I like the rectangular display better.
Designing interfaces for circular displays has always been a tricky one. There's no start/end to the screen. No corners.
And if you look at the interfaces that Apple demo'ed. Apple has used the corners really well.
I'm sure Jony and team'd have had many iterations which'd have included the circular drafts too. Going with rectangular feels like an informed and a thoughtout design decision.
Very good point with the circular interfaces.
The round face might look better as a watch, but a lot of views (I'm thinking particularly about conversations) would look like crap on anything but a rectangular screen.
As someone who prefers round/circular watch faces, this is much more appealing to me.
If you haven't heard of it, check out the Moto 360, it looks pretty dang close to the mockup in the article
No it doesn't. The Moto 360 interface is not a circle. There's a big chunk missing from the bottom. The Moto 360 is bigger, too -- at LEAST in height and width, and likely in depth, too (Apple hasn't released that yet). All of those things are functions of making the hardware round, and the mockup in the article doesn't try to deal with any of the real-world problems.
IMO, the rectangular watch looks geeky. I think this is why digital watches never took off. The round swiss style watches look stylish. I'm really surprised Apple didn't go with a rounded watch.
Counter point: the TAG Heuer Monaco.
well, for starters, the processor wouldn't fit in it.
I'm hoping for an Ars article on the same topic. What if the engineers had tried to fit it all into a circular body?
They'd be working with much less space, so either a smaller battery, or smaller, more expensive processor and fewer sensors. Not to say it couldn't be done, but what would the tech specs look like if it were confined to an even smaller space?
Then you have the OS. What would their apps look like, and what would third-party apps look like (the good, the bad, and the ugly)?
What if it was thinner and we only showed circular interfaces?
Haha, exactly... sort of like Facebook Paper. "What if everyone is perfect and we only showed gorgeous photography?"
Another design of an existing product which isn't based upon reality. This design shows a significantly thinner watch, which of course looks much more attractive.
I'd buy it if it were round.
I'd buy it if it were round and waterproof.
As a standalone product, it might be compelling, but since it's so wedded to the iPhone, having a circular display would be pretty impractical. People are already questioning how useful it is... so how useful would this be with a stream of text messages, push notifications, etc - all of which have been optimized on a rectangular screen sitting in your pocket/purse. Talk about a lot of awkward unused space.
Thus, I'd argue that the circular face would be LESS useful within the Apple ecosystem - and it's intended uses. Circular faces are beautiful and present one thing at a time well, but not something as feature-rich as they are pushing at us.
It would be intriguing to me though if Apple partnered with a renowned, traditional watch maker though - nothing TOO high end - maybe Tag. I'd be intrigued to see a traditional, mechanical watch underneath a screen and the main hand movement above that. On the screen you could move the the various timing dials to your liking, customize the face style/color. etc. THEN offer limited features from your phone (for example, when a message comes in, the dials disappear and are replaced with the info until you flick your wrist or tap the screen). I would be very intrigued by a merge of traditional craftsmanship with modern technology - done tastefully. Almost invisible to anyone until the tech is needed.
I really wish the Watch was closer to this.
Sure the watch face is nicer, but how are those bands connected in the real world?
These mockups would be more interesting to see if they were designed like the real watch would have to be - some sort of rectangular thing to connect the band will really affect the appearance. If you're going to do a product render those details are important.
Plus, he's only showing the two or three interfaces that are actually circular. The rest of the ui is square. Would be nice to see how he would handle messages in particular.
A watch is fashion, but a smart watch needs to meld fashion and good ux... pretty tall order.
I'd assume the straps are connected the same way the sport straps are. http://www.apple.com/watch/apple-watch-sport/
The actual watch has a groove which is nonexistent in these renders. The strap connection is an important feature/issue in the product design and shouldn't be ignored.
I would rather see the watch take on the design iteration of the iPhone 1 -> iPhone 5. From rounded shiny metal to beveled brushed/matte aluminum.
But back to iPhone 6 and we're on rounded surfaces again! =]