5 reasons why smartwatches are better than fitness trackers

I find it interesting that in a world of wearables, smart watches have still not annihilated the Fitbits and Runtastic Orbits of this world. A smartwatch can do so much more and is quite a bit more convenient to wear than a fitness tracking device / wearable, don’t you think?

These are the points that really make a difference for me and why I choose not to wear any other health tracking gadget than my smartwatch:

1. A smartwatch has a screen

This might be a pretty obvious point, but a smartwatch has a far larger screen than any of the wearables out there on the market today. The Fitbit or Runtastic Orbit do offer a small LED time indicator or have a few blinky lights, but they cannot display more information than just a few numbers.

2. Motivational animated notifications work better than “vague” scores

The screen enables push messages and notifications on how you are doing and how much you still need to do today to reach your goals. This is a big plus for those who do need that extra bit of a push to make it through the day and meet their goals.

Through Google Fit / the Moto Health Tracker you could in the future receive motivational updates and shout outs from your friends to motivate you to do a little bit more if you would like them to. You don’t need to check a website for that, but you receive the notifications directly on your watch.

3. It is more personal and less intrusive

You might not want to show that you are trying to get fit and simply want to track your health stats on a regular basis? Then a smartwatch is the perfect tool for just that. It simply blends in with your other accessories and cloths that you wear. Nobody needs to know that this is one of the features that matter to you most.

4. It simply looks better

I personally find the smart bands / sleep trackers and other gadgets to look somewhat cheap. There is no real functionality to them and running around with a bit of plasticky bright colors wristband is just not my style. I love the sleek and luxurious Moto 360 design and I would not trade it for a green/blue/yellow piece of plastic.

5. You don’t need to hook it up to a PC/Mac to see results

Instant results and checks + feedback help you in your every day life. You do not need to think about wearing them, or checking the results on a PC or Mac because you simply see all the stats on your smartwatch. That is a lot more convenient than having to hook it up to another screen.

Summary: Why a smartwatch beats any health tracking wearable

There you go, those are a few “rock solid” arguments I find on why smartwatches are the better choice. Of course there are also a few downsides to smartwatches, such as the fact that most of them are not as water proof as you would want them to be when you swim a lot for example. And smartwatches are a little bit bigger than just any regular wrist band.

Yet I find that it fits to my personal lifestyle a lot better. The health stats are nice to know and I look at them from time to time. If I would be dependent on having to check them regularly, then it would even be a bigger plus to wear a smartwatch instead of a fitness tracker.

What do you think? Are fitness trackers better or more suitable to your needs?

5 reasons why you should buy the Moto 360 right now

There are a number of reasons why you should buy the Moto 360 right now. Let me walk you through them.

1. The Moto 360 2 is on its way

Probably the best argument for buying the current Moto 360 right now is that there is a new version on its way. This means that the first Moto 360 will continue to drop in price and will probably run out of stock as soon as the new one is released shortly after.

For those of you who are not willing and able to spend more than $300 on a smartwatch, the Moto 360’s first generation watch is a welcome alternative. You can make one your own at a humble price of somewhere between $120-$150.

2. The best looking Android Wear smartwatch

Of course this is somewhat of a tricky statement, but I find the Moto 360 to be the best looking smartwatch on the planet. That is because it is stylish enough to wear every single day and does not look too boxy/technical.

You can wear it to work, meet business partners or on any regular day when you are out and about and it will “always” fit to your outfit and the occasion.

3. Looking for a fitness tracker, like Fitbit? 

If you would like to start tracking your health and fitness and are thinking about buying a smartwatch or fitness tracker to do so, think about the advantages of having an actual screen on your wrist instead of just a piece of “plastic” with a few LED lights.

The Moto 360 can track your health and fitness using the Moto Health Tracking App or Google Fit. Both track your heart rate and the steps that you take per day. Plus the apps have a push notification system that alerts you when you should do a little bit more to meet your goals.

