Motorola is rolling out a new major software update for the Moto 360 Sport smartwatch, introducing a wide variety of new features as well as performance and stability improvements as part of Android Wear 2.0. According to the manufacturer, the software package is currently being rolled out in phases over the air and the process will be carried over the next few days, gradually expanding to all Moto 360 Sport units in the wild.
The Android Wear 2.0 update for the Motorola smartwatch at hand introduces the on-watch Google Play Store, giving users the ability to browse for and download smartwatch applications directly on the device. The update also introduces the Google Assistant, which can be summoned by holding the power button on the smartwatch or using the keyword “OK Google.” The assistant can help users perform a wide variety of hands-free tasks using voice commands, such as setting reminders, making reservations, or setting destinations for navigation. In addition, Android Wear 2.0 features a new user interface based on Material Design, boasting a redesigned card stream and a brand new application launcher, which offers the option of rearranging apps or adding them to favorites. The firmware also includes new input methods allowing users to respond to messages directly on the watch via typing, handwriting, dictating, or drawing an emoji. There’s also the Smart Reply feature designed to suggest different responses based on context, and battery life should also be improved with the addition of the lightweight Doze mode. Lastly, it’s important to note that the physical side button on the Moto 360 Sport will have different functions following the update, as users will be able to press and release it in order to access the list of applications, or press and hold the key for the aforementioned Google Assistant.
The update is identified as firmware number “NXH20Z” and in order to apply it, users need to swipe left in the System update screen following the notification, then tap “Open” and confirm. Keep in mind that the update can only be applied while the smartwatch is paired to a smartphone with an active Internet connection, and Motorola recommends users to install the update while the smartwatch has at least 50 percent battery life left.