Does the Moto 360 have WiFi?

Yes! The Moto 360 has WiFi ready to go on board.

This is a question that has regularly come up in the last few weeks as Google announced the release of the next Android Wear version 5.1.1. You will find a bit more information on that in a previous post that I have done a few days ago: Moto 360 gets Android Wear WiFi update.

Motorola was smart enough to add a wifi module to the Moto 360. To many Moto 360 fans, there was never a doubt this smartwatch would get it because there’s always been a WiFi chip inside and that it had only been disabled. Moto 360 uses Texas Instrument’s OMAP 3 processor which actually has WiFi built into the SoC.

There’s always been a WiFi chip inside the Moto 360 and that it had only been disabled

 

For those of you who do not know what SoC stands for: A system on a chip or system on chip (SoC or SOC) is an integrated circuit (IC) that integrates all components of acomputer or other electronic system into a single chip. It may contain digital, analog, mixed-signal, and often radio-frequency functions—all on a single chip substrate. SoCs are very common in the mobile electronics market because of their low power consumption. (Source: Wikipedia)

Why is wifi connectivity so great on the Moto 360?

What is so great about having a wifi connection on your smartwatch is that it opens up a whole new array of features. To name but a few positive things about having wifi on board:

  1. Wifi is generally lower in energy consumption than bluetooth (even bluetooth 4), which will make your watch last even longer on a single charge. It remains to be seen by how much this would positively influence the longevity of the battery, but some say it could be up to half a day of extra battery life
  2. With WiFi connectivity, you could leave your phone at home – or anywhere you want for that matter – and still receive all the updates you need over the air as long as you have an internet connection. Next to that, you would be able to use most of the regular functions of your smartwatch, that would not require your phone – such as simple questions that can be answered by Google Now, or reply to Hangout or Whatsapp messages

Just like the Sony Smartwatch 3 is getting the new Android Wear features, the Moto 360 will also receive WiFi support, phone free usage, hands free gestures, and quick drawings into emojis. With WiFi support, you can receive SMS and incoming call notifications as long as you are connected to a network.

I am really looking forward to finally receiving the Android Wear 5.1. update to try out all of those great features and I will definitely keep you posted on the developments around the WiFi usage and roll-out of the Moto 360 1st generation (2014).

Battery life on Moto 360 is better than many think

The battery life on smartwatches is a topic that is frequently discussed. Depending on how you use your device, it logically fluctuates as to how long your watch will go on a single charge. That makes sense to me at least. I thought I would give you a few insights into how the Moto 360 holds up in different situations. These are purely my personal observations and there is nothing scientific about them, yet I think this is at the end of the day what every regular user should be looking at. In the end it all depends on how you would like to use your watch and what you would like to do with it.

Charging your Moto 360

Charging the Moto 360 is done with the dock that comes with it (see image at the top). The dock is quite beautiful, and made of a black, hard plastic. The watch does not have to be “plugged-in” to anything, but can simply be laid into the dock for it to start to charge. It is very convenient and quick to charge your watch and it looks a lot nicer on your bedside table.

When your smartwatch is in charging mode, it switches the display to show you the time and the charging percentage is displayed in a blue circle that goes all around the display. When the blue circle is completely round, the phone is fully charged and ready to go. You can stop the charging-process at any time and just take the watch off the dock. At night, the blue is a very pleasant color to have next to your bed and it functions as a little alarm clock.

The Moto 360 battery is nearly 50% bigger than that of the Apple Watch

Whilst charging, the watch tends to get a little bit warm. That is because the induction charging by Qi standard uses more energy than you would “technically” need. About 30-50% of the energy is generally lost through Qi inducted charging, but it is still not a whole lot. Its 320 mAh battery size is larger than that of the Samsung Gear Live that has a battery able to store 300 mAh, but it is still not huge. Compared to the Apple Watch though, the battery is huge as this only has 205 mAh. The software is what makes the biggest difference, and determines how long your watch will last on a single charge – next to the screen quality and type.