4. Your friends will be jealous and think it is the “Apple Watch”

Interestingly enough, still a lot of people have not seen the Apple Watch. The Moto 360 might be an actual alternative for many due to its form factor. The Apple Watch looks very technical and is not the most beautiful product out there.

Next to that, compatibility is an issue. As more than 60% of all smartphones out there run Android, they are not compatible with the Apple Watch. In the Android Wearables universe, this is arguably the most pretty smartwatch out there that you CAN actually use.

5. Try it out, great entry model smartwatch

If you are not sure about whether a smartwatch is really useful for you or not, spending $120ish bucks on trying one out and giving it a run for its money is not all that bad.

Every day life and you lifestyle will determine how useful it is for you to wear a smartwatch or any other wearable for that matter. So why not try this one out and give it a shot. Either you love it, or you’ll hate it, but at least you can have an honest opinion on whether you consider it to be useful or not.

Summary: why to buy a Moto 360 now

I guess I could go on for a little bit more. I think you should of course decide for yourself if you would like to give the Moto 360 a round for its money.

In my opinion: It is great value for money, beautifully crafted and surely worth giving it a go. Thinking about buying one? Or still have questions/doubts? Please do leave your comments below and I will help you out to take the right decision.

How to solve Battery Drainage Issues Android 5.1.1. on Moto 360

The Android 5.1.1. update brought a lot of fantastic features to Android Wear devices, such as wifi connectivity, an entirely new look and wrist gesture control.

All android wear devices felt brand new. The Android Wear 5.1.1. update lets most devices run a lot smoother than before and gave all smartwatches running it an entirely new competitive edge.

Issues after the update – battery drainage

Right after the release, we reported that the Moto 360 was suffering from strong battery drainage issues. The issues seemed to be related to the wifi connectivity and we started running some tests.

How did we go about testing: very simply and unscientifically – we turned all running apps on and off and monitored the battery drainage after each change for 15 minutes in idle mode, and for 15 minutes “playing around” with the Moto 360.

Long story short, I think we have found the root cause of the problem – and it is two-fold.

How to solve your battery issues

The first thing you need to do is: un-install all applications on your smartwatch/phone before running the Android 5.1.1. update. Any apps that are not fully compliant with the new software update, will drain your watch like mad.

After un-installing Evernote, Asana and most importantly IFTTT, and THEN updating the Moto 360, it ran smoothly. The battery drainage had gone down significantly (uplift of >55%). This could be due to the fact that these applications use location based services and continuous updates. These continuous updates are a huge strain on the device.

Turn off the wifi functionality when your phone is near

When your phone is not far away, in the same network – then you do not need the wifi connectivity. The Moto 360 will start to toggle between wifi and bluetooth and search for both channels and connections without stopping.

We have noticed that when you are in the same network as your smartwatch, the battery is fully depleted within 3-4 hours. And that is under normal regular usage.

There is an option in the Moto 360 settings that lets you choose for how long you would like to stay connected when the wifi connection is not used (your watch is idle). Turn this to the smallest possible interval (15 minutes). What will happen if you don’t is that your watch will continue to hold the wifi connection upright – and if you are running apps like IFTTT, it could really be a strain on your device.

When you set it to connect only when you “want it to”, so when you are not in constant need of being updated every single minute. It will help your battery longevity tremendously.

Android Wear 5.1.2 update (fix) on its way

Google have confirmed on the developer forum that there are some issues with the wifi connectivity on Android Wear and that they are working on a fix for the issues that have started popping up.

Is was said before that the wifi issues on the Moto 360 were the reason that the roll out of Android Wear 5.1.1. got to it later than most other smartwatches. We do not know if this is due to the older hardware in the Moto 360, especially the processor, that might have give this version some technical limitations or if it is because of something else.

The Moto 360 2 should fix all of these problems, come with a far superior processor chip inside and generally better hardware to handle the requests at all times.

I hope that these tips will help you “solve” your battery drainage issues – and I will keep you posted on new software developments and fixes.

Moto 360 2 is coming codenamed SMELT

The Moto 360 2, second generation of the successful Moto 360 that was released at the end of 2014, will be released shortly. In the last few weeks rumours have started popping up around an Android Wear device codenamed SMELT.

