The Verge "What if the Apple Watch were round?"


H.Finch

macrumors regular
Jun 9, 2013
149
75
This is what it should have been if you ask me. The current one will be the first new Apple product I won't buy.
 

BvizioN

macrumors 601
Mar 16, 2012
4,953
2,749
Manchester, UK
It does show the elements of UI that do match the round design but it doesn't show like 90% of other stuff that doesn't!! Typical!
 

Nebrie

macrumors 6502a
Jan 5, 2002
573
65
The problem is that design would need a cut-out for the sensors and have a 4 hour battery life. Also, that crown would be impossible to use.
 

Monique1

macrumors regular
Aug 6, 2014
153
29
Like I said months ago... Apple just found a way to repurpose their surplus of iPod Nano's.
 

MathiasVH

macrumors regular
Nov 7, 2009
146
4
Can people shut up with the Apple Watch being beautiful and stylish now?

This is what Apple should have released. At the very least. What they presented is a shame of a product, looks to a round watch what the first iPhone prototypes looked like to the final product.

Hate when people mentions Steve. But I firmly believe that he would have been outraged if his people had shown him this and said: "This will be our final product". No way. No way.
 

kdarling

macrumors P6
Oh, this is SO easy to predict:

Just as with larger screens, there will be a square versus round debate for years.

- Apple will start out dissing round displays, saying they chose the correct display shape from thousands of prototypes.

- Over time, round displays will begin to steal Apple Watch sales.

- Cook will begin to hedge his statements, switching to saying that round displays "aren't ready yet", while millions of them are sold around the world.

- To no one's surprise, Apple will come out with the "beautiful new" round Apple Watch.

And the cycle will be complete.
 

Lord Hamsa

macrumors 6502a
Jul 16, 2013
595
414
I think round poses issues that may take a longtime to figure out properly, if ever.

First off is the space issue. A square vs. a circle with the former's side length equal to the latter's radius offers more surface area by a 4 : 3.14159... ratio (circle is about 22% less). That means less room for internals, most notably, the battery, unless you make it correspondingly thicker, which ruins the design aesthetic.

Second is the display issue. There may be a certain elegance in going with a circular workspace, but it's unfamiliar territory for most developers, who have become accustomed to rectangular display areas.

Maybe, at some point in the future, the technology is advanced enough for round to make sense, and if that ever happens, Apple may make a round watch. That doesn't mean they were wrong not to make one now.
 

MathiasVH

macrumors regular
Nov 7, 2009
146
4
I think round poses issues that may take a longtime to figure out properly, if ever.

First off is the space issue. A square vs. a circle with the former's side length equal to the latter's radius offers more surface area by a 4 : 3.14159... ratio (circle is about 22% less). That means less room for internals, most notably, the battery, unless you make it correspondingly thicker, which ruins the design aesthetic.

Second is the display issue. There may be a certain elegance in going with a circular workspace, but it's unfamiliar territory for most developers, who have become accustomed to rectangular display areas.

Maybe, at some point in the future, the technology is advanced enough for round to make sense, and if that ever happens, Apple may make a round watch. That doesn't mean they were wrong not to make one now.
Nope. Not true. While square displays are usually more spacious, it's not the case with watches. Just look at the Moto 360. Or at any regular, analogue watches - round watches almost always have bigger watch faces - a square watch can easily look huge on your wrist, round watches are more appropriate.

Battery is a non-issue. If Motorola can deliver 1 full day of battery, Apple, being the company in the world with most experience in advanced mobile batteries and efficiency, should be able to squeeze even more out of it.

The developer-argument is probably the strongest. BUT. This is a new product category just like the iPhone was. Apple managed to create a totally new developer platform when they released the iPhone, they can easily do that again.
 

Andropov

macrumors regular
May 3, 2012
209
24
Spain
There's a reason for displays not being round in computers, mobile phones and tablets. That reason doesn't change when the display is smaller.

Actually it aggravates the problem. The very top and bottom would be useless, because you can't fit text there, so you'd end up with a smaller display (circles have less area, as someone explained above) where you can't really use about a 20% for anything but photos. And the bigger the size of the text has to be compared to the radius of the circle, the bigger the problem becomes.
 

