Moto 360 Impressions 2 (11 days and counting)

So, I’ve been using the Moto 360 smartwatch for 11 days now, so I thought I’d write a second post to let you know how I feel about it. I’ve been using it pretty consistently every day.

First off, I still have no problems with the battery life. I have had it on Ambient most days, mostly out of vanity – it just looks better with a face on it at all times. I have not had it die on me once. I even used it without charging for two days last weekend – ambient off, and fully powered down from 10pm til 8 am.
I’ve also had zero performance issues, so I’m guessing that the people reporting slowdowns either have a ton of apps or faces on it, or are simply comparing it to some of the other devices I haven’t seen. Either way, it’s a non-issue for me.

I have installed a few custom faces – Facer, Minimus, and Speeds – but most of the time I’m using the Motorola ones anyway. Such as these:

IMG_20141010_194321Still, it’s good to have the options. I do enjoy essentially wearing a different watch everyday!

One thing that was a huge deal for me – and I did add that to my original post – was when I found out that muting does not turn off notifications on the watch. It simply bans all cards off the home screen, and stops the watch from lighting up or vibrating. The cards are below the home screen, so if you swipe them up, everything – notifications and Google Now cards alike – is right there.

Why is this a big deal for me? Because I wanted a clean home screen, and because I didn’t like having to dismiss all cards, not knowing when they will return (which is something I dislike about Now).  So I re-activated the steps card (pedometer), and now have permanent access to the weather, travel time to work/home, notifications, and calendar appointments at all times. score. I don’t walk/run a lot on purpose, but it’s fun to check this stuff either way. Here’s my tweet from right after I found out about this, just to illustrate how much this mattered to me:

By the way, in case you’re wondering, Wear does not display Google Now’s story suggestions and TV-show stuff. Good decision, if you ask me.
I want it to display more things, but I’m not entirely sure what. Maybe restaurant options nearby or something like that? I’d also like to have a face that shows a little number for unread notifications, making it even more glanceable.

The voice activation is hit-and-miss… haven’t quite figured out how to have it consistently recognize the “OK Google” command. But once you tap it to start the voice input, recognization works great.

Also, I got a Pebble Steel band for it. I’d seen it on a few tech blogs, and they looked great on there… so I had to try it out.

IMG_20141019_211207Verdict: It looks really, really good and feels great too. It’s noticeably heavier, but that’s a tradeoff I’m more than willing to take. Even my wife agreed it looks great, and she doesn’t care about gadgets at all.
Swapping out the band was a pain in the ass. I didn’t get a specialized tool, so I did it with the little screw driver that came with the band. Plus, I have the fine motor skills of a 3 year old and about as much patience, so your mileage may vary… But it was really fidgety and I did scuff the edges of the plastic back plate a tiny bit trying to get the pins back in with the new band (particularly the second one).

I also noticed this when I was swapping out the bands:

IMG_20141019_144015I don’t recall snagging it on anything, or doing anything else that should have caused this, but the top layer of the leather band started to peel off. I’d gotten used to the thing, although it was still creaking, but that is a bit of a turn-off right there.

All things said, I’m still using it a lot pretty consistently. Obviously most of the time, I’ll check the time, see if there’s any notifications, maybe look at my steps for kicks or switch songs, and then put it away again. But I think that’s exactly what it’s for, to save me from having to get out my phone for the little stuff. Is that worth $250? Weeeell I think you need to be a special kind of geek for it to be (although there’s plenty of regular watches that cost more I guess).
But I am, and I’m looking forward to seeing where Android Wear goes from here!

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