How do you type on a round watch face? It’s not exactly a question you ask yourself everyday, but now that the round Moto 360 smartwatch is poised to launch at Google I/O 2014 this week, it’s a question worth asking. The creators of Minuum’s minimalist keyboard app announced that they are developing a special version of the keyboard to fit round smartwatch faces.
Needless to say, typing on a 1-to-2-inch display is difficult. Google has said that Android Wear OS, which runs on the Moto 360 is optimized for voice commands from Google Now, but it will still have a keyboard. After all, smartwatches need a keyboard for typing passwords and private messages. Smartwatch makers have tried their hand at creating functionally keyboards for the small, square screens and so have third-party keyboard app developers.
Fleksy recently issued a version of its app for the Samsung Gear 2 smartwatch and Minuum’s keyboard has been available on square-faced smartwtaches for a while now, too. However, the Moto 360 presents a unique problem for keyboards with its round face. Keyboards are almost always rectangular or sometimes square, but they are rarely round. Minuum sought to solve this problem with a new design that it hopes will convince smartwatch wearers to use its keyboard instead.
Minuum’s keyboard is known for being super small and minimalistic, but it too, is rectangular. Now, the company has created a new UI for round smartwatches, which takes the rectangular keyboard and turns it into a horse shoe shape. The letter keys circle around the bottom of the watch face, while the suggestions appear along the top. The actual text of what you are typing shows up in a white semi circle, covering the bottom half of the watch face.
The Minuum keyboard looks as though it fits very well on the round Moto 360 watch face, but only time will tell how easy it is to type with it.