The codename of the initial current Moto 360 was “Minnow”. Some blogs have stated that the name SMELT must be related to the smartwatch because both names are proclaimed to be fish names.

Smelt could also be a pure description of the new smartwatch, molten metal. It could very well be that it comes in a unibody metal jacket. This would be in line with the high quality and luxurious look and feel.

New Moto 360 highly anticipated

There are very few smartwatches out there that can challenge the Apple Watch, and the second generation Moto 360 is hopefully one of them. It has been rumoured that Google will be rolling out the iOS compatibility with Android M Doze.

The release date of the both Android M Doze and the Moto 360 II are still open. We will keep you posted.

How to set actions on your Moto 360 mini tutorial

Actions determine which applications are used when you give your smartwatch a certain command. For example: there are two health and fitness apps on the Moto 360, the Moto Body Heart Rate app and Google Fit.

Let me show you how to change the default settings to use one of the two apps to measure your heart rate.

How to change the Actions Application settings on Android Wear

Changing the settings is not all that difficult and straight forward to do using the Android Wear app. I have installed the Android Wear app on my Nexus 5 – as you can see in the screenshots below.

Step 1. open the Android Wear app (scroll down)

In the main interface of the Android Wear app, you will find a section all the way at the bottom of the page, where you can see a number of standard actions – shortcuts as you might call them. These actions can be triggered by voice command or in the actions “shortcut” menu of the Android Wear watch – this shows up when you say: “Okay Google”.

Android Wear App Watch Apps

You will find a full list of all the actions that you can take when you click on the button labelled MORE ACTIONS. You should see a screen that looks something like this:

All actions android wear screenshot

I will continue to show you how to select the right tool to measure your heart rate.

Step 2. select the action you would like to change

To select the correct app to measure your heart rate, click on the show my heart rate icon. The icon that is currently shown is the one that is being used at the moment.

select an app to measure hear rate moto 360I have decided to stick to the Google Fit app. Don’t ask me why, but I just simply like the sound of that more than the Moto Body Heart Rate, which sounds so technical.

Now once you have selected the right one, it will show up in the list of apps that you are using. If anything changes, you will get a short haptic feedback in the form of a vibration on your smartwatch. If you don’t change anything, things will simply stay the way it is and “saving” the options will not trigger any further actions.

Step 3. give it a shot and tell your watch to measure your heart rate

Say: “Okay Google” to open the settings on your watch and start speaking. You can either say: “Show me my heart rate” or scroll down a little and click on the text that says <Show me my heart rate> (yes I know that sounds obvious, but sometimes it is quicker to click on something than to say it out loud, especially when there is a lot of background noise or you are in a busy office.

open actions on google now

Step 4. wait and watch the magic happen

It might take a few seconds, but the heart rate check should start immediately. The result should look something like this in the picture below.

There have been rumours about the fact that the Moto 360 heart rate monitor is not that strong and precise as it could be. Just like the Apple Watch, it has a problem dealing with tattooed arms (wrists) and the results vary significantly.

I personally have not had any trouble with the heart rate sensor of the Moto 360 and it works perfectly fine. You do have to make sure that there is a close contact between your wrist (skin) and the back of the watch. The light sensors are at at the bottom of the watch.

Hear rate check - moto 360

Summary mini tutorial how to change the watch actions / shortcuts

The shortcuts can be very helpful and the actions dictate exactly which app to open when you say a certain command or use one of the pre-set commands that are available on Android Wear.

This can be very helpful if you are using multiple note taking apps, or sports tracking apps. Maybe you always want the app to start tracking your runs on Runtastic instead of Endomondo.

If you think this mini tutorial was helpful, feel free to share it or leave a short comment at the bottom. Looking for information on other features of the Moto 360, and/or Android Wear – let me know what you would like to find out and I will see what I can do for you.

How to change and customize the watchface on Moto 360

A great feature of the Moto 360 are the numerous watch faces that you can set. A watch face personalises your smartwatch to your mood of the day or to suit your needs.

