WatchKit tools reveal Apple Watch screen resolutions, Dynamic Type support, more

Posted:
in Future Apple Hardware edited November 2014
Apple's new WatchKit software development kit shed some new light on the upcoming wearable's technical makeup, including the physical resolution of the Retina displays as well as the device's support for iOS user interface technologies like Dynamic Type.




The 38-millimeter Apple Watch will ship with a 272-pixel-by-340-pixel display, while its larger 42-millimeter sibling is set to come with a 312-pixel-by-390-pixel unit. It should be noted that the measurements refer to the Watch's case height, rather than its display size, making the exact pixel density difficult to calculate.

The effective pixel density necessary for Apple to designate a screen as a Retina display differs depending on the device's size and the distance at which users typically hold it. The lowest-density display to gain the Retina moniker thus far is the 218-pixels-per-inch screen found in the new 27-inch 5k iMac, while the iPhone 6 Plus's Retina HD display is the highest at 401 pixels-per-inch.

Apple also revealed that the bespoke system font on the Apple Watch --?called San Francisco --?will support iOS Dynamic Type. Dynamic Type adjusts the letter spacing and line height dynamically, depending on the font size selected, in an effort to maintain maximum readability.

Developers will still be able to specify their own fonts on the Apple Watch, but they will not be able to take advantage of Dynamic Type if they do so.

Many other Apple Watch development paradigms follow those in iOS. For instance, developers will need to submit square icons for the home screen --?the Apple Watch will automatically apply a round mask when displaying the icon, much like iOS devices round the corners of icons.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 73

    There's been a lot of clamoring to know the font type. San Francisco. Back to names of big cities, just like the old days.

  • Reply 3 of 73
    AAPL Y U NO LIEK COMIC SANS? /s
  • Reply 4 of 73
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by TheWhiteFalcon View Post

     

    There's been a lot of clamoring to know the font type. San Francisco. Back to names of big cities, just like the old days.


    That San Francisco font looks nice.  Don't know about you guys but I think it looks nicer than the font they use on Yosemite.

  • Reply 5 of 73
    canukstorm wrote: »
    That San Francisco font looks nice.  Don't know about you guys but I think it looks nicer than the font they use on Yosemite.

    Yosemite uses Helvetica Neue, just like iOS. Slightly different weighting, I believe, but the same type.

    Previously, OS X used Lucida Grande.
  • Reply 6 of 73
    mpantonempantone Posts: 1,645member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Magic_Al View Post



    Interesting choice. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/San_Francisco_(typeface)



    It is not the same font.

     

    Here is the new San Francisco font for WatchKit:

     



    according to this blog posting.

     

    It's Yet Another Plain Condensed Sans Serif Font in the practical Helvetica/Univers/Arial style.

     

    The defunct pre-System 7 "San Francisco" font was fun but not practical as a UI font.

  • Reply 7 of 73
    malaxmalax Posts: 1,598member

    This morning I was thinking about my pet peeves with AI and at the top of the list was the obsession with using the word "bespoke."  I never see that word anywhere else, and it's slipped in at every opportunity here.  And right one cue: "Apple also revealed that the bespoke system font on the Apple Watch."

     

    Also, the description of Dynamic Type in this article is off.  It refers to the Apple's system for accommodating device-wide font size preference.  If the user chooses to use larger or smaller than normal fonts, every application that uses Dynamic Type will update its UI in response.  This is much more powerful than "size to fit" as the article implies.

  • Reply 8 of 73
    malaxmalax Posts: 1,598member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by mpantone View Post

     

    It is not the same font.

     


    I assume the original poster was simply referring to the name choice.

     

    "San Francisco" is now being applied to a core font rather than a silly junk font from the original Mac.

     

    And, might I add, the new font is a nice improvement over the sans serif fonts can came before.

  • Reply 9 of 73
    rogifanrogifan Posts: 10,669member
    mpantone wrote: »

    It is not the same font.

    Here is the new San Francisco font for WatchKit:

    <img alt="" class="lightbox-enabled" data-id="52527" data-type="61" src="http://forums.appleinsider.com/content/type/61/id/52527/width/350/height/700/flags/LL" style="; width: 350px; height: 165px">



    according to this blog posting.