There have been rumours about the fact that you should not leave your watch to charge for a too long period of time, because of something called the screen burn-in effect. Some users have reported that the blue lines that are displayed when charging the watch, did not fully disappear anymore after a few days of leaving the watch in the dock. The color seemed to have burned into the screen and cannot be removed anymore. Apparently, if that is the case you can send your watch to Motorola to have it replaced. Within my social network, I do not know anyone who has had issues with that so far and I have not had problems with it either. Just to be on the safe side though, I would not leave my watch in the dock for more than a night. You will probably want to wear it the next day again anyway, right?

Travelling without the dock

I cannot always remember to bring my dock and I also do not want to carry too many chargers around with me. Although this one looks nice, it is not the best format/size to carry around with you. If you travel a lot like me, and especially short business trips, you don’t really have to worry about the dock all too much. With moderate use, meaning receiving a few emails per day from your VIP marked friends, 10 minutes of hangout messages, checking google maps for 10-15 minutes a day, you will probably drain about 40-50% of your battery life.

Okay getting through the second day entirely is not that easy you would need to use it a little less on the second day, but it is possible. The longest it has lasted me so far is about 3,5 days – simply because I did not get a lot of messages I guess and managed not to play around with my smartwatch all too much (which is a challenge – trust me).

How much does the battery drain when you don’t use it: well at night it uses about 7-10% of the battery life that it started with (if you sleep in until 11:00 this will clearly be higher of course). On a regular working day, I generally take off my watch around 22:00 and put it back on at 07:00 in the morning. Last night it used approximately 10% of the battery I had the night before. Non scientific approach of course, but i think that as a rule of thumb that should be ok.

What drains the battery most on the Moto 360?

There are a few functions on the Moto 360 that will drain your watch more quickly than others. If you use your watch more, it will drain more quickly too of course. These are the functions of my smartwatch that I find to drain my battery fastest:

  1. Constant “check-ins” with your phone (GPS)
  2. Google Maps (goes hand-in-hand with point 1.
  3. Hangouts/Whatsapp – sending messages back and forward by using your voice
  4. The screen – leaving the screen on at all times uses a lot of battery

What I do to make sure that the longevity of my battery stays nice and long:

  1. Hangouts/Whatsapp I try to avoid longer sentences than just a few words, the more complex the sentences are and the more you say, your watch will need to communicate quite a bit with your phone and this drains the battery quite a bit. Simple and direct messages such as: “I will be right there”, “see you in a bit” or “meet you there at 12” really help save your battery time
  2. I try not to fiddle with it too much, although it is very tempting… What drains most battery is the screen itself. So if you click on the screen the whole time or leave it on constantly for the whole day, you will surely not make it through 24 hours of usage
  3. I take it off / put it next to me when I am working. I have a desk job anyways and see most of the notifications on my screen. If you twist and turn your wrist the whole time, the watch will start up and turn on the screen – draining your battery far quicker than you actually want it to. My piece of advice would be to take it off from time to time – even if it is just for 30-60 minutes whilst you don’t really need it and you will save quite a bit of battery right there

Will the Moto 360 make it through the day?

YES! Your Moto 360 will definitely make it through a normal day of wearing and using it. That is what it is for – and that is how it was designed. Surely it won’t last you a whole week and maybe not even a busy weekend in which you send a lot of messages to your friends and family to coordinate the Saturday night party you are planning on going to, but it will take you through any normal day. Play around with it, use it, and have fun with it.

At night it serves as a nice little alarm clock and looks pretty on your bedside table, so there is not reason you should not put it in the charging dock in the evening when you go to bed. If you are not a big fan of having electronics in your bedroom, you can disconnect it at night if you would like so that it does not try to search for your phone through its bluetooth connection.

I think the battery life on the Moto 360 is fine. It is surely not great, I would not really feel comfortable leaving the dock charging station at home on a long weekend or business trip, it could be better and I do find myself looking at the battery level ever now and again, but it will last you for a whole solid day of regular usage.

