android tips and tutorials

An Android cheat sheet (my notes, main concepts)

This page is a little unusual for me; it’s basically a terse summary of what I know about Android. I created it because I tend to (a) work with Android for a few weeks or months, and then (b) get away from it for several months, so this page helps me reload everything into my brain.

What is Android doing when it says “optimizing apps” after a system upgrade?

Android FAQ: What is Android doing when it says “optimizing apps” after an Android system upgrade (and reboot)?

The short story is that Android is doing what it says, creating an optimized version of each app for the new version of Android you just upgraded to. This process makes each app start as fast as possible with the new Android version.

Moto 360 won't respond - How to restart (dead/frozen watch)

If you have a Moto 360 smartwatch that won’t respond to anything — it’s dead, frozen, locked up, etc. — the Moto 360 manual says that you can “press and hold the power button for 25 seconds to force a power down.” You can then turn the watch back on as usual.

I haven’t had this problem with my Moto 360, but I wanted to note this here as I’m about to throw the manual out.

Note that if you want to just restart the Moto 360, you can do that through the Settings menu.

A Moto 360 smartwatch + Android Wear review

A week or two ago Google put the first generation Moto 360 watch/smartwatch on sale for $99, and I was lucky enough to buy one before they went out of stock. It seems weird to write a review about an older piece of technology, but I actually like the watch much more than I expected to — despite a few bugs — so I thought I’d share what I’ve learned.

Moto 360 - Pull down settings menu not working

Important note: I wrote the following text just after receiving my Moto 360, charging it, and connecting it to my Android device. At that time these instructions were 100% accurate. But what I learned the next morning is that the Moto 360 user interface changes on the second day (or perhaps within the first 24 hours). I don’t know why it works this way, but in the morning I received a notification saying that pressing the power button now brings up the Settings menu as well as a menu of apps, and sure enough it does.

My “Just Be” app running on a Moto 360 (Android Wear)

(Click the image for a much larger image.)

Some time in the last week or two Google announced a $99 sale on their first generation Moto 360 watches. I purchased one, and it came in the mail this morning. My main purpose for buying one is to see how my “Just Be” mindfulness reminders app (for Android) works with Android Wear smartwatches. This image shows what the notifications currently look like.

I like the way it works off the shelf, but I kinda want to get rid of the “Just Be” name on the notification. The watch shows the app icon, and that’s good enough for me. I know it probably should be there for “branding” purposes, but I’d rather just see the mindfulness reminder message. At least the app name is in a much lighter font color, that’s good.

FWIW, I don’t have an Android phone, but I do have a Google/Android Nexus 9 tablet, and everything between the tablet and watch seems to be working fine so far.

(The Moto 360 watches were available at this link on the Google Play store, but the last time I checked they were out of stock.)