Second-guessing the AW design

Discussion in 'Apple Watch' started by BostonQuad, Aug 11, 2015.

  1. BostonQuad macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Mar 9, 2015
    #1
    A few things bother me about the AW design...

    * The digital crown + side button combination lacks the minimalism that has often worked so well for Apple (compare to the single front-facing button on the iPhone)
    * If you're going to have a wart protruding from the side and justify its existence because it's traditional, why not at least place it in its traditional location (the center edge)? Displacing it penalizes left-handed wearers, and violates the otherwise perfect symmetry of the watch. But taking a step back, I can't help but suspect a modern device doesn't require a wart in the first place
    * The torque effect: pressing a side button means you have to either stabilize the watch by pressing against the opposite side, or press until one's skin provides more resistance against the band than one's finger does against the button

    So for fun, I wondered how it could have been better. I'm posting what I came up with so I can learn from other forum members what I've overlooked, because I know Apple would have considered many designs before settling on the one they did.

    I imagine a rounded watch face rather than a rectangular one, with a touch-sensitive edge. Having even a slightly curved edge would delineate the edge into an upper part and a lower part, each of which could act as a virtual button. (Heck, if an application demanded a 3rd button, we could have top, bottom, and middle.) Scrolling would be accomplished by sliding one's finger from one end to the other.

    Thanks for your insights.
     
  2. Night Spring macrumors G5

    Night Spring

    Joined:
    Jul 17, 2008
    #2
    I hate edge gestures on my iPhone / iPad. They never toggle when I want them to, then I end up toggling them inadvertently when I don't want. I imagine the problem would compound on a device as small as the watch.

    I do agree that pushing the buttons on the watch can be a bit awkward, but it's better than trying to determine where the "edge" begins and where the screen ends.

    As for asymmetrical buttons, I've tried wearing the watch both ways, and I don't think left-handed users are all that inconvenienced by the button placement. In fact, some people have argued that the buttons may be easier to press if you wear the watch "upside down."
     
  3. JayLenochiniMac macrumors G5

    Joined:
    Nov 7, 2007
    Location:
    New Sanfrakota
    #3
    Scrolling in a circle would be no fun, not to mention that round watch face doesn't really work for text.

    I've suggested a similar solution before. Make the unresponsive black area on the side touch/scrolling sensitive and the crown can potentially be reduced to acting as a button. This solves the oft-mentioned problem of the finger blocking the small screen.

    I have no problem with the crown/side button as they are currently designed though and they don't bother me at all.
     
  4. Aluminum213 macrumors 68040

    Aluminum213

    Joined:
    Mar 16, 2012
    #4
    Only thing I'd change is the screen protruding, it should be flush with the case
     
  5. Bob190, Aug 11, 2015
    Last edited: Aug 11, 2015

    Bob190 macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    May 21, 2015
    #5
    Wow ... I disagree with all of these and hope none are implemented. Round faces on smart watches are silly in my opinion and are not functional. As a runner and cyclist, I like physical buttons and would include more of them on future designs. Virtual (touch screen) buttons are not practical when you are sweating a lot. For me, the digital crown is perfect, I just wish 3rd parties could utilize it in their applications. I would also like to see the friends button opened up to developers ... I never use it except for Apple Pay.

    The physical buttons on the original Pebble make it much more functional while working out ... easy to scroll thru Pandora stations, skip, etc. It is almost impossible to pause/restart the Workout app while running if your hands are sweaty. Would be a perfect application for the useless friends button.
     
  6. JayLenochiniMac macrumors G5

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    Nov 7, 2007
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    New Sanfrakota
    #6
    If you are to bang it onto something, wouldn't you rather hit it with the scratch-resistant sapphire crystal than the easily scratchable stainless steel case?
     
  7. Aluminum213 macrumors 68040

    Aluminum213

    Joined:
    Mar 16, 2012
    #7
    That's not why I want the change, I think it would just look better being flush . It's minor though, I think the AW is a beautiful piece of tech
     
  8. friedmud macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Jul 11, 2008
    #8
    I don't mind the crown and button... my only issue is that I never, ever, ever use the Apple Pay button to bring up "Friends" (see what I did there?). I wish you could program it to bring up whatever you want... for me it would be the Workout App.
     
