My Experiences with the Moto 360

Moto 360
This is indeed my hairy, hairy arm

It has been a few weeks since I first got my Moto 360, so I think that I have gotten a good feel for it.

Day to Day Use

I feel as if I am using Android Wear “as intended.” That is to say, I am using features of a watch/fitness band and nothing ridiculous. On any given day I will do the following:

  • Dismiss Alerts
  • Delete Emails
  • Track My Steps
  • Check My Heart Rate
  • Check the Time
  • Launch Features via Voice Actions

Things I am not doing:

  • Using the device like a smartphone
  • Using a Keyboard
  • Playing Games

By using it as a watch, and not as a smartphone on my wrist, I have had no problems with battery life. My first day, where I was using/playing with it far more than I do now, I ended my workday with 40+%.

Graph depicting the first day of battery statistics for my Moto 360Now I come home with around 60% – in addition to not playing with it as much, bug fixes and updates have also contributed to the improved battery life.

How has it affected my life?

Well, I am more aware of the time now, that’s for sure.

Also, it has caused me to want to walk more since I can see how many steps I have taken in a day and I want the number to be higher.

I am aware of it on my arm, and so I tend to protect my left side more now. I am also partially terrified that the back will crack if too much stress is put on it – so I wear it slightly loose. Perhaps the metal band will help.

On the technology side? I leave my phone on the desk more. When I get a notification I just delete it from my wrist (Bonus: it has made me realize that I need to unsubscribe from a lot of email lists).

Does my smartphone last longer now that I am not checking it as much? Not significantly – I use  my smartphone for far more than just notification checking; I still need a midday charge.

I think that using the watch to deal with notifications feels less rude than bringing out my smartphone when with company. So far no one has rolled their eyes when I glance, swipe and tap on my watch for a second.

Aesthetically, it is a nice looking watch, flat-tire screen and all. I like wearing it around, even if it tends to pull a few arm hairs out from time to time.

It is very much an augmentation device to my smartphone, and I am using it as such.

Overall Opinion

Overall, I feel that it is a nice convenience – but ultimately not a necessity. However, I felt that way when I first started using  the Motorola Droid in 2009 and now I use my Moto X  far more than any other device.

Maybe after a few more hardware/software revisions it will become as ubiquitous as smartphones and then a necessity.

Yes, I know I have listed a lot of Motorola devices above. I like the company and the stock/near stock Android builds they make. I think a Nexus 6 is also in my future.

Letting Google in, was it worth it?

Google Now? Maybe Later...

After a week of allowing Google to keep a history of my location I have an answer: not really, but maybe given time.

Prior to this experiment, Google Now would offer me weather information at “Home” and “Work” (two locations I explicitly setup within Google Now). When asking for “More” it would show me commute time either to or from work, depending on my current location.

After allowing Google to keep a history of my location, Google Now offered me little more:

  • Only one time, out of the five days, did it show me commute time prior to explicitly asking for it.
  • After the second day, it started to show me parking information while at work, in case I forget the general area where I parked my car – useful, if I didn’t park in the same place every day.

Granted, I only allowed Google a weeks worth of information. The results may be different if I allowed it a longer time period (to both gather data and generate trends). But, if allowing a vast amount of my location data to be aggregated gives me the sole benefit of not having to press the More button in Google Now to see my commute time?

I’ll stick with the More Button.

Google Now More

Letting Google in, is it worth it?

image

I have been an avid Android device user for about four years but I have kept the majority of Google tracking services at bay. I disabled Web and location history because where I have been, either physically or digitally, is my own business.

I often wonder how my experiences would differ if I were to switch them back on. What services become instantly more useful? How do I benefit from Google knowing more about me? I have been fine so far without them, should I even care?

I decided to find out, with the lesser (in my opinion) of the two, and have re-enabled location tracking. My device, and therefore Google, knows where I am at any given moment – what can they show me knowing where I have been over the course of a week?

I will be relying on Google Now to provide insight on my location data. I continue to hear wonderful information that Now provides.

Currently, when I visit Google Now I see:

  • Weather
  • Package Shipping Information
  • Commute Times To/From Work & Home

In a week, I will write an update on what Google Now decides to show me.

Let’s see some magic, Google.

Final – Google Play Store Errors

Several weeks ago I mentioned that I was having issues with the Google Play Store. Thankfully the problem has been resolved. No action was taken on my part. I did not change anything, or do anything special. Just reported the issue.

All I can assume is that the problem was indeed on Google’s end. The discussion on the Google Product Forum shows that other people who were having the same issue are seeing it resolved as well.

Update 2 – Google Play Store Errors

In another update, my phone has been updated on several fronts:

  • My phone has gotten the Android 4.4.2; build number KXA20.16-1.31.1
  • The Google Play Store has been updated to version 4.6.17

It’s still broken. The Play Store app is still showing all the problems as mentioned in my last two posts (post 1 and post 2).

I did find a Google Product forum with people complaining about the same issue though.

Posting a link of these few blog posts there.