Square vs Round Screen - Edited image is surprising

Discussion in 'Apple Watch' started by Piggie, Mar 14, 2015.

  1. Piggie macrumors G3


    Feb 23, 2010
    I know many here are keen on saying again and again how round is no good for text, and text gets cut off.

    However, upon some quick photoshopping on my part :) the watch as it is now, you may be surprised.

    If say the Apple watch had minimal bezel around the screen.
    Let's say like a Moto360, and still kept the exact same sized text and graphics is does now.

    You may be shocked to see how little physical size difference there would be, to keep all on screen text exactly the same, and when round it actually offers MORE screen real estate to display more text/graphics in, for a watch that is not really any larger at all.

    And, if I am brutally honest, I would prefer, myself, the version on the right.

    They are both to same scale, no cheating, just changing the screen shape and bezel size.

  2. iPad Air macrumors regular

    Oct 24, 2013
    SC, USA
  3. troop231 macrumors 603

    Jan 20, 2010
    It's pretty obvious from the band connector/mechanism they've designed that they won't be going to a round screen any time soon.
  4. iPad Air macrumors regular

    Oct 24, 2013
    SC, USA
  5. Armen macrumors 604


    Apr 30, 2013
    Los Angeles
    Square bordered text in a round display just doesn't look right. It's wasting screen real estate also.
  6. JonMPLS macrumors 65816

    May 23, 2010
  7. iPad Air macrumors regular

    Oct 24, 2013
    SC, USA
    The only thing that would be able to take advantage of the round screen strictly from a UI standpoint would be the home screen. That could fill the screen well. But, other than that, apps cannot practically fill the round screen.


    This is true. Again, apps UI would have to be designed in a strange way to fill that screen
  8. ancns macrumors member

    Aug 10, 2012
  9. Piggie thread starter macrumors G3


    Feb 23, 2010
    It's personal taste I grant you, and I agree they won't be going round, for some time, if at all.

    However, I just wished to show people, (with my basic photoshopping)
    How a round screen can display just as much text/graphics as the current square shape, in facet even give more area to display things.

    And the old "round cuts text off" argument, really does not hold up, as this shows clearly without the round watch needing to be physically any larger really. Just designed differently.
  10. Zerozal macrumors 6502

    Apr 3, 2009
  11. Night Spring, Mar 14, 2015
    Last edited: Mar 14, 2015

    Night Spring macrumors G5

    Night Spring

    Jul 17, 2008
    I think you left out the band attachment part from the round design. The watch body will have to be longer to attach bands, I would think.

    Also, don't like the empty spaces in the circle, but I suppose that is a matter of taste.

    And finally, there's a reason why the watch has bezels -- not being an engineer I don't know what the reasons are, but comon sense tells me Apple would have built a watch with smaller or no bezels if it was technologically feasible. Which means that they cannot build a circular watch of that size today, without putting in at least some bezel, which would make the circular watch significantly larger in order to accommodate that much text.
  12. Piggie thread starter macrumors G3


    Feb 23, 2010
    Well, remember, this space would only be there for simple text display.
    Even now, a lot of apples graphics are circular.
    The circular app icons
    The circulare friends contact area
    The circular Heath display thing
    And of course the circular watch faces, which is the main screen for if after all.

    If you place the round items, already in the current apple watch, onto the right hand round version, which as a device is really no larger, you would be amazed how much larger they look and fill the screen so much better.

    I did this mainly to show that a round screen does not have to chop off text as people keep saying. For pretty much the same sized actual device, with a little ui tweaking it can offer much more screen to see and use.:)


    I really don't know about bezels.

    All I can say is that Motorola was able to do it, albeit with a small inactive area at the bottom of their screen, and that was a whole year ago.
    Given apples money, recourses and design skills, plus a whole exta year to work on the problem, I would not think it impossible that apple was unable to improve on motorollas work.
  13. kmj2318 macrumors 68000


    Aug 22, 2007
    Naples, FL
    A round case doesn't have anything intrinsically special about it. It's just the sensible for analog. For a screen to be round, you either need to have the content in a square that wastes space and looks bad, or blow it out to the edge and cut off content.

    If watches never existed up to this point in time, being round wouldn't matter. If we decided to strap a screen to the wrist without the legacy of analog watches, we'd never think to make it round.
  14. 8CoreWhore macrumors 68020


    Jan 17, 2008
    Big D
    Round watches look good because the hands sweep in a circle. The Watch has a rectangle screen, so there'd be lots of wasted space.

