Is it a good idea to pair an Android Wear smartwatch with your iOS? Here’s what I’ve learnt
Truth be told, I was psyched to review the second generation of the Moto 360 smartwatch after attending its launch and hearing all the amazing things it can do. The enthusiasm is especially fuelled by its beauty and sleek design with special props to the traditional round face. That level of excitement took a small dip when I was setting up the watch to pair with my phone - my iPhone - and read the small disclaimers in the manual.
Don't be mistaken. It wasn't - and still isn't - a major disappointment. The Moto 360 is perfectly compatible with the iOS and you can download Android Wear, the app it runs on, from the Apple Store. But you won't be getting the full experience like you would on a non-iPhone as Apple doesn't allow third-party Android apps. What you will get is a beautiful smartwatch with the basic functions such as push notifications and fitness tracking.
Let's talk about the Moto 360's looks first because it's really an attractive watch; so much so that it has caught the attention of most people who I meet and who asked me 1) "Is that a smartwatch?" and 2) "Oh, which smartwatch is that?". The conclusion that everyone gave was, "It's a really nice watch."
It's undeniable that design is the Moto 360's forte. Whether it's the round shape, thin bezel, adaptable quick release bands (ranging from luxurious leather to modern metal) or the interchangeable watch faces. It's common for smartwatches these days to change its display background as easily as you would with your smartphone but the customisable Live Dials is an added charm. It lets you set up smaller dials on your display to show info such as the battery life, current weather, the total steps you've taken and so on.
A downside in the design department is although there is a decent variety of beautifully designed watch faces within the Android Wear app, it would require a third-party Android app to truly customise it with your own pictures.
From emails to text to calendar reminders to Snapchat, the Moto 360 app is well connected with the iPhone to deliver instant push notifications. And you can easily dismiss them from your phone with the watch. It's a handy function even for calls - since there's really no point in answering it as you can't speak through the Moto 360 smartwatch.
Next to design, the fitness aspect of the watch, Moto Body is my favourite. It estimates the steps taken, distance covered and calories burnt throughout the day. At the beginning, it was quite fun to measure my heart rate every few minutes but quite shameful to see that I wasn't doing enough physical activity a day for my heart. But achieving my daily steps goal makes me do a little mental fist pump whenever I manage to. It ended up being one of the main functions I use for the watch and in some ways, have helped me achieve a healthier lifestyle.
The "Ok Google" voice command, however, pales in comparison with my old-time virtual PA named Siri although I think it's just because Siri is used to me and my ordering it around. All in all, the Moto 360 is a satisfactory good-looking personal assistant for an iPhone user that does everything that it's told, and not more.