10 things you didn't know about the Moto 360

Moto 360

The Moto 360 (2014) was Motorola's first entry in the Android Wear line of smartwatches. Not only did the device receive fairly positive reviews from critics and users alike, but it's one of Google and Motorola's best options for competing with the industry-defining Apple Watch, especially since the Moto 360 is only compatible with Android-powered phones.

Not only has it been around longer than the iOS-powered device, but thanks to significant Android Wear updates, it's received expanded and all-new functions, too.

While Moto 360 users tend to be fairly tech-savvy, there are a few features they may have missed. Here's our list of the top Moto 360 features that you need to know about.

1. Dim your screen with your hand

You know how pet birds stop chirping and go to sleep when you put a blanket over their cage? You can do something similar with the Moto 360. If a user wants to dim the watch's screen after using it, all he has to do is place his hand on top of the watch face, and it will automatically dim itself.

2. Silencing phone notifications

One reason that will inspire some to get a Moto 360 is the desire to receive notifications directly to their wristwatch rather than their pocket. However, sometimes the Android Wear app glitches up and sends the notifications to the Moto 360 and the Bluetooth-attached smartphone. If users want to disable such notifications while wearing the watch, they'll have to access the Settings tab in the Android Wear app. Users can turn phone notifications off by tapping the "Silence Connected Phone" button.

3. Silencing all notifications

Moto 360

Sometimes you just don't want to receive any more notifications on your wrist, like during a meeting at work, and you need to quickly quiet it before your boss sees your hand vibrating like crazy. Thankfully, the Moto 360 offers an option for changing a device's notifications settings fairly quickly. All the user has to do to silence their Moto 360 is swipe from the top down, which will reveal the "Mute" button. Tap that, and you won't receive any more notifications on your watch until you unmute it.

4. Use your watch outside of Bluetooth range

Moto 360

One of the major limitations for all smartwatches is that the devices require users to be within Bluetooth range. If a user were to (for some reason) walk out of Bluetooth range of their smartphone, they would lose control of the watch. However, Android Wear recently added Wi-Fi capabilities to all Android Wear devices, including the Moto 360, meaning you can keep using the watch even if you're not within Bluetooth range of your smartphone However, this connectivity only works on local Wi-Fi networks, so you shouldn't plan on accessing your Samsung Galaxy 6 that you left at home via your Moto 360 while eating lunch at McDonald's, for example.

5. DIY emoji

Google recently added the ability to "draw" your own emoji to the Android Wear OS. When you receive a text, a variety of responses will pop up, including "Draw." If you click it, you can draw whatever image you like with your finger. The watch will then compare the drawn image to its database of known emojis. If the image doesn't match any particular emoji, the watch will offer up a selection of emojis to choose from. If the user is satisfied with the results, they can click the checkmark, confirm the emoji choice and send the message! However, if users aren't finished communicating, they can add additional text, emoji, or even more drawings to their text reply.

6. A customizable face

Moto 360

Want to give your watch some more personality? The Moto 360 offers users a variety of customization and design options to play with. Users can add anything from changing clock designs to an Android alien to their watch. All they have to do is access the Change Watch Face feature via the Settings tab.

7. Find your missing phone

A misplaced phone can place a major damper on your plans. Most of us keep all of our important data on our phone, so when we lose it, it's a major blow. What's more, losing your phone makes it impossible to operate your Moto 360. Thankfully, Motorola installed a feature that will help you find your errant phone. All you to do is download the "Find my Phone" app to the watch. Once installed, just hit the central button, and the phone will start ringing.

8. Take pictures remotely

Sometimes, one has to take a picture of themselves.It needs to be more professional than a selfie, but there's no one around to take the pic for them. What do you do in this situation? While a timer is one option, it can only do so much.

Thankfully, the Moto 360 has the ability to operate an Android phone's camera. If you download a compatible Android photo app (such as Remote Shot), you can remotely activate your phone's camera. Moto 360 users also have the ability to switch cameras, change flash settings, set timers and even see what the camera sees.

9. Quickly reply to Google Hangout requests with your voice

People use Google Hangouts for business, personal and professional reasons. But did you know that you can access your Hangouts through your Moto 360, and send a voice-dictated response? Users can respond to Google Hangout text messages by swiping left on a recently received message and telling the Moto 360 to "reply." The watch will let the user know that it's listening, and will transcribe his or her statements until the user hits the record button and tells it otherwise.

10. Double the Moto 360's battery

Moto 360

One of the most important (and often most annoying) parts of having a smartwatch or phone is maintaining its battery life. If you aren't careful, certain functions could drain the battery without you knowing. One Reddit user noticed that his Moto 360 battery was constantly drained by its "raise to wake" feature, which allows users to activate the watch with just the flick of a wrist (literally). So, he turned the feature off and saw a significant increase in its battery life. According to this redditor, turning off this feature extended the battery from nine hours to sixteen hours. You can do the same by accessing the Android Wear app's Settings tab and setting the "Tilt to wake screen" switch to Off.

  • Here's our review of the latest Moto 360, which many of these tips also work on