Sep 8th, 2014

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Looks like someone in Motorola’s development team committed a pretty big oversight when updating the Motorola Connect app. In case you don’t know, in addition to allowing you to view notifications and call logs, respond to text messages from your PC and more, Motorola Connect now acts as the central hub for Motorola’s Moto 360 smart watch. As such, the app was updated to automatically install Motorola’s heart rate sensor apps and additional watch faces on new Moto 360 units upon being paired to a fairly recent Motorola phone.

There’s just one problem — Motorola forgot to make sure the devices connected to their smartphones weren’t Moto 360s. Phandroid’s Derek Ross recently noticed the error on his LG G Watch paired to his Moto X unit from last year. The result is a couple of incompatible apps — both functionality and aesthetics-wise — being automatically installed on his LG G Watch.

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For example, pairing an LG G Watch to a Motorola DROID Maxx or a Moto X would cause Motorola’s Moto 360 apps to automatically install on the Gear Live — the user has no say in the matter, nor is there even a warning. Not only are the apps useless due to the lack of a heart rate monitor on the LG G Watch, but it also looks pretty wonky due to the app being developed for the Moto 360’s circular watch face as opposed to a square one. We’re not sure if the issue will have any negative long-term impact on non-Moto 360 Android Wear smart watches out there, but even it it doesn’t it’s still annoying to have apps on your device that aren’t supposed to be there.

One interesting thing we’re looking into is whether the heart rate apps work with the Samsung Gear Live as that device does have a heart rate sensor. The app itself would still look rather bad on a square display, but it’d be interesting nonetheless. Whether it’s actually useful is another story as we imagine folks would just use whatever solution Samsung has cooked up for heart rate monitoring needs.

That’s not all, though — Motorola Connect will also install the Moto 360’s circular watch faces. Trying to select one of the watch faces on an LG G Wach results in a pretty annoying crash that requires you to press “OK” several times before you’re taken back to the user interface to select another.

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Most folks will find it easy enough to simply avoid trying to apply one of the incompatible watch faces (they will appear circular in the preview) but we wouldn’t be surprised if quite a few people mistakenly think those watch faces are meant to be there.

It shouldn’t be difficult for Motorola to make it so that Motorola Connect only installs its apps on appropriate devices, and quite frankly it’s a bit shocking that they didn’t consider other smart watches could potentially be paired with their phones. We’ve reached out to Motorola to see if they’ve been made aware and if they’ll be issuing an update to fix it. Let us know if you’ve noticed any of this on your non-Motorola smart watch in the comments below!