Apple's work on circular screens could lead to round-face Apple Watch

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Comments

  • Reply 21 of 80
    mike1mike1 Posts: 3,316member
    If it were possibly destined for a Watch, there's nothing wrong with having a choice for those who prefer the round aesthetic.
    mac_128
  • Reply 22 of 80
    rogifan_newrogifan_new Posts: 4,297member
    Other than aesthetic appeal, which is in the eye of the beholder, it seems a round watch display offers no advantages over a rectangular display.  The imperative for a round face went away with circular mechanical movements, and I doubt Apple will revive it for the wrist-mounted computer we call the Apple Watch.  

    Looking at the 2016 patent filing date, it seems as though the patent could be related more to the rounded corners of the iPhone X.  Apple may simply have illustrated the patent with the obvious application in order to obfuscate its true purpose.  
    Seems to me the only reason for a round smart watch is like you say, aesthetic. I find it interesting that Apple definitely looked to the watch industry when designing Apple Watch (especially around the bands) but didn’t go the Android OEM route of trying to make something that looked like a traditional watch. I think that was smart. IMO Apple Watch appeals most to people who don’t wear a watch and I’ll bet most of the people wearing Apple Watches right now didn’t previously wear anything on their wrist.
    king editor the grateronnradarthekatapplesnoranges
  • Reply 23 of 80
    badmonkbadmonk Posts: 1,317member
    It makes sense that this work is more likely to be used for an AR/VR headset than the watch.
    ronn
  • Reply 24 of 80
    auxioauxio Posts: 2,744member
    MplsP said:

    A square face is associated more with tech than with sophistication. Even now, when I dress up, I put my analog watch on simply because it looks better, even though it’s only a $45 Timex.
    I have no problem with putting the link bracelet on my Apple Watch and wearing it with a nice suit.  The lines blend well with the cuff.  People ask about and comment on it all the time as many have only seen the sport or leather bands.
    ronnwatto_cobra
  • Reply 25 of 80
    patchythepiratepatchythepirate Posts: 1,254member
    This would be a rounding error.

    However I have found the best song for Apple to use if they release a round Watch: The Beach Boys' I Get Around: "Round round get around, I get around, Yeah, Get around round round I get around, I get around". Maybe with this extra lyric: "My buddies and me are getting real well known, Yeah, the SQUARE guys know us and they leave us alone."
    Lol. And good call on the song.

    Getting out my Apple crystal ball:
    -Apple will come out with a round watch face with flat sides this year (i.e. rectangle with rounded corners, a la the iPhone X).
    -Apple will release an actually round watch, but not for at least a couple years
    -Round watch face will be limited to special editions, i.e. at the level of the current stainless steel line and above, or possibly even limit it to the Edition models

    Also, still waiting for a titanium or liquid metal version! (Holding onto my Nike Series 2 in the meantime).
    edited May 2018
  • Reply 26 of 80
    Ummmm. It’s a watch, but not for your wrist. Apple will be introducing Apple PocketWatch in September. Slightly larger screen, bringing Apple love and technology to retro elegance. 
  • Reply 27 of 80
    jonbaizejonbaize Posts: 2member
    During the original Apple Watch announcement Apple said they had worked on a round face but ditched it because it wasn’t ideal for usability. This patent is probably just related to that work. I don’t think we will be seeing a round face, at least not on the watch.
    ronnradarthekatwatto_cobra
  • Reply 28 of 80
    macguimacgui Posts: 2,384member
    mike1 said:
    If it were possibly destined for a Watch, there's nothing wrong with having a choice for those who prefer the round aesthetic.
    This ^ .

    Most people seem to have their heads so far up their asses that they forget about choice and preferences. There are are far more round watches than square, rectangular, whatever. I like the Apple Watches and have a few. But I'd also like some round ones.

    Ignoring for the moment the article doesn't mean there will ever be a round Apple Watch.

    But if there were, there's no reason there wouldn't be both forms. Apple wouldn't replace the current rectangle with round. But adding one wouldn't be an issue.

    Yes, there would be some compromise with round. So what. Not every watch has to have the same features. We make compromises in product selection every day. Sometimes a product is exactly what we want, without compromise. But even the current Apple Watch is fraught with compromise. And some of us accept and buy, others don't. Choice.

    Apple is no stranger to the balance of fashion vs function. The 2015/16 MacBook is only one example. Android users can point out a number of compromises Apple has made with iPhones. How about releasing a phone with no Copy/Paste functionality?

    Round is not bad. It may not be as good for some as a rectangle, but it's not bad. I do like the look of an analog watch.

