind.

How to make the font bigger

If the text on the Moto G is too small for you to easily read, you might want to consider making it larger. This can be done by going through the Settings again but this time you’re looking for Accessibility, found under the subcategory 'System'. In the menu, you will find 'Large text': simply tick the box!

How to copy stuff from your old phone to the Moto G

Instead of starting from square one, you can migrate all of your information, text messages, call history, SIM contacts and media to the Moto G from your old phone. To do this, you first need to install the Motorola Migrate app onto the other, older phone; this can be downloaded from the Google Play Store and is free. It comes preinstalled on the Moto G. After Migrate is open on both phones, hit Start and scan the code found on the screen when prompted to do so.

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Setting up your new Moto G with all of your data from your old phone can be done in a pinch thanks to Motorola Migrate. / © ANDROIDPIT

How to create and edit Microsoft Office files on your Moto G

Motorola installed Quickoffice onto the Moto G, which works hand-in-hand with Google Drive and your Google account. Thanks to 15 GB of free storage space that you are given for Google Drive, you can save your work online and save precious space on your phone. There you can access other docs you have on the Cloud service, create new word, spreadsheets and presentations and perform Drive-wide search, among other features.

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Working on the go is made possible with Quickoffice and 15 GB of free storage space on Google Drive. / © ANDROIDPIT

What other advice could you offer a new Moto G owner? Is there anything we missed?



Write new comment:
  •   2
    Yanwyn Aug 26, 2014 Link to comment

    Daydream does not work on my Moto G 4G. The preview does, but that's it. Perhaps it's yet another problem with KitKat!?!

  • faiyaz Aug 20, 2014 Link to comment

    when i download apps play store says its not compatible .how can i fix this?plz help me

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