How to check notifications without unlocking the device [Android] [Guide]

Checking the notifications on your mobile all the time on your Android device is not too worthy when you know that you can check notifications without unlocking the device. What if you can view all the notifications on the screen without pressing the power button?

A unique and solid feature added to Moto X smartphones – ‘Moto Display’ (Formerly Active Display), is very much useful for the people who takes their phone out of their pocket too many times just to check new notifications. As the traditional notification light, found on most phones today, isn’t worthwhile because it does not display what kind of notification came on the phone. Not everyone owns Moto X smartphones with Moto Display feature yet they want it badly on their phones. What can you do to get Moto Display? Buy a Motorola smartphone to check notifications without unlocking the device when you already have a smartphone?


Most of the people turn on their smartphones to check notifications or time and put it back. I am not sure how much battery it consumes when you press the power button multiple times and wake your phone up just to check a few notifications, but I do know that a feature like Moto Display can save you a chunk since you do not need to press the power button to see the notifications, everything else is shown on a part of the display without even unlocking the device. The notification fades in and out automatically that gives you enough space for not touching your phone.

With that being said, you will need a Moto X phone, but what if I tell you that if you can have such neat feature too on any of your Android smartphones. Pretty excited?


How to check notifications without unlocking the device

There are a few apps available which are a great alternative to Moto Display, some of the well-known are AcDisplay and DynamicNotifications. They both are quite similar, however, offer distinct features and one of them is a paid app, DynamicNotifications. As the AcDisplay is free of cost, we will show you this tutorial based on a free app.

Note: AcDisplay is not a replacement of Moto X’s Moto Display because Moto Display is a proprietary feature from Motorola, and these apps are good in faking it. AcDisplay may use more battery on LCD-based smartphones. It is recommended to have an AMOLED display on your Android smartphone.

AcDisplay shows you the notification similar to the Moto Display and you can interact with the notifications and preview it without waking up your phone just like how you have seen in the Moto X. Know that they will not fade in and fade out like they would on the Moto X, but you can set a timer for how long you can set the notifications to appear on the screen before they disappear. Also, when you pick up your phone, it won’t activate, however, there is an option to wake from the proximity sensor when you wave your hand but it’s not that great.

You can unlock the device using the AcDisplay without needing any lock screen. Swipe down removes the notification from the list. A good thing is that AcDisplay is so very easy to setup. Follow the steps:

Step 1:

Install the AcDisplay app from the above given link in this guide. When you open it, you will be asked to turn it on. Tap the On/Off slider on the top. A popup will appear for permissions requirement.


Step 2:

The app needs to access your notifications and you need to grant it as a device administrator on your phone for the notification access and to manage timeout policy. Tap on notifications as shown, check the box and select OK. The app has now access to all the notifications of your Android.


Step 3:

The next permission is to set the app as a device admin so that it can manage the screen timeout and control how and when the screen locks. Tap it and select Activate. You have now completed the setup for AcDisplay. Your Android can now get the notifications just like the Moto Display has.


How to setup AcDisplay on your Android

There are few things in the setup if you want to personalize it. Tap the three dots and open settings on AcDisplay app. Tap on Active mode.



Turn on the Active mode using the toggle slider and check the box that says ‘Wave to wake’. It activates the AcDisplay using the proximity sensor available on your Android. You can also enable or disable the settings of the Active mode by opting the checkboxes.


You can select AcDisplay to replace your Android’s lock screen. Before enabling it, know that it’s still in BETA and you may find bugs using it.


If you are the one who do not want to show notifications in the AcDisplay then you can remove or blacklist some apps that won’t show you notifications when the AcDisplay wakes up. Tap on Apps under settings.


Choose the aps you want to add to the blacklist. You can add multiple apps to the blacklist and hide their notifications from the AcDisplay.


Set your notificaions AcDisplay to preview it and wake up with a notification opened. Priorities can also be set, like misscalls, directions, emergency alerts, and etc.


You can stop using the power button to check notifications, just wave your hand on the proximity sensor or pick your phone out of your pocket, you will see the notifications on your screen. Experience the new type of notifications preview with the AcDisplay as it gives you something different that you haven’t seen on your phone before.

Any questions or suggestions, let us know in the comments. Check out more tutorials on our How-To Guides.