How the Freeletics App should be better integrated with the Moto 360

I try to be as sporty as can be and although I tend to get lazy after a few weeks or months and lose interest again, I do try to stay generally fit. I love to go for a run from time to time to clear my mind, stare into the distance and show my eyes that there is more to life than just a 13″ retina screen.

To get inspired I started using one of my my now favorite apps called Freeletics. Freeletics is more than just an app, but a full-fledge community of sports and health conscious cracks and athletes who enjoy pushing their bodies to the limit. The Freeletics app is very easy to use, you pick out a workout you want to do, hit start and you get going. The rest of course is up to you.

freeletics profile picture

What is Freeletics?

Freeletics is a sports community of athletes that focusses on quality of work outs, combining strength and endurance in “short” high intensity training sessions.

Freeletics contains three types of training: Workouts, Exercises and Runs.

  1. Workouts are a given set of exercises which have to be completed in the exact same order and number as stated. Workouts can appear in different types and volumes which allows for specific training of cardiovascular endurance, muscular endurance and strength.
  2. Exercises are a given number of repetitions for a single movement. They exist from the low to the high repetition range to train strength, speed and stamina.
  3. Runs are a given distance and contain sprinting over medium to long distances. Runs are ideal for training of cardiovascular endurance but also to complement a strength training program.

Freeletics be part of the movement

Of these 3 types of trainings, that can be combined within a single session as the athlete would like, the most obvious one to use your smartwatch with is the running part. Using the gps in your phone to track your distance, as well as the integrated “steps-counter” in the Moto 360, this is the most straight-forward form of integrating your smartphone into your workout. However as the Moto 360 does not have an integrated gps module inside the watch, you would always need to take your phone with you to track where you currently are.

New Sports and Health features with Android Wear 5.1.1.?

This might change with the new Android Wear version 5.1.1, that will be brought to your Moto 360 soon and supports a WIFI connection between your watch and the phone, so that you can leave your phone at home. It remains to be seen if this would mean that the Moto360 would still track your steps and distance accurately if you leave your phone at home, but that is something that it currently already does.

Update 19th of June 2015, the new android wear version 5.1.1 is out and has brought Wi-Fi connectivity to the Motorola 360. I am currently testing what this actually does and how we can use it differently with fanatics and all the exercises that we want to do. At first glance, the new software version of android for smart watches has brought quite a few improvements but the freeletics app is still not entirely supported.

This means that we will have to wait a bit longer until the freeletics team release a full fledged Smart watch integrated solution that will work on any smart watch. As I’ve understood it so far the first thing that they will be working on is an Apple watch version of the app. This does not mean that an android app is not around the corner, but the focus is more on the Apple watch at this time. Nevertheless I think that there should be a few functionalities that Freeletics and Motorola should incorporate the new software versions of both the smart watch and the app.

How could Freeletics and my Moto 360 work together?

What would be absolutely grand is if I could use the health monitoring features that the Moto 360 has, to track the progress in my workouts. My favourite smartwatch has a heartbeat monitor and could in theory keep track of my pulse whilst doing my exercises – or my recovery times after a tough workout. That way I could actually see how I have improved my general health and fitness over time.

The Moto 360  could track my heart rate during exercises and measure my recovery times

One feature of Freeletics is the Freeletics coach. A coach helps you put a suitable training plan together for you and tells you what you should be doing to get fit. If the coach would have the information on how I am recovering from various exercises, he could help me structure my trainings even better. The Freeletics coach could for example tell you whether I should be focussing more on cardio exercises or strength – and it would see which exact sessions push my heart rate to its limits.

become a free athlete freeletics

The goal with Freeletics is not just to do a number of sets, but they have added a competitive time element to it. The “faster” you do the workouts the “better” – well at least it looks cool to some of your friends maybe. Although I never really focus on getting my workout done as quickly as possible, but more on doing it right, it would be very convenient if I could simply tap my wrist to go to the next exercise instead of having to pick up my phone every time between sets. Alternatively, I could also just “say/tell” my Moto 360 to skip to the next exercise with a special code word that triggers that action (just like using the “Okay Google” command).

