Posts by Adrian Willings

The Moto 360 is undeniably a lovely looking watch, but when it comes to watches I’m a big fan of metal straps. They just feel more substantial and a better quality. Alas, the Moto 360 didn’t offer a metal strap on release only the standard leather strap. Now that leather strap is nice enough, but it doesn’t meet my requirements.

Moto 360 Leather Strap

Motorola is eventually planning on releasing a metal strap for the Moto 360 and they’re going to be charging around £50 for it. That’s a lot of money for a strap when you’ve already paid £200 for the watch in the first place in my humble opinion.

I Google’d my way around the web and found a suitable short-term solution. It turns out that the fitting on the back of the Moto 360 won’t fit with any old strap, it’s quite narrow but it will work with the metal strap from the Pebble Steel. I found and purchased one from Mobile Fun and it was quickly delivered.

Pebble Steel Metal Strap

Fitting is remarkably easy. Of course the packaging and manual is designed for and aimed at the Pebble Steel watch, but it does contain extra pins and a removal tool that works perfectly for our task.

You could take it to a jeweler or watch shop, but it’s pretty easy to change yourself.

The first step is to ease the old strap off. Easy enough, turn the watch over and tease at the very edge of it with the tool supplied in the Pebble Steel box. A small flat head screwdriver will do equally as well if needs be.

Moto 360 Watch Strap Removal

Tease the corner and ease one end of the pin out. I’m sure I don’t need to tell you how to do that, it’s pretty simple. Once that’s done it’ll pop out easily from the other side as well.

Now repeat the process on the other strap.

Moto 360 strap off

Strapless Moto 360

Then it’s basically repeating the process in the opposite fashion to install the new strap. Remember to check which way the clasp is going to face based on which you’d prefer (it’s a pinch clasp).

Moto 360 strap off

It’s a quick and easy job, just a little fiddly but well worth the effort.

Moto 360 metal strap

The final result is a much better looking watch with a bit of style and class without a massive outlay.

Moto 360 Metal Strap

You may well find that the Pebble Steel strap is a bit long for your use and it’s obviously not as easy to tighten as the leather strap. Not to worry, it’s easy enough to remove links and shorten the strap, you just need patience and a little sweat. This video explains how:

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As a previous owner of the Sony SmartWatch 2 I had a list of apps that I used (and needed) to get the watch running the way I wanted and doing what I wanted. The difference with the Moto 360 is the Android Wear interface. That generally means that the Moto 360 does what you want (and need) it to without much extra effort. What does that mean? You get notifications, updates, turn-by-turn directions and much more out-of-the-box and on your wrist.

The best features of the Moto 360 are exactly that – notifications without having to take your phone out of your pocket and now the ability to reply using your voice with the same logic. I love being able to talk to my wrist. Especially when driving or needing to do something quickly where I don’t have to faff around typing and going into apps – ‘OK Google, remind me when I get to work to arrange that meeting’ or ‘OK Google remind me when I get home to put the bins out’ or ‘OK Google call my wife’.

Good times.

But what makes the 360 even better? Well, a few things:

1. Facer

The Moto 360 has a number of watch faces as standard and Motorola has even allowed for customisation of those faces from the Motorola Connect app, but Facer goes that step further and allows you to gain access to a wealth of watch faces from the community. And there’s so many faces to browse and choose from, so there’s always some variety from day-to-day which is great. If you get bored you can always change your face quickly and easily from your phone. Much cheaper than buying a new watch.

Moto 360 watch faces

2. Google Keep

It might sound daft, but Google Keep is probably my most favourite app. It’s replaced the shopping list app that I used to have for my SmartWatch 2 and allows for easy access to notes and lists when I’m out and about – without the need to get my phone out. This is ideal when you’re going grocery shopping and need a good shopping list so you don’t miss anything. Tick things off as you go and it’s easy shopping!

3. Wear Mini Launcher

Another great app – this one kind of  an oddity for any Android Wear device as it brings the app buttons you’d expect to see on a mobile to your watch and that’s not something you’d necessarily think you’d need on your watch, but it’s great for launch things like Google Keep right on your wrist. Simply swipe it in from the side and scroll through your apps.

At the moment other apps are mostly gimmicks really – camera apps, calculators, calendars, etc. Really the default Android Wear interface is enough to do everything you need with controls for music apps (like Spotify and Google Play Music) as well as for Netflix. And you can do all the other good things like set timers, reminds and send text messages all with simple voice commands.

Let me know if you think I’ve missed any awesome ones.

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After owning a Sony SmartWatch 2, I’d been lusting after a Moto 360 as soon as it made a hint of appearing on the market. I made some unsubtle hints to my wife and she kindly purchased one for my birthday (yes, she spoils me but it’s a too way street, don’t worry).

Anyway, I was happy with the watch (I’ll do a review at some point no doubt) but then a little after two weeks of ownership disaster struck. Stumbling around in the dark I managed to catch the watch (by the strap) on a door handle. There was a nasty tug at my wrist and an unnerving feeling of dismay that started in my wrist and ended in my gut. I turned the light on and there lay my Moto 360 on the floor, face down with both straps on one side of the watch.

The force of catching the Motorola 360 on the door handle had pulled hard on the back of the watch and torn the pin out of the hole. The pin had bent, but much worse than that part of the plastic backing had snapped off.

Damaged Moto 360

In this rather poor photo you can get an idea of the damage. I’ve highlighted the small triangle of plastic which snapped off the back on one side. The result is an unusable watch as the pin would no longer stay in place. A miserable sight indeed. I wondered how I’d fix it. Perhaps some Sugru, maybe  try and glue the old bit back on?

Would it still be covered by warranty? Or would Motorola make me pay to get it fixed? Should I even bother trying?

I had seen a Kickstarter for SteelConnect – perhaps a possible solution, so I contacted them to see if they could help. Alas their only real solution was to use their hook adapter and wear it as a pocket watch – which defeats the point of a smartwatch really.

So we sent it to Motorola and what felt like a long while later they sent it back. In fact they’d sent a completely new watch, with strap, box and all. Not a single question or query about the issue. Which was nice.

So the end result of my experience? Not overly impressed with the build quality but thoroughly impressed with the customer support from Motorola.

So happy to have the 360 back on my wrist where it belongs.

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Just recently, the wonder that is ‘If this, then that’ made its way to Android. It’s been around on the web for a while and had an iOS app too, but as usual, developers neglected the passionate audience that is Android users, until now.

ifttt banner

For those that don’t know, IFTTT (as it’s more conveniently known) is basically a dumbed down (aka user-friendly) version of Tasker. Tasker being that wonderful app that you can setup to automate your life – setting up various ‘triggers’ to get your phone to carry out Tasks. Well, this app does that but in a really user-friendly way. There’s not as much possibility with it (to be honest) but it is still very flexible and has some rather nice possibilities.

Here’s a quick video I made for your viewing pleasure:

Neat eh?

As you can see, there’s plenty of external app and website integration, actions built straight into Android (e.g. camera actions, SMS, wifi location etc) and thus there’s plenty of oppourtunity to do some really cool stuff.

Here’s some of my IFTTT Recipes that you might find useful:

Browse more, there’s loads of awesome ones out there –

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