  9. sean000 macrumors 6502a

    sean000

    Joined:
    Jul 16, 2015
    Location:
    Bellingham, WA
    #9
    I find the digital crown to be very useful, although I agree that it would look nice and be more universal for left/right hand wear if it were moved to the center of the edge.

    I don't really have a problem with the torque effect. It feels natural to place my thumb on one side as I use the index finger to press the crown or button on the other.

    I really like the current shape of the watch, but I wouldn't be opposed to giving a round face a try... and the edge soft-buttons could be interesting as long as they aren't difficult to hit.

    The Apple Pay/Contacts/Power button does seem under-utilized. I never use it to call up contacts. My wife is the person I text with the most, so I just go to the iMessage app on the watch and our message thread is already open. I pretty much only use the button for Apple Pay. If I could re-program the single-press function to do something besides bring up contacts, I would program it to do something like open my most recent app or press and hold to briefly display the time and then return to the open app when released.

    While I think the app screen is pretty clever, looks cool and is easy enough for me to use; I would like to have some way to easily go back to my most recent app. I am probably just going to reorganize my apps so I have my few most frequently used ones showing...and less frequently used ones below.
     
  10. friedmud macrumors 65816

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    Jul 11, 2008
    #10
    You should be able to get back to your most recent App by double-clicking the Crown.
     
  11. sean000, Aug 11, 2015
    Last edited: Aug 11, 2015

    sean000 macrumors 6502a

    sean000

    Joined:
    Jul 16, 2015
    Location:
    Bellingham, WA
    #11
    Hey thanks for the tip! I didn't realize that and I guess I didn't read the manual very closely either :)

    I'm about a month into owning the watch and I'm already sold on how useful it is, so at this point it's nice to learn something new that makes it even more useful and convenient!

    Sean

    PS: This kind of illustrates the problem with some of the negative reviews out there. It takes time to get to know new technology. I have about 20 years of experience in the IT industry testing, implementing, documenting, troubleshooting and training folks on new technology. If I am still learning the finer details a month into owning it, no wonder there are so many negative Apple Watch reviews out there that are based on less than two weeks of usage. In many cases it is clear that the reviewer has not spent enough time using the Apple Watch to describe it with a useful degree of accuracy and knowledge.
     
  12. Mac2me macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jun 10, 2015
    #12
    Sorry after using my Apple Watch for a few months now, I'm actually pretty happy with it's layout and mechanisms. I like the rectangular face for viewing info. Seen plenty of rounds and they all look stupid IMO with text cut off and requiring more scrolling. A round face also makes it difficult to physically locate what's important to the watch, like the buttons (crown and button) and the speaker and mic. They do have to actually put components inside there. Which is probably why so many of the android watches are so gigantic looking.

    I personally like the look of a crown on the watch instead of a button and like both the crown and button on the same side. It's the go-to-side for functions, no thought required. I'm still waiting for my slower than molasses credit card company (part of Wells Fargo actually, shame on them for not bringing all to Apple Pay at the same time) to update to Apple Pay but once they do (if I don't switch banks before then) I will be using the button for Apple Pay whenever I can. Been swept up in several big name company customer info hackings and not pleased at all about that. Keep seeing more and more institutions and retailers offering it which I think is great (RiteAid today, hopefully CVS tomorrow...). So for me the button will be very useful. Right now I have all the people I call or contact the most listed as Friends. Easy way to call them or send a text. I do use Siri a lot to send an iMessage to my hubby but if I didn't want to speak out loud with the commands for one reason or another (in quiet area where I don't want to disturb someone near me OR in a noisy area where it might be hard to get Siri's attention), the Friends button as I have it set up is actually very useful.
     
  13. Mac2me macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jun 10, 2015
    #13
    I might be wrong but I thought I read at one time that you could set the double click to either go to the last app or go to the clock face. Can't find where I remember this from (I did at one time sit down and look over the Apple Watch Guide so maybe in there) but recall setting the clock face as it would be what I would probably use the most. I do think Apple gave people an option though. Anyone?

    It is amazing what you can learn by reading the Guide :eek:. I've learned a lot from people on here too like adding the apple logo, creating a good watch face for going to the movies, etc.
     
  14. Night Spring macrumors G5

    Night Spring

    Joined:
    Jul 17, 2008
    #14
    I know that you can set "raise wrist" to either go to clock face or to last app. I don't think you can change the double click behavior.
     
  15. friedmud macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Jul 11, 2008
    #15
    Glad it helped!