It would be very convenient if I could simply tap my wrist to go to the next exercise

Early morning Freeletics workout aftermath
Early morning Freeletics workout aftermath

Integrated health check: something the Apple Watch can do already, is regularly check and read when I am exercising. It reads the pulse of whoever wears the Apple watch and when the heartrate goes up it understands that I did something. The activity heartrate measurement works best when doing cardio workouts though. Since I definitely get my pulse up nicely when doing Freeletics, it could easily measure and see that I started working out.

The Moto 360 on the other hand, only registers the heartbeat of the user when it is explicitly instructed to do so, or when the user is in “action” – meaning moving from A to B. When I am doing my general workouts though, I hardly ever leave the spot I had started on. This is something that a Freeletics integration could take advantage of, and next to measuring my health statistics when I am doing sports, also track it during the days to see what my general fitness is like. Understanding the users “pulse” and general fitness is key to giving him or her the best advice on how he/she should do sports and how they can improve their health.

Active counter, when I am doing a certain exercise, such as push ups, sit-ups, pull-ups or burpees, my hand-movement is very distinct. I could image that it would not be very difficult to (depending on the workout that I am currently doing) count the number of repetitions that I have done so far – in real time. That way it would be virtually impossible to cheat the system. One more added benefit would be that the watch could jump to the next exercise within the workout whenever I am done with the current one.

With an automatic counter it would be virtually impossible to cheat the Freeletics app

Let’s say that I am doing sets of 50 burbees, followed by 30 push-ups, and 50 sit-ups; after the first 50 burpees my watch could vibrate slightly – indicating a new exercise – show me what I have to do and start the countdown from the top again (namely with the 30 push-ups). That way I would finally not have to get up to reach out for my phone and switch over to the next exercise and save me a few precious seconds that I desperately need to beat my personal best time.

Freeletics: Unleash the potential of wearables

The bottom line is: “I do not like the fact that I have to change my watch 3x a day and I want to use 1 universal stylish gadget to do all that.” I think that smartwatches and fitness apps are destined to work more closely together and there is absolutely no reason they should not. This is one part of the wearables business that should rapidly be improved. The technology is already there, and I think that there are loads of ideas out there that simply need to be put into practise.

Unleash the true potential of wearables!

The last few years a clear focus has been on cardio vascular activities, such as running, swimming and biking and improving gps connection on “smartwatches” such as the SUUNTO Ambit (which is a fantastic sports watch).  Hardcore sportsmen and fitness cracks will surely not get rid of their Garmin sports watch and Suunto watches any time soon, but for regular casual consumers who do sports once or twice a week, there is not really much incentive to buy a separate watch for another 300-400 $/€. The B2C sports world has been evolving quickly in the last few years, and it is time to bring the world of wearables to the next level.

PS: If you live in Zürich (Switzerland) feel free to join me for a workout or two whenever you want. Just use the contact form to get in touch.

freeletics training outside leg lever
Freeletics training outside leg levers

Is the Moto 360 nearing its product cycle end?

I hope that this is not the end of the Moto 360. It feels like we have just gotten started and are starting to get to know each other a little better. New technology is like a new girl friend, you have to get to know her to really appreciate her. I have really come to love my Moto 360, but I don’t know what is in the pipeline for it. Motorola has started lowering the prices in the USA to something along the lines of 149-179$ per smart watch.

… It takes time to appreciate what you’ve got

I personally find that far too cheap for such a great piece of technology. I mean, just look at Apple, currently the biggest and arguably richest company on the planet. They manage to being out a new smart watch, which does nothing more or better than the Moto 360 which is almost a year old already, and they charge on average around 450-600$ for one. It feels a bit like ‘we’ have already given up. The apple watch is there now, so why bother trying to show the world that this is a great piece of technology?

