Android 5.0 Lollipop may be a huge upgrade for phones but it is also a big update for wearables. The Moto 360 among a few other wearables have finally received their first taste of the 5.0 moniker of software. This update brings new features like bringing back dismissed notifications, new customizations to the watch faces, and a redesigned menu structure. There are also changes on the application side with Android Wear for Android. Also, we show you how to 'force' download the update if it hasn't reached your device towards the end of this video!
Android Lollipop is, by far, the best version of Android around but it’s still very early on its stages of rollout. Unless you’ve bought the Nexus 6, or have one of the few devices that has the Lollipop update, you’re probably running Android KitKat. But Lollipop is not only destined to stay on your smartphones and tablets. Wearables have also tasted the new treat, including the Moto 360.
This video will be split up into two sections: the actual updates to the user interface on the wearable and the updates to its complementing application on your cellphone. Starting off with the watch face here from the start, it looks identical to the previous version of Android Wear software and that’s because nothing has really changed.
But remember when you swipe down to find your battery details, well unlike the mute and battery swipe, you can now swipe a full page down and down comes a full notification menu with controls that mimic the Android 5.0 Lollipop on your cellphone. You can either have it show all notifications, priority, or mute all of them. And below that is still the battery life indicator.
Swipe this guy over a page and we have the new setting called Theatre mode where you can turn off the display and turn off the ambient and tilt features so you won’t disturb anyone around you when you’re watching a movie. If you want to turn that feature off and turn the display back on in the case of the Moto 360, simply press the button on the right side.
On the next page is a simple option called Sunlight mode. This will essentially turn off any auto-brightness feature if your wearable has it enabled and turn the brightness all the way to its maximum. And lastly, one more swipe will give you a Settings icon, which is a more convenient place to have it rather than digging through the menus and list commands to get to your settings.
Next up is the notifications themselves. They still pop in in this dismissible pop up section but on the previous version of the software, once you swipe them away, they were gone for good. Now, we have a way to get them back. Say you accidentally swipe away a notification, you can swipe back up to retrieve the notification. And if there were no other cards available, you would have to swipe from the bottom to retrieve that same notification. It is definitely much easier when you have multiple notifications but I’m not exactly sure this is the best way to do this.
One other thing worthy to mention is the ability to block applications from delivering notifications right from the wearable instead of the application. Another update to the interface is the list commands is now based on the one last used. Google Now will always be the first option while the rest are ordered to when they were last used. For example, if you just used your wearable to call a card to lift, that will be right below the Google Now option.
Switching over to its new application, these features will only appear when you have Lollipop installed on your wearable. But first things first, is the list of watch faces available. Click on it and it will expand the list. It also has a direct link to the Google Play Store for more watch faces.
Below that are all the same functions from the previous version from the Android Wear application. Heading to the settings side, you do have a few new options including Watch Battery and Watch Settings. Watch Battery will basically give you the same settings your device’s battery panel will give you. It will show what you’re using the most power, the estimated battery life and all that kind of stuff.
Watch Storage will also the same thing but obviously in terms of how much storage you’re using inside your wearable.
That’s been a brief look at Android Lollipop 5.1 for Android Wear. It’s definitely a step in the right direction and hopefully this will increase battery life and functionality for the existing wearables. But if you’re still scratching your head on how to install this on your wearable, here is the trick.
Lollipop has been rolling out the past few days for a lot of wearables and on Dec. 15th for the Moto 360. It should have hit 100% coverage. But there was a last minute change on a build number issued so every time I check for updates, it wasn’t pulling it up. The trick is to reset your device, which is a full factory reset found in your settings. After doing so, check for updates and it should pick up a new software, hit download and make sure you have at least 80% charge and you should be good to go with Lollipop.