The Smartwatch Battle Begins! Apple Watch vs Moto 360
Apple’s first attempt on the still nascent wearable market was huge, with people eyeing Tim Cook’s wrist the moment he entered the stage. Apple Watch (not iWatch) will be priced at $349 and will be available by early 2015. It will come in three variations – Apple Watch, Apple Watch Sport and the Apple Watch Edition. The wearable will be compatible with iPhone 5, 5S, 5C, 6 and 6 Plus.
There are already quite a few competitors trying to define what should a smartwatch look like on your wrist. However, Google beat Apple in that race by just a few months by releasing Android Wear. One of the crowd’s favourite is Moto 360 which was launched last week, priced a hundred dollars less at 250$.
The smartwatch technology is still in its infant stage. Apple is known for its innovations and setting trends like it did with iPods and iPads; the Apple Watch is anticipated to have the same impact. However, both Moto 360 and Apple Watch both have their strengths and weaknesses. A quick rundown to help you decide which one to buy, once the devices are available.
Both companies have provided several interestingly themed watch faces which can be changed easily to suit your mood. Agreed that our watches are getting smarter, but the basic function of the watch is to tell time every time we look at the device. Apple Watch display turns off when you aren’t looking at it. When you turn your wrist, it’ll light up again only showing information when you want it.
In Moto 360, colors pop on the display, and everything is easily viewable, even in direct sunlight. However, when the display is dimmed it darkens after a few seconds of inactivity, but the time is still visible. Though, it is very hard to see outdoors. Waking up the watch is as simple as lifting your wrist; same as on the Apple Watch.
On-The-Go Information and Notifications
Main aim of smartwatches since their earlier days has been to minimize handset use by integrating phone notification with the smartwatch on your wrist for a easy and more convenient experience. In Apple Watch all notifications coming through your phone will pop up on your watch. If the app developer chooses to, they can enrich that notification to let you do a lot more with it — replying to messages or even taking actions, like accepting a Facebook friend request. All together, it sounds fairly decent.
Google’s smartwatch platform is all about notifications, which uses most of its interface. In Moto 360, all of your notifications are routed to it, and you can swipe through the phone to view them all, dismiss them, and even act on some of them. That said, you can’t use them as easily as Apple hopes to allow.
A good smartwatch, in my opinion, is the one gives you what you want, when you want it, without having to do to much. To some extend both Apple and Motorola have achieved that. Apple promises that the person sitting next to you would not be able to tell that you’ve received a notification. The notification buzz will simply give the effect as if someone is tapping you lightly on your wrist. You can customise the apps which you’d like notifications from. It will use the Bluetooth and Wi-Fi from the iPhone for all communication purposes. The built-in speaker phone and microphone can be used to receive calls and use the built-in Siri. With a simple tap on the digital crown, Siri can be activated.
The Moto 360 can do a number of things, such as display incoming calls and texts, measure your heart rate, pull up directions from Google Maps, count your steps, and tell you the weather. The idea behind Android Wear is that the watch should display contextual information before you even need to ask for it. Google Now has always been really capable, and its ability to predict and surface information that you’re interested in is built right into Android Wear. So, for example, if your favorite IPL team has a match at 7 p.m. tonight, Android Wear would display that information on your wrist automatically.
Health and Fitness
The Moto 360 has a heart rate monitor on the underside, that’s good for getting a causal fix on your overall health, but it will not be much of use for vigorous workouts sessions. On the Moto 360 are three pre-installed apps for measuring your overall health. Fit shows how many steps you’ve taken during the day, can measure your heart rate, and lets you set a goal for the number of steps you take each day. In a similar vein, Heart Activity displays how many minutes you need to be active during each day (it’s set at 30 minutes), and how close you are to completing that goal.
Apple Watch promises to take over and take it to a whole new level. Instead of simply tracking daily activities, the watch will actually encourage you to be more active. It has two key apps for this; the first will map your fitness activity through the day, while the second and the more important one, will help you set goals and then help you achieve them.
For wearables to entice prospective buyers, third party apps were needed and both Motorola and Apple understood that. Apple has already experimented with certain third-party apps. Developers will be able to create custom notifications for the home screen. For example, the City Mapper will remind you to get off at the right station, the BMW app will direct you to where you would’ve parked your car and the Nike app will allow you to challenge your friends to go for a run.
It’s been a few months, and Google says there are already thousands of apps that support Android Wear. Facebook Messenger, for instance, will now send messages to Wear and can accept responses dictated over voice. Though, we’ve seen a handful of good apps that run specifically on Wear, but no one has actually gave us any breakthrough app yet.
Since watches are worn all the time, it’s important that they look good. The design and style should suit you well. The Apple Watch will be available in six designs. The watch comes with a mechanism which would make it super easy to switch between the straps. The straps include a sport band, soft quilted leather and stainless steel options. And since one size does not fit all, Apple has also developed smaller sizes.
The Moto 360’s 1.56-inch-diameter round display is big, bold, and feels a lot larger than a square display. It has a 320×290 resolution, effectively, at 205ppi. Actually, it’s not fully round there’s a bit of a black bar on the bottom. Apple has done great job by giving us variety, but Moto 360’s round dial and sleek look has already garnered many fans.
A biggest setback is that the Apple Watch will be compatible with only with iPhone 5, 5S, 5C, 6 and 6 Plus, on the other hand the Moto 360 isn’t as exclusive or biased to its own brand. Apple definitely stands out with its sophisticated and extensive sensors. Unlike Moto 360, Apple Watch seems to do much more than just showing you notifications. It seems both the devices have the right components, they just need to get some developers to come up with more compelling apps.