How to setup and use Motorola Assist on the Moto X


If you’re familiar with the DROID RAZR line, then you are familiar with Smart Actions. Smart Actions allowed you to automate actions based on certain specifications such as silence the phone between midnight and 7:00 am everyday. Well Motorola simplified things with the Moto X and renamed it Assist. Motorola probably found that consumers had a hard time with Smart Actions since there were so many settings, so you will only find the essentials in Assist: Driving, Meeting, and Sleeping. The Driving section lets you customize certain settings to help you keep your eyes on the road and your hands on the wheel. Meeting and Sleeping will eliminate interruptions unless it’s an emergency. Motorola Assist is quite easy to set up, so hit the break and lets get started.

[Scroll down if you want to skip the written part and watch the tutorial video]

You can get to the settings for Motorola Assist by tapping on the Assist Icon in your app drawer. You will be presented with three choices: Driving, Meeting, and Sleeping.


These settings will only be in effect when you are in a moving vehicle (GPS must be enabled). However, if you’re not the driver, you can cancel it in the notifications area.

Just tap on “Driving” for more options.


You are given two options: “Talk to me” and “Resume music play.” By checking “Talk to me”, you are telling your Moto X to announce who is calling you and/or to read text messages. On incoming calls, you will hear an announcement such as “Call from Jane Doe, say Answer or Ignore” You simply say Answer to take the call or Ignore to ignore the call. For texts, you will hear who the text is from along with the text of the message. I should note that this never worked for me, which might be because my review unit doesn’t have the final release software. You can fine tune things if you want your Moto X to announce both your calls and texts or just one or the other. Just hit the arrow icon and you can check which you want. You can also decide if you want or do not want an automated reply to be sent to the caller/texter.

“Resume music play” will automatically restart whatever music you were listening to prior. If you’re using Bluetooth streaming in your car, it doesn’t make sense to check this since your music should start automatically when your Moto X connects to your car’s Bluetooth. However, if you are using the external mic, it appears the Moto X doesn’t start automatically when plugging in, so you might find it useful. Just note, that it could take a minute or two for the Moto X to realize you are driving. If you want your music to be on the second you hit the gas pedal, then you will need to turn it on manually or use the “OK Google Now….”Play______” command.


These settings will be in effect when you have something scheduled in your calendar that is labeled as busy. Just like “Driving” you can cancel it in the notification area.

Just tap on “Meeting” for more options.


You are given two options: “Silence” and “Auto reply.” By checking “Silence”, you won’t be interrupted from anything. but by tapping the arrow icon, you can choose if you want to go completely silent or allow vibrations. You can also allow for a couple of exceptions such as emergency situations or your starred favorite contacts. If it’s okay for anyone that is starred as a favorite in your contacts to call you, then check, “A Favorite calls”. Instead, you can opt for eliminating everyone except for anyone that calls you twice within 5 minutes (favorites or not). If you like this option, then check “Someone calls twice.” If you don’t want to be interrupted under any circumstances, then leave them both unchecked.

“Auto reply” is similar to the option found in the “Driving” mode. You can choose to have your Moto X send an automatic reply to missed calls from favorite contacts stating that you are in a meeting and that you will get back to them soon.


Who wants to be bothered when they are sleeping? Nobody does, and you are probably always silencing your phone just before you go to bed. That works fine, but there are two problems with it. The first is you might forget to do it, which means that any notifications could wake you up. The second is that if your phone is on silent, then you have no way of knowing that someone with a possible emergency is trying to reach you. The “Sleeping” mode solves all of this.

Just tap on “Sleeping” for more options.


The first thing you need to do is set the time each night that you will be sleeping. The default is 11:00pm to 6:00am. You can set the start and end times to whatever you want. You can check “Silence” and you won’t be bothered with anything during your chosen times. However, if you want to allow certain callers, you can do so by tapping on the arrow icon. You will be presented with the same options found in “Meeting.” You can choose to allow only your starred contacts or anyone (starred or not) who calls twice within 5 minutes to get through.

There are couple of additional settings on your Moto X that are not part of Assist that I thought I would mention since they are similar actions.

The first is “Trusted Bluetooth Devices.” We already mentioned this in our Touchless Control guide. If you utilize a PIN or pattern lock screen (recommended), you can set paired Bluetooth devices as trusted so that anytime you are connected to one of them, your lock screen will be disabled. This is perfect for the car or using your headset. The thought is that if you are connected to any of these devices, then your phone is safe and doesn’t need to be locked.


Go to Settings / Security. Tap on “Trusted Devices”. (this selection will be greyed out if you don’t have a  PIN or pattern lock screen active). First, turn on “Trusted Devices” at the top. You can then select from your paired devices that you deem as trusted. In my example above, you can see that I have SYNC (Ford SYNC) as my trusted device. You can also pair devices from this screen as well.

The second thing I want to mention is battery saver. The Moto X has a built in battery saver to prolong your battery life. If turned on, syncing will take place less often and the display brightness will be adjusted as needed.


Just go to Settings / Battery and you will see the option “Battery Saver” at the top. Just tap it once to turn it on and again to turn it off.

If you would rather watch these instructions, I put together this tutorial video showing you everything we covered in this guide. Check it out below and be sure to check out our other Moto X guides here.


About the Author: Robert Nazarian

Robert lives in upstate New York where he was born and raised. Technology was always his passion. His first computer was a Radio Shack TRS80 Color that used a cassette tape to save programs, and his first laptop was a Toshiba T1200FB that sported a CGA greyscale screen and two 720kb floppy drives (no hardrive). From the early 90’s through late 2011, he only owned Motorola phones starting with the MircroTAC all the way through to the Droid X. He broke that streak when he bought the Galaxy Nexus. Now he's sporting a Galaxy Note 4, and absolutely loves it. He has a wonderful wife and a 6 year old son. In his free time he enjoys sports, movies, TV, working out, and trying to keep up with the rapid fast world of technology.

  • Peter Frazier

    question.. think i uninstalled app but can’t find it in store.. anyway to get it back? checked the app settings to see if just disabled it.. (came from 2.2.6 on old phone, so many new features :) )

    • LilMoby

      to which app are you referring?

  • Joshua Seeley

    What about a trigger for Wi-Fi?

  • thisguy

    you can always just download smart actions from the play store

  • Bob Louden

    Help Please!

    We really like the Motorola Assist “sleeping mode” idea of blocking calls other than starred contacts or people who call twice within 5 minutes but ours doesn’t seem to work right. I think that I have our phones set up correctly but I can’t seem to get the phones to actually ring after sleeping time starts – even if a starred contact calls (or calls multiple times)! (We can see the call coming in — but no ringing.) This is a “deal breaker” for us because we MUST be able to receive emergency calls from our family (though, hopefully, they’ll never happen).

    Any ideas or suggestions as to what we might have set up wrong?



  • Droid maxx

    How do you use the Motorola Assist and Touchless Control with your Ford Sync system? Is there a way to make it so it runs the phones hands-free control system and not the Sync, but just carries the sound and mic through the bluetooth? Motorola’s system seems to work much better than Ford’s Sync, but I just got a new Ford and haven’t been able to find a way to switch (if its possible).

  • Nel Vavra

    Is there a way to set a time everyday to send out a text to a person

    • 73roderick

      Try automagic or automatelt

  • 73roderick

    To all of you who are wanting more in-depth and complicated automated tasks, try Automatelt or Automagic on the app-store

  • Gary Pajer

    If I’m called into a meeting that is not on my calendar, can I manually start Meeting?