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:
- 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
- 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).