    It'd be cool to design your own body, and CNC it, and swap out the movement. I'd like one made from bubinga with a croc band.

    I bet people will share CNC files for replacement bodies online. Want silver? Titanium? Wood? You pick a design, or make your own, then upload it to a site that does milling, they mail you the replacement.
  15. MarcoCapa macrumors regular

    Jun 16, 2013
    Very nice idea! I rally want a crocodile band for watch!

    Another thing to consider for future generation Apple watch: free form display from sharp.... Check out
  16. matrix07 macrumors 601


    Jun 24, 2010
    Is bezel as thin as that possible?

    And if Apple comes out with the wasted space on both sides and the top, they will get hanged. The interface doesn't look balance. If it's round like that, the interface designed would be larger to get use of the real estate more. And then we'd get the same problem all the Android Wear devices got: texts got cut off.

    You can solve the problem of text being cut off by shrinking the interface, so to speak, but from the design perspective it'll always be a bad interface.
  17. P4ulypops macrumors member


    Jun 4, 2014
    Web Developer
    It's a very interesting show of Space, but perhaps another thing to consider is developers are used to squares, and this is a very developer-focused device... All the main AndroidWare demos I've seen are basically "What can google do?", where as the apple ones are "What can Devs do?"

    Also, every pixel counts when it comes to battery.

    The whole "horological vocabulary " thing would make you think that round is better, but watches were only round because of the mechanical hands; and that design got entrenched in "watch". If the whole thing was called "Wrist Computer", and the word Watch was never mentioned, then Round would make less sence.

    Fantastic point / demonstration you've made though.
  18. Mikes1 macrumors member


    Feb 21, 2015
    Whilst it may be more pleasing to the eye I see two problems. The very thin bezel Apple don't normaly put the screen that close to the edge of a device
    That would look a lot bigger on the wrist as the overall area is significantly greater
    Very nice Photoshoping though :cool:
  19. BvizioN macrumors 601


    Mar 16, 2012
    Manchester, UK
    Good photoshoping skill. It doesn't look bad, just not a big fan of having all that wasted blank screen around it. Makes it look bigger then it is.
  20. Michael CM1 macrumors 603

    Feb 4, 2008
    As someone who has designed many, many publication pages and some website pages as well, I have explained this to people. Freakin' round displays would be some sort of hellish nightmare in design. Basically what it would be is developers extending the screen out so a larger rectangle is their design field and then knowing where the actual round screen would crop things off. Therefore, extra work and extra file size for a lot of stuff that would get cropped.

    The only advantage I can think of with a round screen is performing tasks that would mimic a standard analog watch face. Since the whole point of this $350 device is to be more than a watch, I find that kind of silly and moot.
  21. yegon macrumors 68030

    Oct 20, 2007
    A smart watch with a round screen is hardware skeuomorphism (sp?) at its worst. I'd say exactly the same thing if the Apple Watch was round.
  22. Piggie thread starter macrumors G3


    Feb 23, 2010
    So what about putting a fake pretend watch winder dial on the side of a tiny computer?

    Or, what about displaying fake watch hands and a fake dial on the screen, when there is zero need to display the time EVER in that way, Letters, Numbers, Words being the easiest way for a human to tell the time, and the ONLY reason for watch hands is due to a ancient mechanical movement.

    A pretend face and hands must be the BIGGEST level of Skeuomorphism in the world.

    You can't pick and choose. There is far far more skeuomorphism going on, as it is, irrespective of the shape of the display. :D
  23. fousfous macrumors regular

    Jan 11, 2015
    Yeah, I will never use an analog face, indeed people with analog watch are more late that people with number face.
  24. yegon, Mar 15, 2015
    Last edited: Mar 15, 2015

    yegon macrumors 68030

    Oct 20, 2007

    I agree! The digital crowns worth is yet to be determined, while hands for time is age old and it could be argued, not necessarily by me, hands vs numbers is subjective and can be related to aesthetics.

    There's lots of skeuomorphism going on here unquestionably, but a round screen is a step too far imo and would actually damage the experience.
  25. Chupa Chupa macrumors G5

    Chupa Chupa

    Jul 16, 2002
    The picture makes an excellent case for why the Apple Watch isn't round. A lot of un-natural empty space in the round one. I have the same problem w/ my Garmin 620, but that one only gets worn during runs so I don't really care. It serves my purpose.

Share This Page

328 March 14, 2015