    It's Yet Another Plain Condensed Sans Serif Font in the practical Helvetica/Univers/Arial style.

    The defunct pre-System 7 "San Francisco" font was fun but not practical as a UI font.

    I really like this font. Nice job Apple.
  • Reply 10 of 73

    It's interestingly very very similar to Roboto Google uses. 

     

  • Reply 11 of 73
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by malax View Post

     

    This morning I was thinking about my pet peeves with AI and at the top of the list was the obsession with using the word "bespoke."  I never see that word anywhere else, and it's slipped in at every opportunity here.  And right one cue: "Apple also revealed that the bespoke system font on the Apple Watch."

     

    Also, the description of Dynamic Type in this article is off.  It refers to the Apple's system for accommodating device-wide font size preference.  If the user chooses to use larger or smaller than normal fonts, every application that uses Dynamic Type will update its UI in response.  This is much more powerful than "size to fit" as the article implies.




    Ive uses 'bespoke' frequently, especially about the Watch.

  • Reply 12 of 73
    mpantonempantone Posts: 1,645member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by sog35 View Post

     

     

    agree. They will sell 20 million watches with that font




    Yes, yes, and they should use the new font for their SEC filings.

     

    :p 

  • Reply 13 of 73
    fallenjtfallenjt Posts: 4,040member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by sog35 View Post

     

     

    agree. They will sell 20 million watches with that font


    Only 20 million?

  • Reply 14 of 73
    sog35 wrote: »
    agree. They will sell 20 million watches with that font

    Uhh, no they won't. It will be a fabulous flop actually.
  • Reply 15 of 73
    MarvinMarvin Posts: 14,625moderator
    canukstorm wrote: »
    That San Francisco font looks nice.  Don't know about you guys but I think it looks nicer than the font they use on Yosemite.

    The text on Apple's description page is Helvetica, the screenshot images will show San Francisco:

    https://developer.apple.com/library/prerelease/ios/documentation/UserExperience/Conceptual/WatchHumanInterfaceGuidelines/ColorandTypography.html

    Helvetica is very rounded, which is quite friendly. The text you read online, even in this forum is Arial, which is very similar to Helvetica. If you didn't have Arial installed, it would actually use Helvetica instead. Most of the internet is in a font similar to the one in Yosemite.

    San Francisco is probably based on Helvetica too, they just adjust the weighting and kerning.

    Lucida Grande in the old OS is unbalanced.

    1000

    If you look at the letter spacing in the word 'help' at the top, you can see that the 'e' and 'p' look too far away from the lower case 'L'. With Helvetica at the bottom (middle is Helvetica light), the characters get pulled in. That spacing is consistent across the whole line of characters. If you look at the 'e' characters, you can see they are closer to circular, that roundness is less formal.

    They could have gone the route of matching it to their product print, which is a Myriad font but this is a bit more formal and is the style Microsoft uses. Lucida Grande is in that class but it matches Microsoft more than it does Apple - Microsoft is made up of more boring corporate type people.

    Lucida Grande
    1000

    Microsoft's Segoe like the Myriad Apple uses on products
    1000

    Helvetica - wider, more rounded characters
    1000

    Lucida had to go, whatever route they went, it was far too messy and I think Helvetica matches well with Apple as a company.
  • Reply 16 of 73
    slurpyslurpy Posts: 5,330member

    It's clear that Apple has infinitely more ambition, and infinitely more well thought-out plan than all the knee-jerk Apple Watch hating trolls out there that can't see an inch past their nose. It's all about the SDK and apps, which is why this will be huge. Possibilities are literally endless. 

  • Reply 17 of 73
    rogifanrogifan Posts: 10,669member

    Ive uses 'bespoke' frequently, especially about the Watch.

    This section from the HIG on Apple's developer website sounds like something Ive would say. Maybe he wrote the HIG. :)
    Holistic. Apple Watch was designed to blur the boundaries between physical object and software. The Digital Crown is a finely tuned hardware control that enables nuanced software navigation. The Taptic Engine produces subtle, physical feedback associated with alerts and onscreen interaction. And Force Touch—a physical gesture interpreted by hardware—reveals a new dimension of contextual software controls. Even the physical border of the Retina display has been considered, resulting in edge-to-edge UI design that effectively renders that border invisible. Thoughtful app design should contribute to this experience of hardware and software feeling indistinguishable.

