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.

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.