Square has always made hardware, but its new Android-based tablet shows it’s serious about controlling the payments experience.
Good article on how Square has taken charge of its hardware and utilized design principles based on dual-user employee-customer interface model.
The 10" iPad that swiveled had too many shortcomings. Now it is a purpose-built Android at 13" and two screens.
The result of the whole process was not a single tablet, but a two-in-one device. The Square Register is comprised of a 13-inch, anodized aluminum tablet, which is stamped and machined. It has an HD touchscreen display and, while it’s attached to a stand, it was designed to look like it’s hovering in space. The second, seven-inch tablet can either be docked in the back of the big tablet, or sit elsewhere on the counter, attached by micro-USB. This small tablet’s display is Gorilla Glass, in case it gets dropped or knocked off the counter.
The register is running on two Qualcomm Snapdragon 615 processors. And in a move that is indeed very Apple-y, Square has designed its own secure enclave, a co-processor for processing encrypted payment information. About a dozen employees at Square work on the silicon team.