Moto 360 wearers will have to upgrade their hardware if they want to get the standalone apps, Material Design interface, new keyboard, Google Fit activity recognition and watch face updates that are set to arrive this fall with the second generation of the micro OS.
Unfortunately, Motorola has revealed that the Moto 360 won't be eligible for an update to Android Wear 2.0 this fall, the next fall or any other time. It's essentially about to be put out to pasture, just two years after its release.
Owners of Moto 360 smartwatches already have company to commiserate with in the community of early adopters that sprung up around LG's G Watch. That watch won't get Android Wear 2.0 and a lot of other first generation contemporaries may suffer the same fate.
There's a chance LG's G Watch R and Watch Urbane will get updates to Android Wear 2.0, and the second generation Watch Urbane's eligibility has already been confirmed, according to a 9to5Google's roundup of of smartwatches that will and will not move into the next generation.
The second generation Moto 360 is a likely candidate for the new micro OS, but it's unclear if the 360 Sport will get the update. Unlike the second generation Moto 360, the original 360 and the 360 sport don't include built-in GPS.
And local GPS will be critical in enabling smartwatches to better stand on their own — away from the support of a tethered smartphone. So while the 360 Sport hasn't been ruled out yet, its chances of getting the update may be slim.
Elsewhere, there isn't much distinguishing the three watches from one another. The Sport is driven by a Qualcomm Snapdragon 400 processor just like the second generation Moto 360, though the original Moto 360 runs on Texas Instrument's 6-year-old OMAP3630 processor.
All three watches are stocked with 4 GB of storage space and half a gig of RAM. And they all at least include accelerometers and heart rate sensors. Behind Corning Gorilla Glass 3 screens are a 320 x 290 display on the first gen Moto 360, a 360 x 330 resolution on the second generation Moto 360 and a 360 x 325 pixel count on the 360 Sport.
Android Wear 2.0
With the fall release of the next version of Android Wear, Google is giving smartwatches more independence from smartphones.
About a year ago, Google updated Android Wear to allow users to send messages and receive notifications on their smartwatches while their phones were elsewhere and powered on. With Android Wear 2.0, the phones tethered to smartwatches can be powered on or off and the watches will still have that autonomy.
Along with support for standalone apps, which can be downloaded to smartwatches remotely, Android Wear 2.0 is also improving Google Fit support to deliver more accurate and intuitive activity tracking.
The update to the micro platform will also introduce the Complications API (Application Programming Interface), which will allow developers to blend app data into watch faces. The API will allow apps to prompt users to authorize a selection of complications to show data on watch faces, and it will give them options to invoke the information via touch input.