7 Tips & Tricks For The Motorola Moto 360 Plus The Android Wear Update 5.1.1


The Moto 360 is one of the most popular smartwatches currently on the market. It is very stylish and I absolutely love using mine.  I posted about my initial experience using the Moto 360 a couple of weeks ago.  Since then I have discovered some tips and tricks that help to make the Moto 360 more efficient and enjoyable to use.

Here are 7 of my favorite tips and tricks for the Motorola Moto 360

1. Remote for the camera on your phone


You can use the Moto 360 as a remote control for your phone’s camera. If you own a Motorola Moto X, then you don’t need any additional apps or support. All you have to do is launch the camera on your phone and a notification will pop up on the Moto 360 that says remote.  Use the notification to take picture remotely through your smartwatch. If you do not own a Moto X and have another type of Android phone (like me, I use the Sony Xperia) then you will need to download an app. There are a few to choose from in the Play Store. Google Camera is one of the apps with wear support but I am currently using Remote Shot for Moto 360. It costs $1.99 but I think it is worth the price. I have had no issues with it so far. The features of the app include; camera preview on the Moto 360, ability to take a picture anytime (even is the screen is off), ability to change settings on the watch, ability to switch to the front and rear facing cameras, and timer. You can launch the app from the apps/settings menu on the Moto 360.

2. Remote control to play music on your phone


You can use the Moto 360 as a remote control for your music. Tap to turn on the watch and then scroll left from the right side of the screen to access the apps and settings menu. Click on ‘Play Music’. It will then give you the choice of playing the music on your phone or wear device.  (The Moto 360 does not have built in speakers so select phone.) It will launch the Google Music on your phone and will begin playing back where you previously left off. You can pause, play and changes songs with the remote feature.

3. Un-dismissing notifications

So throughout the day I receive several notifications on my Moto 360. Sometimes I am too quick to dismiss a notification. Thankfully you can undo the dismissal action and retrieve the notification back if you are quick enough. After swiping the notification to the right to dismiss it, if you then realize that you need to undo your action, quickly swipe from the bottom – up. You will see the dismissing action appear on the screen (as shown below). Tap the blue dismissing button before the white bar shows the action as being complete and you can retrieve the notification back.

4. Enabling sunlight mode

You have probably noticed this when trying to use your smartphone, tablet or computer outside.  In direct sunlight it can be hard to read the screen. It is the same with smartwatches.  You can boost the brightness on your watch for a few seconds to make it easier to read.  Simply tap the screen to turn it on (out of sleep mode), and then quickly press the side power button three times.  This will enable the sunlight mode for approximately 3 seconds.  Then the screen will automatically dim. Another way to perform the same action is to swipe down from the top and then scroll right twice.  Simply press brightness boost.

5. Using developer mode on the Moto 360

This is not for everyone – I personally don’t use developer mode but some people do and like to know how to access it.  Go into the settings.  Scroll down to and click on ‘About’.  Scroll down again until you see the Build Number on the screen.  Click on the Build Number 7 times.  Return to the Settings menu and Developer Options will now show. You can click on it to access a variety of developer only actions.

6. Silence phone notifications when it is connected to your Moto 360

If you are receiving notifications on your wrist, then there is probably no need to be receiving them on your phone too. (Why have two devices vibrating at the same time?) To disable the phone notifications when it is connected to your smartwatch open the Android Wear app on your phone.  Tap the setting icon, and then just toggle the button for ‘mute notifications on phone’.

7. Find your phone

It is so easy to put down your phone and then forget where it is. There is a great feature now with the Android Wear update called ‘Find my phone’.  Tap the Moto 360 screen to wake it up, and then scroll left from the right side of the screen.  Scroll down and click on ‘Find my phone’ which will then launch a very obnoxious ring on your phone and trust me, you will want to find your phone fast to turn it off.

Android Wear 5.1.1

Android Wear 5.1.1 was launched back in April but it was only made available to the Moto 360 last month. Android Wear 5.1.1 adds some new features for your smartwatch, including Wi-Fi connectivity, wrist gestures and the ability to draw emojis when responding via SMS.

The Wi-Fi connectivity is great as it will allow you to use your smartwatch independent of your phone, but it will also drain the battery faster. If you do not need the Wi-Fi on, I recommend turning it off to help prolong the battery life.

Wrist gestures allow you to view notifications and dismiss them without touching the watch.  Using flicks of the wrist you can dismiss notification cards and scroll through all notifications.  Below is a video demonstrating how wrist gestures work.

Another change that Android Wear 5.1.1 brought to the Moto 360 is the menus that are shown when swiping from the left side of the watch towards the right. The first menu that you see is all of your apps on your watch including the settings. Apps that have recently been opened will show at the top followed by all the other apps on the watch. If you swipe to the left again, you will see your contact list. If you tap on one of the contacts in the list you are provided the options to send them an email, text or call them.  A third swipe to the left will show you the typical Google voice search and if you swipe up in this menu, it will show a list of the short cut commands accessible on your watch.

Another cool feature that is now available on the Moto 360 with the Android Wear upgrade is the ability to lock the screen.  You can find it under the settings menu. Once you activate it on your watch it will detect when you put your watch down and activate the locked screen.

The last feature that I enjoy is ambient mode for apps.  Not all apps will support this ambient mode but one of the apps that does is Google Keep.  If you have a list in Google Keep, open it up and just wait. After a few seconds the list will go into ambient mode but will still be displayed.  This will help to save battery life.  This could be good for grocery shopping lists as the list will remain there and you just need to wake the watch up to see it.

Learn all about the Motorola Moto 360 on their website.

Are there other tips, tricks or Android Wear features that you like?  Please leave a comment below.


I received a Moto 360 from Motorola for review purposes. Good or bad, my reviews and opinions are honest with my readers best interest in mind.

Photo credits: All screen shots from my Moto 360 and the title picture is a photo that I took. Android Wear photo is from Motorola.


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