I work in a very international environment with subsidiaries of our company in both San Francisco as well as Moscow. Therefore I use the “Dials” watch face to display the time both where I currently am (mainland Europe), as well as the time in San Fransisco and Moscow.

Want to learn how to set up you own watch faces too, let me show you how to do it.

Customizing your watch face on the Moto 360

It only takes a few short steps to set your own customer watch face up on your smartwatch for the Moto 360. What works best is to use the Android Wear Application on your smartphone. The phone I use to do it is a Nexus 5.

Step 1. Open the Android Wear App

Select the watch face you would like to use. For this example, I have used the “Dials” watch face. If you would like to see all the watch faces that are available, click on the button labelled <MORE>.

Setting up watchfaces android wear app

Step 2. select the color of the dials

You can choose from a wide selection of dials colors and adjust the background to a nice white or black. I personally find the black somewhat easier to read, especially in the evenings or indoors and it is not as intrusive as the white. But that is fully up to you of course.

There is a toggle button to add the current date too. The date displayed will be that of your current timezone. You cannot change the date to fit one of the smaller dials that you are about to customize in the next step.

change watch face moto 360 dials

Step 3. scroll down and choose the timezones you would like to display

You can choose two different timezones to be displayed. One on the left and one on the right. The two buttons (left and right) logically correspond to the dials on your watch.

Choose timezones watch face moto 360 dials

Click on one of the two buttons here labelled SF and LON to change the timezone of that respective dial. There is no OKAY button here, so if you select one of the radio buttons you will be taken back to the previous screen straight away and the new timezone will be applied. (see image below)

I chose to set mine to SF and Moscow as explained before, but decided to leave the date variable out. I don’t really look at that anyway – and live in the moment ;-).

Select timezone dials moto 360 watch face

Step 4. Update and apply the changes to your Moto 360

Now the last thing you need to do is click on the UPDATE button (top right hand corner in green in the menu from step 1.) to send the changes directly to your Android Wear smartwatch.

You will feel a slight vibration of your Moto 360 to confirm that the changes have been applied. These steps can be done for any Android Wear Smartwatch of course and are not exclusive to the Moto 360.

Summary of our mini tutorial on how to change your Android Wear watch face

Here is the result:

Setting a watchface Moto 360

I hope this helped you a little and you will be able to start customizing your watch face straight away. Have fun playing around with it and I am sure that you too will find the watch face you like best very soon.

There are many more watch faces that you can download from the Google Play Store. Some are for free (actually most are for free), but for a few of them you might have to pay a little bit of money. You can have at the collection on the Google Play Store here.

I am looking forward to see what type of watch faces the Moto 360 2 will bring for us. I am sure that this will bring customization to a whole different level.

If you have any questions on customizing your smartwatch, please do feel free to leave a comment below and I will have a look at if I can tackle that problem in the next mini tutorial for you.

New rumours about the Moto 360 2

The Moto 360 2 might be the most anticipated smartwatch on the planet after Apple showed off their first product a few months back and is slowly rolling that out to customers world wide.

The Moto 360 has gotten quite a bit of traction in recent years though and is one, if not the most beautiful smartwatch on the face of the earth at the moment.

Rumours has it that the Moto 360 2…

Rumour has it that the Moto 360 2 will be launched later this summer, the strong price drops indicate that Motorola are selling off their stock and preparing for a new product launch.

Motorola’s parent company, Lenovo, has even offered some hints as to when the watch might drop. Late last year, Lenovo executive Gleb Mishin, suggested the as yet unconfirmed device would go on sale in “early 2015” with a “modified design”.

Rumour has it the Moto 360 second generation will already be unveiled at the Google I/O on the 28th/29th of May.

Rumour has it the Moto 360’s edition 2015 will be released by the end of July. This is highly speculative, but could well be true given the tremendous interest in the Apple Watch link to store.

