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.