I surely hope they know what they are doing, and if there is a Moto 360 II up and coming soon, I will be one of the first ones in line. On he brighter side of things, I hope many new users will be attracted to the moto 360 due to the decrease in price in the last few weeks. As you know the Moto 360 is more than just a small phone on your wrist that makes your life a lot easier with a few notifications, it has paved the way to a far more beautiful wearable movement.

Improvements and Android Wear updates

Why do I think Motorola will continue to invest in its flagship watch: Mainly, the software is getting better by the week, the battery lifetime has gone up dramatically due to a few fantastic Android Wear updates, and Android Wear is live and kicking. The new 5.1.1. Version is on its way to all Motorola smart watches as well as the LG urbane, Samsung gear live and Sony SmartWatch 3 already and will be deployed on all devices in the next few days. This continued positive flow and investment by Google and Motorola shows that they are serious about keeping the Moto 360 around for quite a bit longer.

Incremental improvements show that there is nothing really wrong with the Motorola 360 smartwatch, but that with a few tweaks and tricks – it could be even better and meet user expectations even more. One idea would be to open up the market for the Moto360 to Apple users as well. Google would need to get the support from Apple for this though. It is probably technically not all that difficult to hook up the iOS iPhones with Android Wear (as a few people have shown already), but it is more the question of whether Apple would be open to featuring an Android Wear app in their app store and thereby making it available to the masses.

Apple have just started promoting their own Apple Watch and it seems highly unlikely to me that they would be willing to jeopardise their new future product and market over that. In all fairness though, the Moto 360 looks significantly better than the squared Apple Watch. I get asked time and time again by Apple Fanboys (and girls) if the beautiful watch that I have on my wrist is “the” Apple Watch. Surely they would not mind wearing a Moto 360 if it were compatible with their iPhones. 

With the Android 5.1.1 update there is a lot to look forward to. I think this product category has just gotten started and we are in for a very exciting ride when it comes to wearables in the next few years.

Moto 360 2nd generation 2015 what to expect

The last few weeks speculations have been going around about the new and upcoming Moto 360 (2015). A second edition of Motorolas best selling smartwatch would not be very surprising as the first version of the Moto 360 has been a great success. The round Motorola smartwatch was the first smartwatch that could live up to the expectations of being both stylish and smart. Rumour has it that the second Moto 360 generation will still be brought out by Motorola this year and could be presented to the general public within the coming few weeks. The first “pictures” of the new smartwatch have already started circulating on the web.

The round Motorola smartwatch was the first to be both stylish and truly smart

After about 6 months of wearing the first version of the Moto 360, there are a number of things that I would love to see in the next version. Let me walk you through the changes that I would love to see in the next Moto 360, for the sake of simplicity I will just call it the Moto 360 II (2015 edition).

Specifications of the Moto 360 II (2015 edition)

There are a few things that I would love to have in a smartphone. One thing that I find that is missing is an ever so small speaker. The fact that the Moto 360 I (2014 edition) is a pure one-way piece of equipment annoys me from time to time. What I do not really like all that much about the smartwatch that I currently have is that I cannot answer the phone with it. Yes I know, that is what a phone is for, but everytime someone calls me – my watch starts vibrating and asks me if I would like to answer or not – I swipe from right to left to answer the call and then remember that the watch does not have a speaker function and I have to get my smartphone out. I just cannot get used to that.

I would really love to have a small speaker in the Moto 360 II

Next to that, I use my Moto 360 together with Google Maps for directions. It is very easy to set up and ask for directions by simply asking my watch: “Okay Google, navigate me to the central station” and off we go. Now, every time there is a turn up ahead or I pass a crossing I notice that I look at my watch and hope for it to magically tell me what to do. Yes it does vibrate when I am supposed turn right or left, but that is simply not the same (as good) as getting the directions from a simple voice command.

