Agreed, but in this case we don’t have the advantage of an OS like Wear designed from the ground up to be round. We’ve got rectangular Android 4.x or 5.x and a bajillion apps designed for a square or rectangular screen. So a “Round Smartwatch Design” would hopefully include a workable solution for existing apps to be easily useable on a round platform by working within the limitations of the given pure Android OS. With that said, I’d propose these as “solutions” rather than “band aids”.
Unable to access sections of Android apps displayed expanded on a round screen, in particular the four corners and, in some cases, the entire lower section if the app has not been designed to scroll. These areas can not be seen nor activated by touch, thus rendering the app useless on a round display.
Modify firmware so that a double tap anywhere in an app freezes it and allows the user to move the image around on the screen to reveal any hidden areas, including lower areas below the typical ‘square’ for those apps where developers designed for a rectangular phone screen (as in attempting to set up Google Play Music, for example). A single tap anywhere on the screen would be received by the app as a touch and acted upon based on what is actually on the screen underneath the touch area with the screen immediately returning to original size. A double tap rather than a single tap would snap the app back to normal display without any action.
Modify the triple tap Accessibility option to be more effective. As it works now, a triple tap magnifies and freezes the magnified image. Touching on the screen will be seen by the app at that touch point. Triple taping near an edge will show a small amount of what is off the edge, but not all the way to the corners. This is how some people manage to touch menus which otherwise would be unreachable. Triple taping and holding the last tap allows scrolling, but releasing the hold restores the screen back to normal size. No single taping is allowed when scrolling. Suggested modification would be similar to solution 1 above, but upon triple tapping, the screen would be frozen but could be moved around with a sliding gesture, exactly like solution 1 above. A single tap anywhere on the screen would be received by the app as a touch and acted upon based on what is actually on the screen underneath the touch area with the screen immediately returning to original size. A triple tap rather than a single tap would snap the app back to normal display without any action. Triple tap and hold would function as it does now to allow for holding and scrolling as in reading tiny print, exc.
The innovators of firmware for round Android watches of the future need to accommodate the conflicting requirements of showing as large a screen as possible (expanding a square formatted app to fill a round screen) and also offering user access to all areas shown within a square/rectangular app. Otherwise, we are left with rewriting apps for the Wear OS, an that will most likely be limited at best.
If I didn’t do a good job on this, Loki, can you rephrase it in a way that would be appropriate for this Round Smartwatch Design section? Thanks!