Rumour has it the Moto 360 II will be launched this summer (2015)

Rumour has it that the Moto 360 2 will indeed have a far superior screen to that which is currently in the Motorola smartwatch. The pixel density will be increased to over 245 ppi (that of the LG Urbane), which will make it nearly impossible for the naked eye to see the individual pixels on the watch face. The current Moto 360 only has a pixel per inch density of 205 ppi.

Rumour has it the Moto 360 2 will be named Moto 360 II.

Rumour has it the Moto 360 II will come in two sizes, a smaller one for women or men with very skinny wrists, and a more masculine one with a larger watch face – easier to read. The larger version will probably be the one to go with if you are looking for the better user experience.

The latest rumours suggest that the Moto 360 will become a part of Moto Maker, allowing users to design their own smart watch. Users will be able to choose between gold, silver or black metal for the body of the watch, as well as choosing from the same colours for a metal band or a leather band.

The black bar at the bottom of the Moto 360 will disappear 

Rumour has it, the Moto 360 II will have a loudspeaker in it and will be able to make and take calls, something the current Moto 360 is not able to do and for some is an obvious deal breaker (although I don’t really know why, because that is not the most practical use for a watch and looks damn right silly in public).

Rumour has it the leather straps can easily be replaced and clipped onto the Moto 360 2 within a matter of seconds. Cool if you would like to change the band to the cloths you are wearing and make you watch fit your OOTD.

Rumour has it the watch will be a lot thinner and have a smaller bezel. The current Moto 360 model is a little bit thick for some people’s liking and Lenovo are looking to change that with the second generation of their most successful smartwatch to date.

Rumour has it, and this will be a huge relief for many: the small black bar at the bottom of the display will disappear and the Moto 360 2 will finally be entirely round.

The black bar at the bottom is there due to limitations of screen technology. Moto had to reserve a small area from the circle as a place to house components for the screen. It results in a small flat spot on the bottom of the circle.

Rumour has it the new Moto 360 will have substantially longer and better battery life than the first version. The use of a round or hexagonal battery, similar to that which LG presented recently, would double the battery life of the smartwatch.

We hope that we might actually be able to wear it for a full weekend without desperately needing to put your watch in the charging dock every evening.

The current Moto 360 is having quite a few battery drainage issues after the Android Wear 5.1.1. update. Here you will find a short tutorial on how to fix your battery problems if you are experiencing any.

Update July 18th: Rumour has it the new Moto 360 will be priced between $250 and $300 just like the first generation. The price cuts on the current model to as low as $120-149 are a strong indication for the release of a next version to be released very soon.

Update July 18th: Rumour has it the Moto 360 2 will be released in August/September of 2015. The first launch date that we thought it could be released at was the Google I/O on May 28th/29th, but there was no sign of the new super stylish smartwatch.

Update July 19th: rumor has it the new Moto 360 will be released at a Lenovo press conference on July 28th! Here is the source: link

Any other rumours?

Maybe you have heard some other rumours on the Moto 360 2? Feel free to add them in the comment section below. I am already very excited about the launch of this great product and fingers crossed that ALL of these rumours will come true.

5 questions to help you decide which watch to wear today

it is a problem that men have every day, well at least those who own more than one watch: which watch should I wear today? It is not that easy deciding between a smartwatch, regular ‘sporty’ watch or that beautiful expensive watch that was passed on to you by your father?

These 5 simple questions will help you make that decision.

  1. What do you have planned for today?
  2. Is there a special occasion?
  3. Do I have a lot of meetings today?
  4. Are you planning to work out?
  5. Do you want and/or need to impress someone?

1. What do you have planned for today?

It seems like an obvious question, but it helps to take a moment in the morning when you stand in the shower and stop to think for a minute about what you actually have planned for today.

If you are not planning to do anything exciting and it will be just another boring day at the office, you might surely want to wear your smartwatch so that you have something to play around with during boring meetings.

2. Is there a special occasion?

Are you going on a first date, to a wedding or another special occasion today? You might want to focus your attention on the person you are spending the day with and not fiddle around with your watch all too much.

