13 Oct 2014

Android Wear as a Golf Watch

So, far Android Wear and the Moto 360 fails as a golf watch.  I've been using the MotoActv as a golf watch for the past two years and was hoping Android Wear would be a good replacement. Not yet.

Android Wear Golf Apps

At this point there are two Android golf apps that support Android Wear - GolfShot and Swing by Swing. After loading both apps on my phone I chose to focus on GolfShot. You can see a video of the GolfShot AndroidWear cards here.

GolfShot

GolfShot also has excellent coverage of hazards and the Android Wear screens are very well designed. Distance to the center of the green is on the main card and by swiping right to left, you see all of the detailed distances for front, middle and back of the green as well as all the hazards.

Battery

The number one problem with Android Wear as a golf watch is that the battery won't last a full round. I think that changes to Android Wear itself could help significantly with this problem.

When GolfShot is running on AndroidWear, the screen will stay on the entire round and eat up the battery (the constant bluetooth connection could also be a factor in the battery life). Seems like a simple solution to cover the screen when you're done looking at the distances to shut it off and that works fine.  However, when you wake the screen back up your staring at the clock face again and you have to select the GolfShot app and then scroll through the holes or wait for the GPS update on your location.

GPS

The other issue with the current Android Wear devices is the lack of built in GPS. This means that the watch is relying on the phone for GPS. I have a new OnePlus One phone and the battery life is excellent and not an issue over the course of a round. However, it also means that the phone needs to be with me. Normally, this isn't a problem but if the phone is in my bag or the cart, it is not always with me during the round and there were times when I wished I had my MotoActv watch since the GPS is built into the watch.

MotoActv

The discontinued Motorola MotoActv is still the best golf watch. It was the first watch to support unlimited hazards (Fall 2011). The Bushnell Neo and Neo-X supported two and four hazards per hole as did the Expresso WR62. While some of the Garmin watches support a single custom point per hole, they still don't have hazards.

For now, I'm going back to the MotoActv and will give the Moto 360 another try when the next version of Android Wear or GolfShot is released.


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