Do you think there's a reason they went with a rectangle screen as oppose to a circul

Discussion in 'Apple Watch' started by shenfrey, Apr 14, 2015.

  1. shenfrey macrumors 68000

    May 23, 2010
    Or do you think the technology and software wasn't quite there yet?
  2. MonkeySee.... macrumors 68040


    Sep 24, 2010
    Well there is a reason there are no round phones or tablets also.
  3. shenfrey thread starter macrumors 68000

    May 23, 2010

    Which is???
  4. Julien macrumors G4


    Jun 30, 2007
    The same reason a sheet of paper or books are not round.:D
  5. MH01 Suspended


    Feb 11, 2008
    Well most watches are round ;)


    The rectangular design is probably better suited to a smartwatch, for scrolling and reaiding content as it comes in.
  6. Pupi macrumors regular


    Apr 12, 2015
    Probably because round displays are tacky for smartwatches and are not good to optimise information on an already small display... not that it would be any better on a larger display. Round is a bad shape to display information, stat. Same as a triangle or irregular shapes in general.

    My question is actually... why not a 1:1 square like the iPod nano, but that comes down to choice I guess.
  7. Chantz888 macrumors newbie

    Apr 14, 2015
    To increase surface area of course. iE, to maximize the amount of screen real estate for a better experience. Plus reading messages would seem strange on a round device to me.

    Also it's almost imitating the shape of other apple products, the iPhone and iPod.
  8. Oppressed macrumors 65816


    Aug 15, 2010
    Typical watches have no other information to convey besides the watch face and therefore square watches would be pointless. Smart watches have text for emails, messages, and such which can not only look weird, but also have less area to display if the screen is not square.

    Also it would be harder to swap bands on a round device. Not like having the quick release button on the Apple Watch.
  9. psylence2k macrumors 6502

    Nov 16, 2012
    A rectangle is known to be more aesthetically pleasing than a square, have you ever heard of the golden ratio/rectangle ?
  10. jafingi macrumors 65816


    Apr 3, 2009
    Yes. Take a look at this:

  11. kdarling, Apr 14, 2015
    Last edited: Apr 15, 2015

    kdarling macrumors demi-god


    Jun 9, 2007
    First university coding class = 47 years ago
    Round watches are over 90% of the watches available today. Even many of the iWatch fan concepts were round. Why? Because square looks like 1980s technology. Round looks retro-futuristic. Remember this popular concept?


    Moreover, the whole point of a smartwatch is for it to be used in little glances, not sit there and play with it.

    Heck, if just reading long lists was the point, then by golly Samsung did a much better job at providing for that scenario with their S model:


    But beyond the fashion aspect, what amuses me most are the posts which talk about screen real estate. What they don't realize is that Apple put such ridiculously big bezels around their small display, that it would fit INSIDE the Moto 360 display, which with its thin bezel is just 0.15" larger on the outside:


    What does that mean? Well, for one thing, it means the Moto 360 displays just as much text as the Apple Watch does:


    I took their demo text and sent one to myself, and then did a screen capture on a real LG Watch R, (with Android Wear, like Google Glass, you swipe sideways to get to the possible actions):


    People often post pictures of long messages that need to be scrolled up on round watches. Well, duh, that happens to square ones as well. The round ones just look way cooler while doing it :)
  12. Pupi macrumors regular


    Apr 12, 2015
  13. Munky macrumors 6502

    Apr 27, 2011
  14. SixtyK macrumors 6502a


    Jun 25, 2013
  15. MattXDA macrumors 6502


    Aug 18, 2014
    Is there a reason that you spelt circle wrong? Just curious :D I assume you meant circular.
    I personally think that circle smartwatches are trying to replicate a real watch while making it square means that it is more practical. Why aren't smartphone screens round?
  16. kdarling macrumors demi-god


    Jun 9, 2007
    First university coding class = 47 years ago
    Well, sure. That's also what Apple was doing with its wrist bands, the crown, case materials, and calling it the "Apple Watch". Not to mention allegedly mocking Swiss watchmakers.

    They just took the easy way out, and used the same screen shape that wrist computer makers have been using since the 1980s.

    I think they should be pear shaped.