    Double clicking the Crown technically switches back and forth between the two most recent "Apps". It is really normal for one of those to be the watch face... so you can usually double-click the crown to go from the watch face to your last used app... then double-click the Crown again to go _back_ to the watch face (and repeat as much as you like!)

    The only case where that doesn't happen is if you open two apps in a row without visiting the watch face. Then, double-clicking the Crown will send you back and forth between the two apps.

    In this case, to get back to the watch face you can use your hand to cover the screen. That will turn the screen off and the next time you turn it on (by touching the screen or clicking the Crown) it will be on the watch face. Then you can double-click the Crown again to go back to the last app you were in... and double-click again to go back to the watch face like normal.

    That last bit (covering the screen to get back to the watch face) is dependent on whether you have Settings->General->"Activate on Wrist Raise"->"Resume To" set to "Clock Face". If you have it set to "Last Used App" then covering the screen with your hand will simply turn off the screen. Reactivating the screen will still bring you back to the same App... and then you can double-click the Crown to continue jumping back and forth between the last two Apps you had open.

    On the topic of reviewing the Watch: It got dinged quite a bit for a lack of intuitiveness to the interface... I _do_ believe that the above few paragraphs explaining the behavior of double-clicking the Crown kind of demonstrates that that is true... to a point. Once you get used to it all you can do quite a lot really fast ;-)
     
  16. maflynn Moderator

    maflynn

    Staff Member

    Joined:
    May 3, 2009
    Location:
    Boston
    #16
    Tbh, I have no armchair quarterbacking advice. I like how everything works and a lot of times making a simple, single change has a profound impact on other things. For instance, pushing the glass in so that its flush with the watch, that decreases the available space inside for the components and I suspect its pretty tight in there.
     
  17. jasie02 macrumors 6502a

    jasie02

    Joined:
    Sep 18, 2014
    #17
    Here is my question, which smartwatch+smarwatch_os is better than AW+watchOS2, specially once watchOS 2 release with native app support, direct wifi connect, custom complications, & time travel, etc…?
    Until there is a new smartwatch+smarwatch_os is better than AW+watchOS2, AW will still be king, with 75%+ smartwatch market share, without any change needed. Regardless how beautiful or how ugly it is.
     
  18. Rogifan macrumors P6

    Rogifan

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    Nov 14, 2011
    #18
    I actually like the digital crown. I use it with the music app/glance all the time. My guess is it will become more useful with things like time lapse and when developers have access to it.

    What I love most about the watch is it seems like the first one designed with women in mind. All the Android Wear watches are so big because they have to be in order to fit content on the screen.
     
  19. sean000 macrumors 6502a

    sean000

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    Jul 16, 2015
    Location:
    Bellingham, WA
    #19
    Even with Watch OS 1 the Apple Watch raised the bar on what is a state-of-the-art smarwatch, and it will be an even more solid lead after iOS-9 and Watch OS-2 are officially released. Looks are subjective, but I personally think it's the best looking smartwatch on the market and it looks great with a variety of watch band styles, colors and materials. Not all of us want big bulky watches, and there are plenty of smartwatch options for those who do.

    Competition in this area will be interesting...especially if Apple adds some capability for working with Android phones and/or if they open up the iOS platform to be a bit more friendly to third-party smartwatches. There are already plenty of iPhone users who are fine with the more limited features of the Pebble Time. If future Pebble Time's are able to do even more with iOS, then things will get interesting. Of course Apple would rather sell Apple Watches to iOS users, so I don't see them allowing third party watches like Pebble to do much more on iOS. Still, a Pebble Time or Pebble Steel will be a better option for some folks who care more about readability in bright sun or longer battery life.

    The interesting thing about the smartwatch market is that aesthetics are still important, just as they are with conventional watches, but the feature set is crucial. Not everyone will need or want the more advanced feature set of the Apple Watch, and there are currently better options for those who just care about fitness tracking and nothing else. Fitness tracking is important to me, but not nearly as important as third party apps, silent notifications, and the ability to send or reply to a text message or schedule a reminder or appointment using Siri. I think my Fiitbit One is actually a better fitness tracker, but the Apple Watch is greater than the sum of its parts. How big is the market for people like us vs people who just want a fitness tracker? Right now fitness trackers are really popular, and they were kind of geeky niche market gadgets just a few years ago. People discovered the benefits of devices like the Fitbit over time by seeing how their friends and family used them. The same will happen with the Apple Watch and other smartwatches... but the Apple Watch will continue to have the biggest draw. I do think it's cool that there are analog watches with smart features, and so many interesting and clever designs out there (like the Moto 360); but the Apple Watch is definitely the most feature-rich option out there.

