The Square card reader has often been regarded as one of the best creations for small businesses, as the device has allowed many business owners to use iPads or similar devices as their cash registers, and still allow them to accept credit and debit cards as well. The design of the reader has remain mainly unchanged since its inception: a simple, fairly thick, white square that plugged into the headphone jack of your device, and allowed users to swipe cards. However, for the first time, the reader has undergone a redesign, and quite a bit of time went into the new design.
From an aesthetic perspective, the reader remains fairly similar to the old Square we all know and love. The signature shape has been changed a little bit, however, and has been made much thinner. In fact, it is nearly half as thin as the original reader. It has also been made slightly wider, which allows the card to slide a farther distance and give a more satisfying swipe feeling. That last point was actually the focal point of much of the redesign: it’s all about the feel of the swipe.
While the thinness of the new device is impressive, it required a switch from stock components to all custom-innards of the device. This allowed Square designers to have even more control over the final product, and the one in charge of this change was none other than Jesse Dorogusker, the VP of Hardware for Square, who is most well known for being the former head of Apple’s accessory division, as well as being credited with the creation of the new Lightning connector found on new iOS devices.
The device may be spartan in its aesthetic, but it isn’t without its cosmetic improvements. It’s 45% thinner than the old one, but, as mentioned earlier, its footprint is a bit wider. The card slot is more central to the device, instead of sitting just behind the front face, so that it’s more intuitive to locate the slot without looking. The unit lost its bulky “shoulders,” as Dorogusker puts it. And where the older Reader was quite obviously two pieces, a front and back, snapped together, the new one looks like one solid, unbroken piece of plastic. Only the closest inspection reveals the seam where the two pieces meet.
To read more on the process behind designing the new reader, head on over to Wired’s interview with Dorogusker available at the source link below. Are you a Square user, or do you think the idea behind the product is a good one? Leave a comment below or tweet me at @TiP_Griffin.