While this isn’t a new phone, there’s no reason we can’t go over some new tricks. Others may assume that there’s nothing new to learn or do, but we’re maniacs when it comes to exploring every possibility. There’s no reason older, yet trusty phones can’t receive a new injection of life. Especially after they have been there so long for you—a faithful friend.
The entire family of Motorola Droids has been impressive and reliable phones. The Maxx come with Motorola’s proprietary X8 Mobile Computing System. It had, and still, even in modern times, has a decent battery life. However, in addition to specs, Motorola did manage to include some features that make the phone special.
1. Make the Switch from Dalvik to ART
If you haven’t tried this already, updating your phone from Dalvik to ART can improve your phone’s performance regarding both graphics and processing (it improves and speeds up the method in which a program compiles or runs).
You can change the runtime environment by going to Settings, then Developer Options, and then Runtime. The phone will take awhile to reboot right after you make the change; and you may notice differences in update behavior, and in most apps’ general behavior—perhaps not all for the better. Most modern phones use ART by default.
2. Root & All it Can Offer
At this point, why not try rooting your Droid Maxx? Once your Maxx is rooted, you can enable stock tethering by using SQL Editor to change the value for entitlement check from 1 to 0 (Go to Settings Storage > Settings.db and scroll to Line 65).
Download: SQL Editor
You can download more apps. You will gain the ability to mimic Lollipop by using the Xposed Framework and downloading the Monster UI module.
Download: Xposed Framework
Download: Monster UI
And just as you would be able to download any app to your phone (use responsibly), you can also uninstall any app—no more feeling helpless about your carrier and manufacturer forcing you to keep useless apps on your phone. You’ll be able to alter the appearance of your device in many more ways than before. Rooting can enable an upgrade in both battery life and performance. And if you want a big overhaul, you can install a custom ROM.
3. Save on Battery
Even though the Droid Maxx has decent battery life, the odds are that you still wouldn’t turn down an improvement, especially if you don’t have to compromise too much functionality. You could lower the screen brightness and timeout. To do so, go to Settings > Display > Brightness. You can try using Automatic Brightness first, or you can click and drag the slider to the left side of the screen. Confirm by choosing OK.
To shorten the timeout, visit the Display menu again, but this time select Screen timeout. Choose the timeout value of your choice, but 10-20 seconds is recommended. To enter Battery Saving Mode, go to Apps > Settings > App Settings > Battery > Battery Saver and toggle the setting to ON.
If you have apps running unnecessarily in the background (and you probably do) you can disable background data by visiting Apps > Settings >Data Usage tap on any app using a lot of data. Enable Restrict App Background Data. This won’t cause any system-critical apps to close, but it does mean that messaging and email apps that rely on new data will not update until you open them unless a Wi-fi connection is available.
4. Get a New Theme or Launcher
A change in theme and launcher can mean a change in wallpapers, sounds, colors, icons—-even your system UI and apps. The Maxx doesn’t offer anything inherent aside from what it comes with, but you can find many many options on Google Play, or you can use third-party sources as long as you trust them.
You can get more organization, layout, and even scrolling options with a new launcher. This is a fun tip, trick, or hack for Motorola Droid Maxx. Just make sure that you change your underwear as much or more than you change themes and launchers.
Download: Nova Launcher
Download: Go Launcher
Download: Black Mechanic Atom Theme
Download: Beautiful Theme
5. Change Keyboards
You can install the keyboard of your choice first. These are available through Google Play or from other third-party sources that you trust. Once the installation is complete, tap on Settings and choose Language & Input. Press Default to find the current keyboard, the keyboard you just installed, and any other keyboard options.
Select the new keyboard of your choice. If you tap on the Settings (gear) icon next to your select keyboard, you will discover more options for features and appearance. Press the Back button to save changes. If you simply want to disable auto-correction on a Google keyboard, go to Settings > Language & Input > Google Keyboard > Text Correction > Auto-correction and turn it off.
Download: Google Keyboard
Download: SwiftKey Keyboard
6. Motorola Migrate
If you are working with a few different devices, you will probably eventually find the need to transfer files from phone to phone—not always the easiest thing. Motorola Migrate supports the moving of media from Android 2.2 Froyo to 5.1 Lollipop, and to Motorola phones on Android 4.1 through 5.1.
Download: Motorola Migrate
In relatively seamless fashion, you can transfer media such as photos, call and text history, videos, and SIM contacts. Unfortunately, this does not include any Motorola Nexus/GPE devices and anything 5.1 and above.
However, it is available on your Droid Maxx, and it is comprehensive. You can even transfer volume and brightness settings. The move is wireless, and only requires a couple of steps. Just open the app on the phone that has the data you want to transfer (but you’ll also need the app installed on the destination device), press Start, and specify what you wish to transfer. Talk about a convenient tip, trick, or hack for Motorola Droid Maxx.
7. Droid Zap
Have your ever asked a friend to text you a photo only to never see it again? All Droids have a built-in feature called Droid Zap that would give your friend no excuse, because of how easily and quickly it allows you to share photos and videos with other Androids within 1000 feet of each other.
Download: Droid Zap
It is transmitted wirelessly, but don’t worry, because it can be secured with a PIN. You can use it to share content with multiple people in the immediate area.
Once Zap is enabled, all you have to do is retrieve the picture or video from the Gallery and perform a two-finger upward swipe to send. Also, with a downward swipe of the fingers, your phone will detect media sent by other users to download. You will need GPS, Wi-Fi, and a data network to use the service. To enable or disable, head to Settings > Droid Zap and toggle the switch.
8. Smart Phone Options
You can automate some of the features of your phone using Moto Assist. Be safe and don’t text while you are driving; Moto Assist can read text aloud to you. It can also silence any phone calls you might receive during a meeting and will announce your incoming calls when you are at home. To ensure that you have the battery to get these calls and texts, it can also help conserve your battery.
Another app to try that also maintains awareness of where you are and what your schedule is like is Llama – Location Profiles. It keeps an eye on your location and the time to optimize your phone’s ringer, vibration, and ringtone settings. If you would rather not hear from a particular number ever again, you can block that incoming call by dragging the red phone icon to the left. If you want to provide the caller with the option for voicemail, you can tap Reject call with a message and drag upward.
Download: Llama – Location Profiles
There is always something new to discover about any phone. Do something different with your Motorola Droid Maxx today.
Do you have any tips, tricks, or hacks for the Motorola Droid Maxx? Share them with other readers in the comments below.