Stronger and more standalone apps are also at the top of the list. This is surely something that is also strongly dependent on Google and Co. but it would be great to have a Google Maps app on  my watch without needing to use the phone itself. A small map of the surroundings (top-view) and the possibility to pinch and zoom would be fantastic. I would then not have to get my phone out anymore and the smaller screen would surely suffice for that.

I would also love it a lot if the new version of the Moto 360 (should we call it II or 2015?), would be waterproof. Every time it rains, I think twice about wearing it. I know that that is not logical and the watch will surely not break due to a few splashes of water, but as it is a timepiece with quite a bit of electronics in it – I always think twice about putting on my smartwatch when it is raining cats and dogs.

Let’s hope the next version will be even better than the next one. Which features would you like to see in the next Moto 360 (2015 version) release? Is there something that you feel is missing or wrong with the current Motorola flagship smart watch?

Note: Header images from Android Central

Do you wear your smartwatch every day?

As much as I love my smartwatch, I do not wear it every single day. When I am travelling, or on the weekends when I am not expecting to get a large number of notifications I generally leave my smartwatch at home.

Don’t get me wrong, I still love wearing it of course, but I have found out that it works best when you are expecting to get a relatively large number of messages, notifications, or reminders. At work it is the perfect gadget that helps me leave my phone in my bag or (jacket-) pocket. I have set my Moto 360 up in such a way that I can only be “disturbed” by my VIP contacts, for meetings or emails on my work email address marked important.

Why not wear it all the time?

I noticed that I have stopped losing interest in checking my phone every 5 minutes to see if something “important” has happened that I should know about. Thank god I have my Moto 360. It really helps me focus when I need to be, because I simply know that if my watch does not tell me that I have to pay attention I can focus on getting things done. That alone is already worth the investment I think. If I would count up the hours that I have spend checking my phone for the sake of simply checking that all is fine, I think my boss would get a heart attack.

I have stopped losing interest in checking my phone every 5 minutes to see if something “important” has happened

When do I use it? Mostly when I am at work and want to get things done. My smartwatch helps me keep track of the things I need to do, it tells me when I have meetings that are coming up and I receive the most important messages that I really want to read. Everything else is apparently not that important and I can plan ahead as to when I really want to start working on my inbox and answer the emails that were not marked VIP.

Do I ever feel bad not wearing it all the time? No, not at all!

Actually I don’t really miss it when I don’t wear it, but when I do I notice that it makes my life quite a bit easier and maybe more importantly I really enjoy “playing around” with it. It really feels like I have my own little personal secretary who tells me what to do (and when) from time to time. A little bit of luxury, a little bit of fun and practical at that.  When do you wear your Moto 360? Do you wear it all the time, or just on special occassions? Share your thoughts in the comments section below. I would love to find out how you use your smartwatch.

Why the Moto 360 is better than the Apple watch

I got a pretty little moto 360 for christmas last year (thank you my love) and I have to say that it is a gadget that I have learned to love over the last couple of months. Apart from the form factor and the obvious, „wow is that the new apple watch“ comments that I keep getting from time to time, it is a great little toy to play around with. I personally find the notifications very useful, they get better with ever software release and things like the google maps integration really make me want to leave my phone alone for at least a couple of minutes a day.

When it comes to gadgets, phones, tablets, pcs – basically anything that runs on batteries, I can surely say that I am the typical heavy user. I use all devices at the same time, am playing around with them constantly and am mildly addicted to it.

Great thing about having a watch that notifies you only when something really interesting and important happened? It makes you leave your phone and tablet at peace a lot more than usual. The moto 360 really changed the way I interacted with my devices and I thoroughly enjoy it (even with the obvious flaws that it has – I for one would love to have a tiny little speaker in the moto 360 smart watch, so that I can actually leave my phone alone for short conversations).

I got an iPhone 6 @work… Now what?

Challenge: my new „work cell” is an iPhone 6. So now what…? Should I get me an Apple watch? Should I leave my beloved Moto 360 in a drawer next to my bedside table? To be honest, I don’t really want to. Having seen one of the first Apple watches now, I am not 100% convinced that it is in any way better than the current smart watch I already have. The form factor is definitely one thing that I do not like on the Apple watch, it simply does not really appeal to me that it looks so squared and technical. I love the fact that the Motorola watch looks a lot more like a fancy shiny regular watch.

