MacRumors

macrumors bot
Original poster
Apr 12, 2001
53,522
15,250



Last week, we reported that Google is said to be working on its own branded pair of smartwatches, in a break from its traditional reliance on third-party manufacturers to come up with the hardware for its Android Wear OS.

Given the continuing interest in rival smartwatches of the round-faced variety, some readers may be interested in the latest renders showing what Google's upcoming pair of wearables could look like.

Google-Wear.jpg

The image above published by Android Police, the site of the original leak, is described as an accurate "recreated image" of primary source material, used to preserve the anonymity of the source. The site also warns that the devices are still under development and therefore may ultimately differ from the design shown.

With those caveats in mind, the larger watch render on the left is based on the 43.5mm "Angelfish", which is said to feature a heart-rate monitor, GPS, and LTE cellular connectivity for standalone use. The watch has three buttons, where third-party Android Wear devices typically have one, suggesting possible Google Assistant integration with contextual alerts. According to the report, the Angelfish will not be compatible with Android Wear Mode watch bands.

The smaller 42mm device, codenamed "Swordfish", offers just the one crown button and is thought to lack the HRM, GPS and LTE smarts of the larger watch, but will be compatible with Android Wear Mode watch bands. The report states that Google avoided Motorola's flat-tyre design issue by adding a thick bezel between the display and ring, making the screen much smaller. Both displays show the customizable watch face of Android Wear 2.0 demoed at Google I/O this year.

Unlike the Google-branded phones which are said to be coming this year, it's not clear when the company plans to release the watches, although they could potentially appear alongside Google's next range of Nexus smartphones slated for 2016, or with the launch of Android Wear 2.0 this fall. There is no word on pricing as yet.

In related news, Fitbit is also said to be testing two new wearable devices, slated to launch this September.

According to tech site Wareable's source close to Fitbit's beta testing team, the company is using atom-themed codenames as internal monikers for the two upcoming devices - the same method used to test both the Alta and Blaze late last year.

"Laryon" and "Fermion" are currently being used in the wild under similarly veiled "black wrist covers" to preserve secrecy. The devices are thought to be successors to the Fitbit Flex and Fitbit Charge after trademark applications for the Mark II devices were recently discovered.

Article Link: First Renders of Upcoming Google Smartwatches Emerge Online
 

maflynn

Moderator
Staff member
May 3, 2009
68,317
35,937
Boston
Well those renders do look nice, we'll have to wait and see how it actually looks in real life.

FWIW, round watches are the norm, and the square watch that apple employs is the exception. I think I prefer round myself, but I'd like to see how this looks in real life first.
 

Kebabselector

macrumors 68030
May 25, 2007
2,910
1,310
Birmingham, UK
Should be interesting, not sure why the Apple watch shape is getting a lot of hate, o.k it's not round like a traditional watch normally is - but the shape is negated once you are not using it as a watch. Messages, fitness functions etc are much better on a square watch.

My opinion of course, I expect to be told I'm wrong.
 

OllyW

Moderator
Staff member
Oct 11, 2005
17,113
6,501
The Black Country, England
Should be interesting, not sure why the Apple watch shape is getting a lot of hate, o.k it's not round like a traditional watch normally is - but the shape is negated once you are not using it as a watch. Messages, fitness functions etc are much better on a square watch.

My opinion of course, I expect to be told I'm wrong.
You are not wrong but neither are those who don't like it. To some people the aesthetics are just as important as the functionality because it's a device you wear on your wrist, so it all comes down to personal preferences.

I think a lot of people would welcome a round cased option from Apple to go alongside the current rectangular design. As for the Google watches, I'd have to see them in real life or at least photos of the actual watches before passing comment.
 

igorsky

Suspended
Mar 9, 2011
592
650
Brooklyn, NY
FWIW, round watches are the norm, and the square watch that apple employs is the exception.

Yes, it's a wonder that round televisions and monitors aren't more common. Could it be that the square is a much better shape to display data? And that data is the point when you're dealing with a "smartwatch"?

