How to not to charge your watch every day
Millions of people became Android Wear watch owners for the last year. Every wearable device user would tell you, that one of the biggest issues with those devices is the battery life. Not everyone would be happy with charging his watch during the day once or more in case of intensive use.
Moto 360 by Motorola stands out among its competitors by offering a wireless charging, so you don’t have to take any additional cables with you everywhere. This was one of the factors which had influenced my choice to buy these watches, since I could use wireless chargers for my Google Nexus 5 at home and at my job. However, after few days of using my new watch I realized, that it’s a bit boring to charge them once a day or sometimes more.
Every Android Wear watch offers several options in device settings which could help you to reduce the power consumption and, as a result, to extend the device battery life. They are so-called “dim mode” and the screen brightness. In my case I had an auto brightness sensor embedded into my Moto 360, so the screen brightness was optimized pretty good and didn’t affect much on battery life at all. Disabling the dim mode gave me about an extra hour of battery life for the day which wasn’t too much. The device continued to become discharged by the evening.
My second guess was to optimize the software and processes running on my Android Wear watch. Android Wear system has only a few system processes running on the device, so there were no extra processes to stop. The one resource intensive process which I had an option to change on my watch was the Watch Face process which was a main watch process. The Watch Face service runs all the time and draws the clock on the display of a wearable device.
After a lot of experiments I found a well optimized Watch Face for Android Wear watch. It’s called Elegance Watch Face and can be found in Google Play Store. Compared to another watch face apps – it has a better screen drawing optimization. Since watches update their screen every second (or more) to draw the clock hands in actual state – the drawing process performance is a very major thing. The less time is required to update the screen – the less power is used and the longer your battery will stay charged. Elegance Watch Face redraws the screen for only 2-3ms (milliseconds) instead of 10-12ms with the stock watch face app and 30-40ms with another watch face apps from the Play Store.
After a week of using Elegance Watch Face on my Moto 360 I can say, that I’m happy with the device battery life, since I charge it once in 2 or 3 days depending on the amount of notifications showed on the screen and so on. Yes, that is, once in three days! Needless to say, that the power of software optimization is one of the biggest factors in extending Android Wear watches battery life. I hope to see more themes and options in Elegance Watch Face on my Moto 360 and other Android Wear watches soon.