Rumour has it, that Google is working on an Apple iOS application / support for Android Wear. A number of tech sites have reported that Google will announce iOS support at the upcoming I/O Google event in May 2015. I personally think that this could be a real blow to Apple’s smartwatch, as Apple-fanboys will then have an affordable alternative to the very expensive Apple watch. When software and usability are not as important as the form factor of a watch – or the brand for that matter – I personally think that Motorola and Google will be able to steal quite a few Apple fans away from the Apple branded watch, over on to the Android wearables platform.

Rumor has it, Google is working an on Apple iOS application to support Android Wear

A second rumour that has been going around, is that Android wearables will get full wifi support, so that they can operate most of the usual functions without having to be connected to a phone. The smartwatch would then be able to do search queries through a regular wlan connection, tell you what the weather will be like today and possibly receive push notifications from Google’s gmail servers so that you can stay updated on your latest mails.

I sincerely hope that the best looking smartwatch on the planet will get the software support it deserves. So far, the android wear team have done a fantastic job at fixing the most critical bugs and issues with the first generation of smart watches – and I am looking forward to what the future will bring. Let’s just hope it includes iOS support 😉

Fantastic Android Update on the horizon

Monday 20th of April is a great day. Google just released a big press release around the new features that will be rolled out to all android wear devices in the next couple of weeks. This update includes the use of the WiFi connection to be able to use the phone, instead of only Bluetooth – which makes is virtually independent of where the phone is. I hope that this means that the Moto 360 can now also be “used” without a phone for notifications, google maps, hangouts etc, and thus I do not need an Android powered phone anymore to use my beautiful Moto 360 on a daily basis. This does not necessarily mean that it will work with an iPhone, but it might mean that I do not really need a phone to have a functioning smartwatch.

Techcrunch (amongst others) wrote a few words on it and showed us the features that will be included. Have a look for yourself: Click here

What do you think about the Apple Watch compared to the Moto 360? Leave your comments in the section below.

Spotify and Moto 360 are a great match

Next to gadgets and good red wine, I am a big music fan. I listen to music at least a few hours a day and really enjoy browsing Spotify for new songs. Music is a part of my life and you will hardly find me at home without my Beoplay A9 (Bang & Olufsen really make stellar loudspeakers – díos mío!) being on – blasting out the latest and greatest tunes.

What is nice about the Moto360 is that you can use the Spotify app on your phone/watch to control the music that is currently playing. It is fairly simple, you start the Spotify app on your phone or tablet, and start playing your favourite song. One of my current favorite songs is Dotan with “Home” as you can see on the picture.

How I use Spotify on my Moto 360

You can use the simple navigation elements to pause or continue playing the song. When you swipe to the right, the picture of your song/album will disappear and you will see 4 buttons. The left and right buttons skip back or forward,- to the next song, whereas the up and down buttons take care of raising or lowering the volume of whatever device you are listening to the music to.

I use it at home, as well as on the road. Sometimes it is a lot faster and easier to change the music on my “wrist” than getting my phone out. One example of when I use it most is when I am going for a run. I don’t always bring my phone and smartwatch when I go running, because I don’t really like carrying any unnecessary weight around with me when I jog, but I do occassionally on longer tours (>20 km).

My beloved Bang & Olufsen (Beoplay) A9 – 2015 edition 

 

Beoplay A9 spotify moto360 smartwatch

In summer (on longer tours) I do sometimes take a small backpack with me with a bottle of water and a small snack. The bag pack has a small compartment for my Nexus 5, but when it is in there it is not all that easy to get it back out again. Fortunately I have a smartwatch :-). I can simply turn on my music on my phone and get going. If I want to change the song, I don’t have to get my smartphone out, but I can change the song directly on the watch. Very easy and practical.