    IF Apple made a round Watch, it would be in addition to the current shape. Many would whine that it's not as efficient as the current flavor. And many would like it enough to buy it. And the brouhaha would die, like it always does.


    mac_128
  • Reply 29 of 80
    macguimacgui Posts: 2,384member

    jonbaize said:
    During the original Apple Watch announcement Apple said they had worked on a round face but ditched it because it wasn’t ideal for usability. 
    That's not surprising, given that it's going to be the first and basically only design from Apple. Best foot forward and all.

    But once the Watch becomes ubiquitous, then it's time for a change. There is just so much you can do with one shape and keep selling Watches.

    Apple will eventually saturate the case and band market. A round Watch seems like a natural addition, at some point in time. The second car doesn't have to be the same as the first, and usually isn't. Same with watches. Many of us own more than one because we don't wear the same one every day.

    Whether or not we see a round Watch, Apple could do a lot with it, and would sell a great deal of them.


    mac_128
  • Reply 30 of 80
    SoliSoli Posts: 10,038member
    mike1 said:
    If it were possibly destined for a Watch, there's nothing wrong with having a choice for those who prefer the round aesthetic.
    There's a lot wrong with it. The cost to create an entirely new UI and the cost for developers to support this entirely new UI is high. There's a reason why Apple is so selective about how it changes their display sizes and aspect ratios for iOS-based devices. This is not something you jump into willy-nilly.
    edited May 2018 fastasleepronnwatto_cobra
  • Reply 31 of 80
    fallenjtfallenjt Posts: 4,056member
    Apple probably has enough data to support this change after 3 years that no apps actually took advantage of the square face. Every app now on AW can actually be used in round screen without much compromise! I don’t see playing games on AW is even relevant!
  • Reply 32 of 80
    pscooter63pscooter63 Posts: 1,080member
    MplsP said:
    ...but I’m assuming Samsung has already patented that idea and I can’t see APple ever copying it.
    [cough cough] Click wheel [cough cough]
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 33 of 80
    gatorguygatorguy Posts: 24,356member
    Soli said:
    mike1 said:
    If it were possibly destined for a Watch, there's nothing wrong with having a choice for those who prefer the round aesthetic.
    There's a lot wrong with it. The cost to create an entire new UI and the cost for developers to support this entirely new UI is high. There's a reason why Apple is so selective about how it changes their display sizes and aspect ratios for iOS-based devices. This is not something you jump into willy-nilly.
    Done properly I don't think that it would require all that much additional effort on the part of developers to support both rectangular and round faces. Heck, how many resolutions, screen sizes, aspect ratios and even special considerations like notches does Apple make it relatively easy for developers to adapt to? 
    edited May 2018 mac_128
  • Reply 34 of 80
    SoliSoli Posts: 10,038member
    gatorguy said:
    Soli said:
    mike1 said:
    If it were possibly destined for a Watch, there's nothing wrong with having a choice for those who prefer the round aesthetic.
    There's a lot wrong with it. The cost to create an entire new UI and the cost for developers to support this entirely new UI is high. There's a reason why Apple is so selective about how it changes their display sizes and aspect ratios for iOS-based devices. This is not something you jump into willy-nilly.
    Done properly I don't think that it would require all that much additional effort on the part of developers to support both rectangular and round faces. 
    1) Done properly and -and not a lot of effort usually aren't paired together. Are you saying that if they put a lot of effort into doing it properly it couldn't be done properly?

    2) You can look at the history of iPhone resolution, size, and aspect ratio changes to see very deliberate stepping and the amount of effort Apple puts into Xcode to make this as easy as possible for developers to support. None of it looks like it was only a little bit of effort.
    edited May 2018 ronnwatto_cobra
  • Reply 35 of 80
    stanhopestanhope Posts: 160member
    ... this is great news to me... Is the archetype for watches (and pure form) well established and does the chicklet (while functional) smack of computer geek no matter how much gold someone paid for... ?
    Cartier Santos...nuff said
  • Reply 36 of 80
    A round face watch??? WTF....I love my rectangular Watch face and Lug-less Watch bands...That's what makes an Apple Watch an Apple Watch! Lugged Leather Watch Bands....?? are you kidding me???? High quality Silicon Watch bands make the watch feel like it's not even there...
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 37 of 80
    night9hawknight9hawk Posts: 104member
    Soli said:
    While round has an aesthetic appeal for a watch, I think that ship has sailed.

    I’d like to see the Watch display get a wider aspect ratio as there’s a lot of real estate on the lower arm and it would allow for better I/O which would improve its overall utility, but I think that’a still likely years away.
    Watches were round primarily because they use to be analog devices that made use of of the curved surface. In actuality there's no need for round other than for a "retro" sort of look. Otherwise it's a waste.
    ronnradarthekatwatto_cobra
  • Reply 38 of 80
    mac_128mac_128 Posts: 3,454member
    tulkas said:
    Rayz2016 said:
    Mmm. 