  17. TimUSCA macrumors 6502a


    Mar 17, 2006
    Aiken, SC
    There is a pretty simple explanation.

    Watches have traditionally been circular because that's what's best for a clock. That's the watch's primary purpose, so a circle makes sense.

    But the Apple Watch is designed to display information and the clock is only one function of many. So for displaying text and other information, it simply makes a lot more sense to do a square or rectangle.

    Ive said himself:

  18. gsmornot macrumors 68030


    Sep 29, 2014
    If a standard watch didn't use hands attached to the center of a dial they too might have been a different shape but because the hands rotate about the center it only makes sense to have a round face. Apple Watch only shares with the past in the fact it straps to your wrist. Outside of that its a modern display meant to be an extension of a similar shaped device. They are aware of the circle and what it means to a watch user which is evidenced by the round icons and round watch faces offered. One thing that is nice about the rectangle though is the ability to keep the watch face clean while providing useful info in the corners that would otherwise not been there. Options that use a round face are forced to fit additional info within the face which can become busy if not cared for.

    I would bet that round was high on the list but ultimately lost out because they started the life of the watch with a screen from a phone and it just stuck.
  19. Steve686 macrumors 68030


    Nov 13, 2007
    US>FL>Miami/Dade>Sunny Isles Beach>Condo
    There is also the problem of removable bands fitting onto a circular base.

    A straight flat edge is much easier to anchor and fit a coupling to versus a round metal edge.
  20. BeefSupreme macrumors regular

    Sep 19, 2012
    I'm guessing they'll have a choice of a round face in a future version. Then they'll have some new built in software that resizes everything to make it work. Apple will trademark the term "circleizing" and tout it as revolutionary.
  21. Trent0341 macrumors 6502

    Jun 3, 2007
    Round for rounds sake doesn't make sense to me. I'm not sure why people keep referencing the Moto 360. If I wanted to wear a nest on my arm with wasted screen space I'd do just that.

    And watches are all round? Please refer to the JLC Reverso, a classic in every sense of the word

    Apple did what made sense in this case and then did an admirable job of making it look more like the watch than its competition (minus maybe the Huawei although the two still don't compare)


    As long as it is a choice I'm fine with it as we can "agree to disagree" in those circumstances.
  22. parallax33 macrumors regular

    Mar 13, 2012
    Chandler's Ford, UK
    Some of this analysis is good, but it all comes down to  design language.

    The Watch looks like the iPhone, and the iPad will soon follow this same language.

    Heck, we may even see MacBooks start to follow the same lines as the rest of the product range in coming years :)
  23. atlatnesiti macrumors 6502a

    Sep 4, 2008
    Sydney, Australia
    Technology is here, but it seems that Apple can't think outside the square... ;)
  24. Trent0341 macrumors 6502

    Jun 3, 2007
    1980s technology? Hardly... Maybe to you since that's your frame of reference. As some one who appreciates horology (to include more than just my formative years) rectangular watches certainly have their place in history. See my above link to the JLC Reverso (the history of which I find quite interesting) or you can refer to any number of Pateks that were rectangular in shape.

    Retro-futuristic? Don't even know what that means although it certainly doesn't sound like anything I'm looking for in a watch. Again, we'll have to agree to disagree.

    Like every other style or fashion opinion it all comes down to personal taste. I'm fine with Apple making a round watch as long as they keep a sensible rectangular option available. Hopefully Android wear (I think thats what it is called) comes to iOS so everyone can have more options in this department. As for me, I'm happy with the current shape.
  25. kdarling macrumors demi-god


    Jun 9, 2007
    First university coding class = 47 years ago
    For electronic wearables, it's a primary frame of reference. That's when we first saw wrist data devices really arise.

    (I'm not counting digital watches, like the first LED one I got in 1975 or so while in the Army.)

    Oh I appreciate them. I'm a major collector of aerial navigation devices, and certainly Santos-Dumont made square popular in the early days of pilot watches.

    However, that was pretty much the last time square was used for pilots. Round offered so much more, including the ability to include a rotating slide rule bezel... something that square watches cannot have :)

    Retro because it's round. Futuristic because non-rectangular displays are still a bit unique, and often only seen in sci-fi.

    Yep, and availability.


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