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.