Moto 360 and the future of Android Wear: The key questions explained

Motorola's question and answer Hangout on Air which took place yesterday (see the video above), and was designed to offer more information about the Moto 360 smartwatch, turned out to be a lot less illuminating than we'd all hoped. With that in mind, there are more than a few questions left to be answered that we've gathered here.

Moto 360 is one of two smartwatches being built for the Android Wear platform, Google's first real step into Android on a smartwatch. The concept so far seems to revolve around treating the watch as an extension of your smartphone, as long as that device is running Android 4.3 or higher, anyway. It clearly focuses on delivering a Google Now-esque UI with cards for everything from notifications to traffic pop-ups when you are out and about. It's the first smartwatch concept that really seems to have a clear idea of what users would want on their wrists in terms of software, but there's still plenty left to address before these become the next big thing in the wearables market.

One of the things that popped up shortly after the announcement of the Moto 360 was the almost global realisation that there are no ports on this device. Motorola confirmed that the Moto 360 has no ports, but then refused to explain how the watch would be charged, saying that it was a secret for now. While my money is on Qualcomm's WiPower inductive charging platform, which was first demonstrated on the Toq concept watch, we won't know for sure until Motorola tells us. No ports also means it may be difficult for Android's infamous hacker and modder community to poke around and build custom features for the platform.

Two big questions that went unanswered yesterday concern the exact nature of the display and the battery. All of the concepts for the Moto 360 show off the display as being incredibly bright and colourful, and what little we got to see of the display during the Hangout today certainly seemed to live up to that claim a bit. While we know the LG G Watch is packing a 280 x 280 resolution display, the round Moto 360 will likely be a little different. It was explained during the Hangout that this display is something unique that Motorola built, but no real details were offered.

Additionally, Motorola wasn't willing to discuss battery life, or even the battery capacity. The closest thing we got to an actual explanation was an assurance that Motorola was focused on power management. We also learned that the display is not always on, but it is motion and touch-activated in a way that almost felt similar to the Moto X.

There's still plenty of reason to be excited about everything we've seen so far, but Motorola failing to answer some of these fairly basic questions right now could be red flags regarding how well the watch will actually perform in day-to-day life. The watch must be able to last a full day at least in order to be considered a viable accessory, and beyond that the display needs to be able to work well outside. Motorola did let slip that they have carried over everything they learned from designing and selling the MotoACTV into this product, and while that's great news, it is beginning to feel like we're going to be waiting quite a while for more details.

For more on this topic, see our article on Google's Android Wear: Is this the best chance for smartwatch success yet?