Of course you can put your phone (you might have a Nexus 6 perhaps?) on silent and only receive the most important messages on your watch, but there is a fine line between paying full attention and being “attentive”. Women notice when you are not fully “there”, trust me on that one.

3. Do you have a lot of meetings today?

Busy day at the office, need to get things done and a lot of running back and forth between different floors / locations? This is the perfect day to wear your smartwatch. The short messages, notifications about your upcoming meetings and directions to your next client will be very helpful.

You don’t want to annoy your business partners by staring at your phone during meetings, but a watch is far more accepted. Days on the road with many meetings are a great occasion to wear your smartwatch.

4. Are you planning to work out?

The Moto 360 is not the best companion when it comes to sports, there are better watches out there that can track your heart rate accurately, have stronger GPS signals build-in and are fully waterproof.

If you are planning to work out, go to the gym, play tennis or go for a swim you will be better off leaving your smartwatch at home today. Try one of the fantastic Suunto watches for example, they are absolutely fabulous.

5. Do you want to impress someone?

Okay, a smartwatch – especially the Moto 360 – surely something nice to look at and not everyone has one just yet. If you feel like impressing someone, it is quite a statement that you wear a great piece of tech on your wrist instead of an “expensive” TAG Heuer Carrera 01 with virtually no functionality but to tell you what time it is.

Normal watches have become nothing more but an accessory and if you feel like impressing someone, be smart and wear your Moto 360. They might confuse it for an Apple Watch, but I am sure that you will get a few cool glances from the person you would like to impress a little.

Which watch did you wear today?

Tell me, which watch did you end up wearing today? Do you have another great use case for your smartwatch or an occasion at which you cannot live without it?

Please do share your thoughts in the comments section below. Looking forward to hearing your opinions.

Moto 360 2 release date, price and news: First Generation drops to 120$

The next generation Moto 360 seems to be coming our way ever more quickly. The latest price drop of the most sought after smartwatch of the last 12 months to only 120$ (down from 249$) shows that Motorola are trying to get rid of their stock probably preparing for the next big thing to hit the shelves very soon.

The second generation Moto 360 is codenamed SMELT

Rumor has it that the Moto 360 II, which is codenamed internally at Motorola to “SMELT” will feature a higher resolution display of 360×360 pixel. The new wearable is expected to be powered by an ARM v7 processor and run on Android 5.1.x.

The codename “Smelt” is supposed to refer to molten metal as the Moto 360 II is expected to come with an all metal build.

Moto 360 second generation to come in two sizes

The second version of the Moto 360 is said to come in two different sizes, much like the Apple Watch that has come out just recently and is still being rolled out to many countries around the globe.

Motorola executive Adrienne Hayes (SVP of global Marketing) had earlier confirmd that the second generation Moto 360 would be significantly smaller than its predecessor and will come in two size models. She had even said that it is to come with a gold finishing on offer as well – much like the Apple Watch.

Moto 360 would be significantly smaller than its predecessor and will come in two size models (Adrienne Hayes, SVP of Global Marketing Motorola)

A smaller size would tailor to women and (and those with smaller wrists) opening up an entirely new market segment for the Moto 360 that is currently predominantly used by tech-loving men.

Further price cuts for the Moto 360

Lenovo has confirmed that the Moto 360 2015 would be unveiled this summer and the huge price cuts on the current Moto 360 seem to indicate that the launch is well on track. Motorola has dropped the price of the Moto 360 price to $120, marking a discount of $130 over its original launch price of $250.

The Moto 360 available for $149 at Motorola, Amazon and the Google Store is the basic leather band variant, while the Moto 360 with a metal band sells for an additional $50.

With Motorola, Google and Amazon moving the current Moto 360 to an even lower price than it is on sale for at the moment already, it surely won’t take long anymore before the next generation Motorola 360 smartwatch hits the shelves.

Stay tuned for more exciting Moto 360 news. What would you like the next generation Moto 360 to do? Would you like to have a smaller Moto 360 watch, or do you have a color preference you would like to see? Share your thoughts and comments below.