MathiasVH

macrumors regular
Nov 7, 2009
146
4
There's a reason for displays not being round in computers, mobile phones and tablets. That reason doesn't change when the display is smaller.

Actually it aggravates the problem. The very top and bottom would be useless, because you can't fit text there, so you'd end up with a smaller display (circles have less area, as someone explained above) where you can't really use about a 20% for anything but photos. And the bigger the size of the text has to be compared to the radius of the circle, the bigger the problem becomes.
Just quoting you to make sure I can find it again and return to you when Apple does make a round watch in a year.
 

bransoj

macrumors 6502a
Jul 31, 2013
929
216
Dont get the need for it to be round as i've said elsewhere...i've three watches of which two are square (one digital and one analogue\digital) and one round (analogue only..sort of).

I can agree that a watch with a proper clockface is better suited to a round display but this isnt the case with this Apple Watch. I actually dont like the Moto one...doesnt look right for some reason in the pics i've seen of it.
 

mainer4101

macrumors member
Jun 19, 2013
94
33
Thinking of it as a "watch" is why people feel it should be round. Watches look very nice when they're round, you'll get no argument from me. This is not a watch. This is a "smart wearable" that you wear on your wrist. It has an entire UI and requires so many more functions than just telling time. Anything that has a screen and requires a user to interact, manipulate, and read from it will be square. A circular device will not be pleasant to interact with and will not be intuitive.
 

douglasf13

macrumors 68000
Jul 2, 2010
1,601
777
Why would a computer on the wrist be round like an analogue watch? The only reason this round version looks good is because it is half as thin as the Watch, which isn't possible, yet.
 

Andropov

macrumors regular
May 3, 2012
209
24
Spain
Just for the record. This is what happens when you try to fit text in three different displays: the first one, a square display; the second one, a rounded display of the same size (let's say both are 2" displays); and the third one a smaller, rectangular display (let's say 1,5").



The rounded display is the worst. So let's try with buttons, another extremely common UI object.



Doesn't get any better. You can only fit three buttons (instead of four) and you have to make them shorter than in both the square display of the same size and the rectangular (smaller display). Of course, you can make the button in the middle longer, but why would you want one of the buttons to be bigger than the others?

Let's try with a list. You'll need a list at some point right? IE, when you need to select a song from an album you want to listen.



Ew. Doesn't look good at all.


Yes, you can design new interfaces, but I doubt you can make one without buttons, text or lists usable. You'll need to display text. One of the main features is that it displays a notification (with text) when you get it on your iPhone. So why would them choose the option that displays LESS text from all the options available?

If you think it's possible to solve this problems, please explain me how.
 

dannyyankou

macrumors G3
Mar 2, 2012
8,591
12,493
Scarsdale, NY
But imagine the round concept 3x thicker. All the sensors and technology wouldn't be able to fit in a watch that thin. I think a thick square watch looks better than a thick circular watch.
 

Meister

Suspended
Oct 10, 2013
5,455
4,265
Just for the record. This is what happens when you try to fit text in three different displays: the first one, a square display; the second one, a rounded display of the same size (let's say both are 2" displays); and the third one a smaller, rectangular display (let's say 1,5").

Image

The rounded display is the worst. So let's try with buttons, another extremely common UI object.

Image

Doesn't get any better. You can only fit three buttons (instead of four) and you have to make them shorter than in both the square display of the same size and the rectangular (smaller display). Of course, you can make the button in the middle longer, but why would you want one of the buttons to be bigger than the others?

Let's try with a list. You'll need a list at some point right? IE, when you need to select a song from an album you want to listen.

Image

Ew. Doesn't look good at all.


Yes, you can design new interfaces, but I doubt you can make one without buttons, text or lists usable. You'll need to display text. One of the main features is that it displays a notification (with text) when you get it on your iPhone. So why would them choose the option that displays LESS text from all the options available?

If you think it's possible to solve this problems, please explain me how.
Thank you for posting what I thought.
Another problem: how would you develope more elaborate apps on a tiny round display?