Personally I can't wait for the first Android Wear manufacturer to release a square watch in order to compete with the Apple Watch (and trust me...it will happen soon). Wondering how the round-watch cult will change their narrative.
 
Last edited:

JohnApples

macrumors 68000
Mar 7, 2014
1,587
2,561
Oh lord. Fully expecting someone to break out that graphic of a square vs round watch's surface area :rolleyes:

Some people will like square smart watches, some will like round. I like the look of a round one personally, but only if it's screen is always on. If I'm going to pick a round watch because it has better aesthetics, but then it displays a black screen 90% of the time, it defeats the purpose. So for now I'll be okay with square and it's better way to "display data" :p
 

Telos101

macrumors regular
Apr 29, 2016
219
886
Ireland
"In my experience, round-faced watches sell better than square-faced watches. I don't know exactly why that is. It's most likely purely psychological; people's semantic notion of what a clock or a watch should look like. When you were a little kid, learning to tell time, they put this clock in front of you and it imprints itself and it's hard to get away from that even when you're an adult. So, square watches are more unusual or a design product in the case of Apple Watch. I think Motorola probably wanted to make it more familiar. But I think they also wanted to show that they could make a round LCD screen.

"From a practical standpoint, it's easier to do a square screen but, in the case of Apple, they will have made it square because they wanted to make it square. It brings it into a more consumer electronics-form vocabulary and away from a watch-form vocabulary. What's interesting with the Apple Watch is that they definitely made an Apple device first and foremost - a consumer electronics device. For me, it's not really a watch. It's a CE device that has watch-like characteristics.

"The Moto 360, on the other hand, is more a CE device masquerading as a watch. They wanted to make it a magical watch; at first glance an ordinary one but an unexpected delight when it's got a touchscreen and pictures and everything."

- Bradley Price; senior industrial designer in the consumer electronics industry for over 10 years.

http://www.wareable.com/smartwatches/round-v-square-smartwatches-which-is-best
 

Mac Fly (film)

macrumors 68000
Feb 12, 2006
1,629
4,530
Ireland
A round smartwatch misunderstands design. Why are most watches round? The next question is what shape display is better for reading information? After answering those the correct shape is obvious. Apple may add a round model some day as an additional option for its customers, but rest assured round is a worse design. My prediction: within 5 years most non-Apple smart-watches are not round.
 

djcerla

macrumors 68020
Apr 23, 2015
2,034
9,593
Italy
You clearly don't work in any type of professional setting.

What does this even mean? I've seen plenty of square Monacos in "professional settings"; it's even featured in Breaking Bad as the epitome of a beautiful and expensive watch.

And BTW, I'm a watch collector since 1993, mostly Rolex, Panerai, and Tag Heuer. A round smartwatch is purely form over function.
 

djcerla

macrumors 68020
Apr 23, 2015
2,034
9,593
Italy
"In my experience, round-faced watches sell better than square-faced watches. I don't know exactly why that is. It's most likely purely psychological

when descriptions get so fuzzy, you know you have a problem, or you're simply making stuff up.

a round faced analog watch makes plenty of sense at it uses more space for the moving arms; that's why watch industry mostly gravitate towards that form factor; a smartwatch with a display is just the opposite, no need to house a rotating part, so no need for a circle.
 

KazKam

macrumors 6502
Oct 25, 2011
493
1,654
FWIW, round watches are the norm, and the square watch that apple employs is the exception. I think I prefer round myself, but I'd like to see how this looks in real life first.

Problem is, they're not really "watches". They're wrist computers that happen to be able to display the time. So, as a wrist computer, why adhere to a mechanical convention/constraint that goes against the grain of practicality, functionality, and efficiency?
 

maflynn

Moderator
Staff member
May 3, 2009
68,317
35,937
Boston
why adhere to a mechanical convention/constraint that goes against the grain of practicality, functionality, and efficiency?
Because people like round watches better? If Google can make a functional round smart watch, then they have an advantage that apple does not

They're wrist computers that happen
Non smart watches, that use electronics, are more computer like and yet many of those are still round - why force consumers into a form factor that is not to their liking.
 
