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10 essential tips for your Moto G

Motorola's Moto G is a game-changing phone -- check out our handy hints and tantalising tips and familiarise yourself with the super-cheap Android mobile.

The Motorola Moto G is a game-changing phone -- its quad-core chip, pure Android 4.3 and pin-sharp HD screen are fantastic value at the bargain-basement price of £135. It's likely to find its way into many a stocking this Christmas, so familiarise yourself with this super-cheap Android phone with our handy hints and tantalising tips.

1. Secure your phone

The Moto G might be cheap, but you still want to make sure you don't lose it. The phone comes with Motorola's own 'Device ID' system, where you can register the handset and locate it later on if you misplace it. When you switch on the Moto G for the first time you'll be prompted to enter your Google account to activate this service, but if you skip this step for whatever reason, you can begin the process anew by going to Settings > Motorola device ID. It's also possible to unlock the phone from this menu as well.


2. Take a screenshot

You can take a screenshot of your display by holding the power button and volume button down together. The resultant shot will be deposited in your phone's gallery, in a folder called -- you guessed it -- Screenshots.

3. Add widgets to your lock screen

Widgets are still one of Android's most unique features, and in Android 4.3, they're not limited to your homescreen any more -- you can view them even when you phone is locked. On the lock screen, simply slide from left to right and then tap the 'plus' icon to add a widget. These include your calendar, messaging inbox and Gmail.

4. Automatically upload photos to the cloud

It's possible to preserve your photos and videos by using a cloud-based upload service on your Moto G. Google's Facebook rival Google+ comes with such a feature, as does cloud file service Dropbox -- both of which will prompt you to enable the functionality when you sign into them for the first time.

5. Transfer content from your old Android phone

Google's Android service takes the pain out of upgrading by allowing you to store all your data in the cloud, including emails, contacts and application information. There are still elements which don't get transferred properly though, but fear not -- the Moto G comes with a handy 'Migrate' tool, which sorts all of this out for you. You'll need to ensure you install the app on your existing phone (which needs to be Android-based, naturally) but the whole process is about as painless as it gets.


6. Customise your app tray

See that row of icons at the bottom of your homescreen? These are quick-launch shortcuts to key applications, and by default are set to Phone, Chrome, Messaging and Camera. You're not stuck with this selection though -- by holding your finger down on the app icon, you can remove it from the tray and replace it with one of your own choice. The only shortcut you can't remove is the one in the middle, which opens the Moto G's app drawer.

7. Take multiple photos

Multi-shot burst modes aren't anything new, but the way they're accessed on the Moto G is especially intuitive. Instead of having to enter a different shooting mode or tinker with options, all you have to do is hold your finger down on the screen, and the camera will keep snapping as long as your finger remains in contact with the display.

8. Turn your phone into a pocket-sized interpreter

Travelling to a new country is often a fraught and tense experience -- new food, different weather, staring locals -- and then there's the language barrier to contend with. Your shiny new Moto G can help with that. It comes with the latest version of Google Translate installed, which means you can instantly translate speech, text and even handwriting. There are loads of different languages to pick from -- yes, even Yiddish -- and the app will even attempt to detect the language if you're unsure.

9. Open your camera from the phone's lock screen

If you have a screen lock pattern or pin code on your phone then you'll no doubt be annoyed by the fact that you have to unlock the device to access the camera -- and that means you could potentially miss vital family shots. Thankfully, Android 4.3 allows you to swiftly fire up the snapper from the lock screen -- all you need do is swipe from right to left. Any photos you take can be reviewed, but be aware that you won't be able to access the rest of the phone's gallery until you unlock the device properly.

10. Effortlessly control your phone's ringer

Using the Moto G's preinstalled Assist application, you can tell your phone when you'd like it to disable your ringer. Assist can view any upcoming meetings you have stored in your calendar and silence the phone during these periods. You can also set a time at night when you'd like the phone to remain silent, so incoming alerts don't disturb your shuteye.

Editor's note: Thanks to Mobile Fun for supplying the unit used in this feature.