Square Peg in a Round Hole
The Verge has a look at Google’s revamped Wear OS.
First off, ‘Wear OS?’ I know they replaced ‘Android Wear’ a while back, but when you update a product or service you’re supposed to make it better. Engineer-led companies are just the worst at product naming and branding (and Microsoft is still champ).
Secondly, Google wants their round watch interface to work so bad, but it just doesn’t:
The circle is a beautiful shape and in my 20 years of being a graphic designer I’ve seen many attempts made at round interfaces on everything from kiosks to websites, with varying degrees of success.
Screen real estate is extremely limited — therefor valuable — on a watch and by using a round screen Google is throwing away a lot of real estate. They’re also throwing away the whole history of written language.
Unless Google is presenting Mayan and Aztec calendars on their watches, circular screens are inferior to rectangular screens for presenting anything more than the time.