    I like that Apple is pushing black backgrounds to make the bezel less noticeable. I'd love it if iPhone eventually offered a dark theme. But I suppose they'd need to switch to OLED screens. ?Watch screen is OLED.
    Use black for your app’s background color. A black background blends seamlessly with the device bezel and maintains the illusion of there being no screen edges. Avoid bright background colors in your interface.
  • Reply 18 of 73
    rogifanrogifan Posts: 10,669member
    slurpy wrote: »
    It's clear that Apple has infinitely more ambition, and infinitely more well thought-out plan than all the Apple Watch hating trolls out there. It's all about the SDK and apps, which is why this will be huge. Possibilities are literally endless. 

    What I find so amusing is when ?Watch was announced many people were concerned that it had an SDK. Ben Thompson was a prominent tech writer who initially said there shouldn't be one. There were posts on sites like MacRumors join a screenshot of the original iPhone saying that's what ?Watch should have been. Now that the SDK is out I'm seeing complaints on Twitter, MacRumors etc. because native apps won't be available immediately, that ?Watch is is just an expensive remote display, blah blah blah. Ok people make up your f'ng minds. Or are you just going to piss on Apple no matter what it does. :rolleyes:
  • Reply 19 of 73
    slurpy wrote: »
    It's clear that Apple has infinitely more ambition, and infinitely more well thought-out plan than all the Apple Watch hating trolls out there. It's all about the SDK and apps, which is why this will be huge. Possibilities are literally endless. 

    Yep, "endless" until that tiny battery runs out after just a few hours in your wrist. Then you won't even be able to check what time it is; ain't that great for a watch?
  • Reply 20 of 73
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by brlawyer View Post





    Uhh, no they won't. It will be a fabulous flop actually.

     

    :rolleyes:

     

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Marvin View Post





    The text on Apple's description page is Helvetica, the screenshot images will show San Francisco:



    https://developer.apple.com/library/prerelease/ios/documentation/UserExperience/Conceptual/WatchHumanInterfaceGuidelines/ColorandTypography.html



    Helvetica is very rounded, which is quite friendly. The text you read online, even in this forum is Arial, which is very similar to Helvetica. If you didn't have Arial installed, it would actually use Helvetica instead. Most of the internet is in a font similar to the one in Yosemite.



    San Francisco is probably based on Helvetica too, they just adjust the weighting and kerning.



    Lucida Grande in the old OS is unbalanced.







    If you look at the letter spacing in the word 'help' at the top, you can see that the 'e' and 'p' look too far away from the lower case 'L'. With Helvetica at the bottom (middle is Helvetica light), the characters get pulled in. That spacing is consistent across the whole line of characters. If you look at the 'e' characters, you can see they are closer to circular, that roundness is less formal.



    They could have gone the route of matching it to their product print, which is a Myriad font but this is a bit more formal and is the style Microsoft uses. Lucida Grande is in that class but it matches Microsoft more than it does Apple - Microsoft is made up of more boring corporate type people.



    Lucida Grande





    Microsoft's Segoe like the Myriad Apple uses on products





    Helvetica - wider, more rounded characters





    Lucida had to go whatever route they went, it was far too messy and I think Helvetica matches well with Apple as a company.

     

    I've always liked SegoeUI. Malgun Gothic is another particular favorite of mine (besides Helvetica, of course).

     

    Don't miss Garamond though.

     

    Maybe they should bring back Motter Tektura? <img class=" src="http://forums-files.appleinsider.com/images/smilies//lol.gif" />

     

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Rogifan View Post





    This section from the HIG on Apple's developer website sounds like something Ive would say. Maybe he wrote the HIG. image

    I like that Apple is pushing black backgrounds to make the bezel less noticeable. I'd love it if iPhone eventually offered a dark theme. But I suppose they'd need to switch to OLED screens. ?Watch screen is OLED.

     

    I've wanted a Dark Mode for a while. I like darker interfaces. That's one of the reason's I've really liked the preinstalled wallpapers in iOS 8, there's a lot of darker, more spartan ones. All the space themed ones are great.

     

    Though I use the blue water one for my iPhone, really makes the screen pop.

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