  • Like
Reactions: OllyW

KazKam

macrumors 6502
Oct 25, 2011
493
1,654
Because people like round watches better? If Google can make a functional round smart watch, then they have an advantage that apple does not

Non smart watches, that use electronics, are more computer like and yet many of those are still round - why force consumers into a form factor that is not to their liking.

People/consumers, in general (this is not a personal dig), are short-sighted slow-witted nostalgic idiots, that's why. They'll get there in the end though. Well, maybe not those guys that won't give up their Blackberry until you pry it from their cold, dead hands.

Discounting the health tracking stuff, the killer app on "smart-watches" is messaging. Sending and receiving notifications of any length is downright awkward on a round face.
 

daftpunker909

macrumors regular
Sep 3, 2012
123
145
A round smartwatch misunderstands design. Why are most watches round? The next question is what shape display is better for reading information? After answering those the correct shape is obvious. Apple may add a round model some day as an additional option for its customers, but rest assured round is a worse design. My prediction: within 5 years most non-Apple smart-watches are not round.

Wow - what complete non-sense. I can tell you why watches are naturally round: because the watch hands perform a radial motion, which to some degree defines the outline of the watch. But hey your apple biased answer makes sense as well I guess. The main reason apple is using rectangular designs is because the screens are hard and costly to manufacture in a round shape.
 

maflynn

Moderator
Staff member
May 3, 2009
68,317
35,937
Boston
People/consumers, in general (this is not a personal dig), are short-sighted slow-witted nostalgic idiots,
That sort of attitude is really not a consumer friendly perspective and one and I think having such a disdain for consumers woud only hurt any company trying to sell their wares.

I personally, choose my devices/computers that way.I want a product like a computer, iDevice that allows me to do what I want, without getting in the way. Clearly the round watch is something important to many people and why force them into something they are not comfortable - especially when the competition is catering to their expectations.
 
  • Like
Reactions: chrismail627

KazKam

macrumors 6502
Oct 25, 2011
493
1,654
That sort of attitude is really not a consumer friendly perspective and one and I think having such a disdain for consumers woud only hurt any company trying to sell their wares.

I personally, choose my devices/computers that way.I want a product like a computer, iDevice that allows me to do what I want, without getting in the way. Clearly the round watch is something important to many people and why force them into something they are not comfortable - especially when the competition is catering to their expectations.

I disagree. If you just "give the people what they want", either products don't improve or nothing new/thoughtful ever comes to market, because consumers are generally not visionaries and can't see past what's in the display case at Target. While people think they want a round faced smart watch, because that's what they're used to, or they think round is "friendly" and square is "chunky", or round is more fashion-friendly, will soon find out that friendly and fashionable come with a high price tag... in the form of major sacrifices and constraints.

Yes, the market will "will out". But on a long enough timeline, after companies, developers, and consumers see first-hand the problems with round displays, round smart watches will be niche/novelty fashion accessories.

There are just too many inherent problems with a round computer interface/display from all sides... design, manufacture, development, and use.
 

Mac 128

macrumors 603
Apr 16, 2015
5,360
2,927
Yes, it's a wonder that round televisions and monitors aren't more common. Could it be that the square is a much better shape to display data? And that data is the point when you're dealing with a "smartwatch"?

I can't believe anybody is still using this idiotic meme to argue against a round smart watch.

There is absolutely no connection between how a television monitor is used and a watch display. Will you be watching TV shows on your watch?

when descriptions get so fuzzy, you know you have a problem, or you're simply making stuff up.

a round faced analog watch makes plenty of sense at it uses more space for the moving arms; that's why watch industry mostly gravitate towards that form factor; a smartwatch with a display is just the opposite, no need to house a rotating part, so no need for a circle.

So how do you explain that the watch industry went through a period where square watches were in vogue? Why still make any square watches at all today? I mean if they make no sense mechanically, then what a waste of space, and unecessary complication for displaying the time.

Maybe because a product a person wears on their body has other considerations besides functionality, regardless of what it does.
 
Last edited:
  • Like
Reactions: CarpalMac and OllyW
Register on MacRumors! This sidebar will go away, and you'll see fewer ads.