    Sounds like a lot of complexity and a lot of compromises.  
    Yup. There is a good reason we don't use round smart phone, TVs and monitors. Round displays are not optimal for for most/all media types, but especially for text over one or two words. 

    Nope. That has nothing to do with it. Jony Ive himself is on record saying the watch was designed and intended for glances, anything more and the user should pull out their phone. Ergo, the watch is meant to convey short messages, which can easily be accomplished on round or square. It's not intended to read page after page of text, or watch movies for that matter. As for round displays, that would actually solve a lot of problems with respect to modern aspect ratios and the rise of the vertical screen. There are round mirrors, picture frames and a host of other decorator items, which translate to personal taste and fashion that have nothing to do with practicality. Moreover, a round smart phone would take up too much room in a pocket, making it a poor choice given its function. As Jony Ive said, once a customer wears something, they have the expectation of choice. So Apple knows full well the importance of making the wearable meet their customers expectations.

    jonbaize said:
    During the original Apple Watch announcement Apple said they had worked on a round face but ditched it because it wasn’t ideal for usability. This patent is probably just related to that work. I don’t think we will be seeing a round face, at least not on the watch.

    I applaud Apple for going with a rectangular design -- they were entering an unproven field, where there were already round designs from the competition, which were not done well (i.e. the flat tire on the Motorola). The UI required more thought, and effort by all parties, and especially developers whom they needed to quickly adopt the watch.  It also simplified the ability to offer text given the size limitations of the display. Finally there's the iconic connection with the iPhone, and iPad, identifying the watch as unmistakably Apple. So Apple chose to go with the design that made the most sense to launch a new product, rather than devote valuable resources at that time to create an entirely new approach and a learning curve for all involved. They did not rule out ever bringing a round watch to market. They made the smart initial choice, and have been refining it, and making it successful prior to expanding the product offerings.
    gatorguy said:
    Soli said:
    mike1 said:
    If it were possibly destined for a Watch, there's nothing wrong with having a choice for those who prefer the round aesthetic.
    There's a lot wrong with it. The cost to create an entire new UI and the cost for developers to support this entirely new UI is high. There's a reason why Apple is so selective about how it changes their display sizes and aspect ratios for iOS-based devices. This is not something you jump into willy-nilly.
    Done properly I don't think that it would require all that much additional effort on the part of developers to support both rectangular and round faces. Heck, how many resolutions, screen sizes, aspect ratios and even special considerations like notches does Apple make it relatively easy for developers to adapt to? 
    Agreed. Just like the offering existing iPhone apps for the iPad by putting them within a letterbox to accommodate the different aspect ratio, existing watch apps would easily fit inside a round watch without compromise. Like the iPad, while not being aesthetically pleasing, it allows a quick adoption of third party apps. Meanwhile Apple would offer native apps with the round UI. They've obviously been working on a round UI for the HomePod, and as they interface becomes more complex, allows them to work out real world issues, including perhaps third party apps for it. Regardless, Apple would bring their usual intuitiveness to a round UI. Developers could chose to support it or no, but then they wouldn't really have to, just like they didn't with the iPad, until they saw a significant sales volume to do so. 
    night9hawk said:
    Soli said:
    While round has an aesthetic appeal for a watch, I think that ship has sailed.

    I’d like to see the Watch display get a wider aspect ratio as there’s a lot of real estate on the lower arm and it would allow for better I/O which would improve its overall utility, but I think that’a still likely years away.
    Watches were round primarily because they use to be analog devices that made use of of the curved surface. In actuality there's no need for round other than for a "retro" sort of look. Otherwise it's a waste.

    I'm not sure that's entirely true. Yes they are built into a case that minimized excess room around the round sweeping hands, but most clocks before that were in square cases. So it's just as much a design choice as a practical one. Since then there have been both round and square watches, with round seemingly the most popular choice. Again, tradition or style choice? I fail to see how its a waste. If one compares the current 42mm round watches to a current 42mm Apple watch,  the round watch has more space to display information. So in fact, not a waste. We'll see what happens after they make the display larger -- round watches will likely lose some of their advantage. But there are arguably still other advantages in choosing that shape over a square, including comfort, and style.


    edited May 2018 roundaboutnowavon b7
  • Reply 39 of 80
    cornchipcornchip Posts: 1,953member
    It seems the current form is pernt near perfect at allowing four complications to surround round dial. Quite savory. 
    Yeah, I agree. There are quite a few stylistically pleasing round watch faces to choose from, too. Then the four complications on the corners and/or one in the centre of the face somewhere and you can get a really cool look.

