How long before every smart watch uses the Digital Crown Interface?

Discussion in 'Apple Watch' started by Kendo, Sep 9, 2014.

  1. Kendo macrumors 68000

    Apr 4, 2011
    Back to the drawing board for Galaxy Gear and Moto 360 to utilize a Digital Crown for next year? Once again Apple introduces/popularizes a new user interface for the masses.

    Any company can just throw an iPod nano on a wrist bank and call it a smart watch. Only Apple can think about the user interface to make it work.
  2. LostSoul80 macrumors 68020


    Jan 25, 2009
    It is impossible to judge what is going to happen.
    One scenario is that this watch will be a complete, utter flop, and that rivals will stray away from such a dial.
  3. FX120 macrumors 65816


    May 18, 2007
    You seriously think Apple has pioneered the jog wheel?
  4. Izauze macrumors 6502

    Oct 13, 2013
    As the primary interface for the smart watch? Yes.

    That said, I'm not entirely sold. I think a touch-slide sensor on the side would have been a much more elegant solution than a tiny physical dial.
  5. Andy-V macrumors 6502

    Oct 1, 2007
    Of course not, but other smart watches are (or soon, were) over reliant on touch that obscures the screen. It's one of those little things that is likely to totally catch on because Apple did it.
  6. Kendo thread starter macrumors 68000

    Apr 4, 2011
    Times two. Also, please use reading comprehension before trying to derail this topic into a major tangent. I didn't say they invented the crown. I said they introduced it as the interface.
  7. Eau Rouge macrumors regular

    Sep 21, 2013
  8. spriter macrumors 65816


    May 13, 2004
    I'm not convinced.

    1. People are now used to touch and swipe gestures. It's more instinctive and natural.

    2. Despite the demo guy's best efforts to the convince us about obstructing the screen, he appeared to be swiping and tapping the screen far more than twirling the crown.
  9. Kendo thread starter macrumors 68000

    Apr 4, 2011
    Swiping and tapping has its place for some gestures. Not for pinch to zoom.
  10. rrl macrumors 6502


    Jul 27, 2009
    Look, Apple invented the encoder! Oh, wait, no they didn't.
  11. BJonson macrumors 6502a


    Aug 26, 2010
    Something tells me you have your own reserved parking spot at One Infinite Loop.
  12. wesk702 macrumors 68000


    Jul 7, 2007
    The hood
    It's probably the spot steve used to always take.
  13. greenythebeast macrumors regular

    Mar 24, 2008
  14. Eso macrumors 68000


    Aug 14, 2008
    If you designed zooming on your smart watch (with or without pinch), you did something wrong.
  15. spriter macrumors 65816


    May 13, 2004

    My thoughts exactly.

    Pinching/zooming/panning/scrolling on such a small screen tells me the app should be on a phone.

    Problem is there's gonna be a ton of app developers making bad apps to make money with this silly crown to manoeuvre around. I think people will get bored with this fairly soon and just take out their phone instead.

    Apple should have restricted the gestures to a tap or swipe.
  16. Lloydbm41 macrumors 68040


    Oct 17, 2013
    Central California
    LOL. You ever tried winding a watch while it is on your wrist? Now try navigating menus with it. Gonna suck, big time!
  17. Nermal Moderator


    Staff Member

    Dec 7, 2002
    New Zealand
    It's probably not too bad. Unlike winding a traditional watch, you'll only be doing partial turns, not multiple full turns. Also, looking at the profile of it, it appears that you'll just be able to "roll" your finger over the dial instead of gripping it.
  18. firewood macrumors 604

    Jul 29, 2003
    Silicon Valley
    One of the Sony-made Clie/PalmPilots had a scroll wheel on the side over a decade ago.
  19. mcdj macrumors G3


    Jul 10, 2007
    The real question is, what took so long?

    I present the Ventura V-Tec Alpha, with "EasySkroll" technology, circa 2004.

  20. cfc macrumors 6502


    May 27, 2011
    The problem with the crown seems to be that it's not easy to pan longer distances like with pinch and zoom. You have to zoom out using the crown, pan across by swiping, and then zoom in again with the crown.

    I'm a developer of a map app and I have added a panning gesture that only requires one touch of one finger. Admittedly the finger gets in the way whilst touching, but one finger is less obstructive than two. And one touch is a lot easier than the multi-touch gymnastics of pinching.

    Basically you press and hold with one finger. After a second (so it knows it's not a tap) the map begins to zoom out. The original area is shown with a box around your finger. When you get to the zoom level you want then you move your finger and position the box over the area that you wish to pan to. Let go and it zooms back in to that area. If you move to the edge of the screen then it auto-pans across in that direction.

    It's actually a lot more simple and intuitive than it sounds. When I show people they are usually surprised it hasn't been thought of before (although maybe it has been, but isn't used for some reason).

    It's also good for showing what area you are looking at, which is particularly useful on a very small screen. You don't need to move your finger when it is zoomed out, so just tapping and holding zooms out to show the surrounding area. When you have zoomed out far enough to know where you are then let go and it zooms back to where you started.

    I don't know how effective the gesture will be on a watch screen - I guess it depends on the relative sizes of your finger and the screen. It doesn't replace pinching or zooming for operations where you actually want to change the scale, but is simpler for when you just want to see the area around where you are looking at, or want to pan to a different area but at the same scale.

    It's not just for maps either. For example it could be useful when editing an image or reading a pdf on a screen that is too small to show the whole document.

    It's described in more detail here if you are interested, along with a video of it in action in a very old and embarrassingly bad version of the app.
  21. pojo1806 macrumors 68000

    Feb 6, 2013
    United Kingdom
    Literally never, won't even be on the :apple: Fugly Watch 2
  22. vannibombonato macrumors 6502

    Jun 14, 2007
    Elegant, for sure. Precise, not.

    I don't like at all the design, but i think as it is having a physical something is the only way to achieve precise input (i.e. set an alarm, etc.).

    This said, that's the only thing i see, i honestly don't buy at all into zooming with that, i prefer pinching hands down. I don't care about seeing perfectly the content while zooming, i care about zooming fast and intuitively, and THEN look at the content.
  23. silvetti macrumors 6502a


    Nov 24, 2011
    I'm so happy most of you do not work at Apple :D

    Thank the gods!
  24. sebastian... macrumors regular

    Sep 11, 2011
    Casio had a smart digital crown on their watches, before Apple.
  25. Schnort macrumors regular

    Oct 24, 2013
    personally, a thumbwheel would have been an 'easier' interface. Or just a touch sensor down the left/right of the watch (slide up to zoom out, down to zoom in or something like that.)

    Though, I suppose it all depends on whether or not you can turn the knob without using two fingers (and having one of them need to go between the knob and your wrist)

Share This Page