A few minor improvements and ideas

One improvement that I would have is that it would be great if I could use voice commands to change the song that I am listening to. The Spotify radio functionality is not always the greatest and most creative when it comes to giving me new songs that I have not heard before and I would love to quickly skip to the next song by saying something like: “next song please!” or “skip song”. From a usability perspective that could be very interesting. I do not know if the Moto 360 has an active listening functionality within apps other than that of Google, but it would be something I would surely like to have.

Another thing that I would love to be able to do is use voice commands to search for a certain song or new songs. If I could just say: “Okay Spotify, play Dotan with Home” that would be absolutely fantastic. At the moment it is not possible to search for songs or playlist whilst using the Moto 360 without your phone. Unfortunately it only works as a remote control for your speakers actually, which is too bad.

The integration with Spotify, Deezer, and the likes is really great and I love not having to get my phone or tablet out every time to change the song or lower the volume a little. With a few improvements such as the possibility to be able to search for music or playlists – and using voice commands this could be one of the key features that I would be using on a daily basis.

Have you tried out the connection between Spotify and your smartwatch? Maybe you have some experience with another model than the Moto 360, I would love to hear your thoughts. Share your comments in the section below.

Setting a timer on your Moto 360

One of the features I use a lot on my Moto 360 is the “set timer” function. It is very simple and effective. I use the set timer feature mostly when I am in the kitchen and “trying” to whip me something up to eat. I tend to get distracted quite easily, so this is a neat little trick.

All you need to do is say: “Okay Google”, followed by: “set timer to xx-minutes” (you can basically say as many seconds, minutes or hours as you would like). The countdown starts automatically straight after that and you don’t have to do anything else anymore but wait. The Moto 360 will start to vibrate when the countdown is over. The smartwatch does not have a loudspeaker unfortunately, but since you’ll most probably be wearing the watch when you use this feature – I am sure that you will notice that when it starts to vibrate.

How strong are the vibrations?

How effective is the vibration of the smart watch? Well it is not all that strong, but you will surely notice it when you wear it. Something I have been wanting to try for a while now is to sleep with the watch on. I want to find out if I would actually wake up from the vibrations on my wrist. I have not tried sleeping with the smartwatch on just yet, because I usually have to charge it at night after a long days “work”. I guess I could give it a go though and charge it before going to bed.

The battery would surely last throughout a full nights sleep, as it does not drain all that much when leaving it in idle mode (about 10-15% per night). I think I will give it a go in the coming few days and report back to you guys if it worked well or not.

Do you have any experience with sleeping with your Moto 360 on? Please do share your experiences and leave a comment at the bottom of this post.

Sitting, waiting, wishing – for the update!

Wow, it is not that easy waiting on an update when you know it is out there somewhere. Yesterday it was announced (on the official Google Wear forum), that the roll-out of the next Android Wear version 5.1.1. had started. I thought – “you will definitely be one of the first ones to get it”… Oh how mistaken I was. It has been nearly 48 hours now. And nothing has happened… What can I say…

Sometimes you just have to be patient

And patience is definitely something that one needs to learn to appreciate. I got so excited over the news that the Moto 360 update had started rolling out, that I ran home from work, got my Nexus 5 and my Moto 360 out and irradically started clicking away on my beloved Moto360 to get the update as fast as possible… but nothing happened.

Are you waiting for the Android Wear update too?

I hope you feel with me a little bit at least. If you are reading this, you are probably also eager to get your hands on the latest and greatest Android 5.1.1. update. It will supposable bring a number of killer features to our smartwatches, such as WIFI support (you can leave your phone at home as long as it is connected to the internet), Emoji drawing, flipping through notifications by simply flicking your write, and a whole new user interface setup that will “blow your mind”.

Long story short, I guess this means that I will simply have to sit it out and wait for the magic to happen. It is “getting late” anyways, so maybe I should just finish that last glass of wine, head for bed and hope that tomorrow the update will be there to sweeten my day.

Have a good night