    Sean
     
  20. Skoal macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Nov 4, 2009
    #20
    I'd be surprised if this wasn't added in future releases. Nice thing about the AW is that it's in its infancy. I can imagine all sorts of awesomeness in future Gen versions. I'm struggling to not just buy one now :)
     
  21. Mw0103 macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Feb 22, 2014
    #21
    Re: getting back to the watch face. A shortcut that works every time is three successive presses of the crown--(1) takes you out of your app to the app screen--(2) centers the app screen on the clock app--(3) opens the clock. It's not a quick "triple click," but instead three clicks with half-second pauses in between.
     
  22. Exile714 macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jan 14, 2015
    #22
    I get occasional false-presses of the crown when I bend my wrist. Can you imagine how often it would go off if it were a digital touch input rather than a physical one?
     
  23. BarracksSi macrumors 68040

    BarracksSi

    Joined:
    Jul 14, 2015
    #23
    Noooooo! Let me express my rather emphatic "No!" to this suggestion.

    Here's my Garmin 410, now discontinued, which is much how you describe -- scroll by swiping your finger around the bezel, select functions by tapping, and going into different sections by pressing and holding (such as "time only" by pressing the top edge).
    ImageUploadedByTapatalk1439405563.641660.jpg

    I despise its touch interface. I really do. Garmin doesn't make touch-sensitive models anymore, either.

    It's unreliable with dry fingers, it's horrible with sweaty fingers. The screen is too small to show enough text, too, which only shows that a rectangular screen is much better for smartwatch-type tasks.

    The touch bezel was cool in the store, but if I could go back in time, I would get one of the lesser models with regular side buttons. Maybe I wouldn't be considering ditching it.
     
  24. jasie02, Aug 12, 2015
    Last edited: Aug 12, 2015

    jasie02 macrumors 6502a

    jasie02

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    Sep 18, 2014
    #24
    I think AW will never be compatible to Android. Only work with iOS is advantage not disadvantage for Apple revenue and stay as luxury brand point of view. Apple has no intention to have 100% smart watch market, in fact, for any luxury brand item, which Apple products are, most of them do NOT want to own 100% of market, because it means they will have to satisfy both high-end and value-focus customer. With few exception, lots if not most of Android phone customer look for value added. More feature for the $$ pay. Value-focus is more important than being the top of the quality on build, look, and feel. Just as same as Rolex will never interested on selling new watch less than $1000 or get 100% mechanical watch market, or Porsche will never be interested on selling new sports car less than $20,000 or get 100% sports car market.

    Edited: With regarding battery life, AW last 1-2 days full function, same or more than all iPhone released, and 72 hrs extra when running low and switch to power reserve mode. AW is accessory (definition of accessory: something added to something else to make it more useful, attractive, or effective) for iPhone, not as stand along smart watch. Apple never sell it as stand along device. Most of us charge our iPhone nightly, unless forgot same as we will forgot to charge iPhone, why does an accessory of iPhone need to have longer full function battery life than the master device? It is not a direct mechanical watch replacement. It is a smart watch could do 1000 more things than mechanical watch, and happen to be able to tell time also so one does not have too wear mechanical watch. If one feel the need to have a device to tell time without have to charge daily, one could always wear both, one wrist with AW and another wrist with mechanical watch.
     
  25. Mac2me, Aug 12, 2015
    Last edited: Aug 12, 2015

    Mac2me macrumors 6502a

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    Jun 10, 2015
    #25

    I'm actually surprised that I haven't seen any ads/commercials directed to women. Apart from the smaller sized face available (I have a larger wrist so went with the 42mm), if you are a woman who carries your phone in a purse, having the watch is such a wonderful thing. Can't count the times I haven't gotten to my buried phone in time or couldn't hear the ring. My husband keeps his watch in his front jeans pocket so maybe that is a bit more convenient to pull out than for me but still having the immediate access to the time, notifications, etc. is just nice.

    Back to the original question, Now can you imagine trying to do things on a round faced watch that would be compatible in size to the 38mm ones?
     

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