The Motorola Moto 360 is the first Android Wear smartwatch announced with a round body rather than a squared off design. As such, it is the first Android Wear smartwatch that looks more like a watch and less like a geeky plaything for a Star Trek fanatic. However, being powered by Android Wear means that the Moto 360 has the same functionality as the other Android Wear devices launched back in the summer. It just looked different and, if I say so myself, beautiful.
Under the skin, the Moto 360 is based around the TI OMAP 3 processor backed up by 512 MB of memory and 4 GB of storage. It’s kept alive by a 320 mAh rechargeable and non-replaceable battery but unlike the other Android Wear devices, it has a secret weapon: it uses wireless Qi charging, which is the same standard that recent Nexus smartphones have used. Battery life is weaker than many of the competitor devices but the software update at the end of September has radically improved the device in this respect. The Moto 360 also has an optical heart rate monitor and a pedometer, too. However, Android Wear is not about specifications but instead it’s about the software and the functionality: the Moto 360 integrates with your Android smartphone and your Google account. It includes a microphone for voice control and displays information from Google Now, which for me is the killer feature: it’ll tell you about reminders, it’ll notify you of emails, Tweets, Google+ notifications and similar, but Google Now has almost mind-reading abilities.
And on to today’s news, which is that earlier today Motorola revealed a blog post that detailed additional options and software features for the Moto 360 Android Wear smartwatch. It’s going to be offering new aircraft-grade stainless steel bands coming in both light (silver) and dark (grey) color options, in addition to the leather straps that Motorola already sell the 360 with. We knew that the business was planning on releasing metal straps and the price of $300 rather than $250 is, again, as expected. There are ways to get cheaper metal bands for the Moto 360 as the Pebble Steel straps are a perfect fit, although the dark steel design looks particularly beautiful. We’re also going to see a slimmer metal band available in the coming months for people with smaller wrists of those who want a different look.
There are some new software features arriving soon with an update to follow, which will include a new watch face and some activity or wellness features coming. The new watch face is called “My Design” and will allow the user to customize almost everything including the background image, the tick marks and the watch hand. Also, the 360 is to gain Moto Body, which will allow the wearer to track steps, distance, heart rate and calories.
Unfortunately, Motorola took the blog post down not long after it appeared. We’re not sure when the new products and software update is arriving, hopefully by the time Android Lollipop is arriving on our Nexus devices. And that means the next week or so.