    I personally prefer the square design, but know several folks who would rather wait for an Apple-branded round one, and ignorantly refuse to even try on the square one because “watches are supposed to be round,” lol. Perhaps a round Apple Watch would be a sound business decision. I dunno...
    Another agreement here. A round face would completely upend the current complication strategy. The whole complication design strategy would have to be redesigned from scratch. I’ve been completely wrong before, but I don’t see Apple doing that just so they can have a round watch form factor option. I also agree with others that this patent describes a wide range of use cases for a reason. The Watch probably not being a top reason.
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 40 of 80
    radarthekatradarthekat Posts: 3,867moderator
    mac_128 said:
    tulkas said:
    Rayz2016 said:
    Mmm. 

    Sounds like a lot of complexity and a lot of compromises.  
    Yup. There is a good reason we don't use round smart phone, TVs and monitors. Round displays are not optimal for for most/all media types, but especially for text over one or two words. 

    Nope. That has nothing to do with it. Jony Ive himself is on record saying the watch was designed and intended for glances, anything more and the user should pull out their phone. Ergo, the watch is meant to convey short messages, which can easily be accomplished on round or square. It's not intended to read page after page of text, or watch movies for that matter. As for round displays, that would actually solve a lot of problems with respect to modern aspect ratios and the rise of the vertical screen. There are round mirrors, picture frames and a host of other decorator items, which translate to personal taste and fashion that have nothing to do with practicality. Moreover, a round smart phone would take up too much room in a pocket, making it a poor choice given its function. As Jony Ive said, once a customer wears something, they have the expectation of choice. So Apple knows full well the importance of making the wearable meet their customers expectations.

    jonbaize said:
    During the original Apple Watch announcement Apple said they had worked on a round face but ditched it because it wasn’t ideal for usability. This patent is probably just related to that work. I don’t think we will be seeing a round face, at least not on the watch.

    I applaud Apple for going with a rectangular design -- they were entering an unproven field, where there were already round designs from the competition, which were not done well (i.e. the flat tire on the Motorola). The UI required more thought, and effort by all parties, and especially developers whom they needed to quickly adopt the watch.  It also simplified the ability to offer text given the size limitations of the display. Finally there's the iconic connection with the iPhone, and iPad, identifying the watch as unmistakably Apple. So Apple chose to go with the design that made the most sense to launch a new product, rather than devote valuable resources at that time to create an entirely new approach and a learning curve for all involved. They did not rule out ever bringing a round watch to market. They made the smart initial choice, and have been refining it, and making it successful prior to expanding the product offerings.
    gatorguy said:
    Soli said:
    mike1 said:
    If it were possibly destined for a Watch, there's nothing wrong with having a choice for those who prefer the round aesthetic.
    There's a lot wrong with it. The cost to create an entire new UI and the cost for developers to support this entirely new UI is high. There's a reason why Apple is so selective about how it changes their display sizes and aspect ratios for iOS-based devices. This is not something you jump into willy-nilly.
    Done properly I don't think that it would require all that much additional effort on the part of developers to support both rectangular and round faces. Heck, how many resolutions, screen sizes, aspect ratios and even special considerations like notches does Apple make it relatively easy for developers to adapt to? 
    Agreed. Just like the offering existing iPhone apps for the iPad by putting them within a letterbox to accommodate the different aspect ratio, existing watch apps would easily fit inside a round watch without compromise. Like the iPad, while not being aesthetically pleasing, it allows a quick adoption of third party apps. Meanwhile Apple would offer native apps with the round UI. They've obviously been working on a round UI for the HomePod, and as they interface becomes more complex, allows them to work out real world issues, including perhaps third party apps for it. Regardless, Apple would bring their usual intuitiveness to a round UI. Developers could chose to support it or no, but then they wouldn't really have to, just like they didn't with the iPad, until they saw a significant sales volume to do so. 
    night9hawk said:
    Soli said:
    While round has an aesthetic appeal for a watch, I think that ship has sailed.

    I’d like to see the Watch display get a wider aspect ratio as there’s a lot of real estate on the lower arm and it would allow for better I/O which would improve its overall utility, but I think that’a still likely years away.
    Watches were round primarily because they use to be analog devices that made use of of the curved surface. In actuality there's no need for round other than for a "retro" sort of look. Otherwise it's a waste.

    I'm not sure that's entirely true. Yes they are built into a case that minimized excess room around the round sweeping hands, but most clocks before that were in square cases. So it's just as much a design choice as a practical one. Since then there have been both round and square watches, with round seemingly the most popular choice. Again, tradition or style choice? I fail to see how its a waste. If one compares the current 42mm round watches to a current 42mm Apple watch,  the round watch has more space to display information. So in fact, not a waste. We'll see what happens after they make the display larger -- round watches will likely lose some of their advantage. But there are arguably still other advantages in choosing that shape over a square, including comfort, and style.


    I used to wear round-faced watches.  They dig into the back of my hand when doing push-ups and at other time’s, like when riding my bike, when my hand is angled back.  Never a problem with my Apple Watch.  
    king editor the gratewatto_cobra
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