Apple releases 'San Francisco' system fonts for iOS, OS X and watchOS 2 to developers

Posted:
in General Discussion edited July 2015
Apple on Friday made downloads of its San Francisco system font available to developers working on next-generation apps for iOS 9, OS X El Capitan and watchOS 2.




The typeface, which first debuted in compact form on Apple Watch, is specifically designed for maximum clarity and readability and is planned to take over all three Apple platforms this fall.

Following Apple's iOS 9 announcement earlier this week, AppleInsider offered a first look at what San Francisco will look like on iPhones and iPads once the mobile operating system launches. San Francisco supports iOS Dynamic Type to adjust letter spacing and line height dynamically, depending on font size selected.

Alongside the San Francisco typeface, Apple's system font webpage offers developers access to the TextKit API for font handling, the Apple Font Tool Suite and specifications for the TrueType Font Format and Apple Advanced Typography (AAT) Font Feature Registry.

The company previously made the Apple Watch version of San Francisco available to developers alongside Photoshop templates for mocking up app graphics.

Developers can download Apple's new San Francisco font packages through the Developer Portal.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 38
    Any particular reason why the large "SF" at the bottom of the graphic is not in the font "San Francisco"?
  • Reply 2 of 38

    (double post)

  • Reply 3 of 38
    frxntierfrxntier Posts: 92member
    Any particular reason why the large "SF" at the bottom of the graphic is not in the font "San Francisco"?
    It is set in San Francisco.
  • Reply 4 of 38

    Not on my MacBook or iPhone. The "S" looks like some form of Helvetica

  • Reply 5 of 38
    konqerrorkonqerror Posts: 685member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by DigitalDialectic View Post

     

    Not on my MacBook or iPhone. The "S" looks like some form of Helvetica


     

    It is set in SF. Right click on it... you'll see its a PNG image.

  • Reply 6 of 38

    Yeah I right clicked and checked to see if it was a .png or other image right after I posted.

     

    Which makes it even more puzzling.

     

    Look at all the other "S" shapes in the phrases in the image. The arms of those are more truncated. . .

     

    I don't have access to the developer page and the complete font set, but it would be odd for one weight of the font to have a completely different shape for the "S" than the others.

  • Reply 7 of 38
    dougddougd Posts: 196member
    Honestly, why should I care ?
  • Reply 8 of 38
    konqerrorkonqerror Posts: 685member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by DigitalDialectic View Post

     

    Look at all the other "S" shapes in the phrases in the image. The arms of those are more truncated. . .


     

    You mean the words "Introducing San Francisco"? That's Myriad Set Pro.

  • Reply 9 of 38
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by konqerror View Post

     

     

    You mean the words "Introducing San Francisco"? That's Myriad Set Pro.




    OK, now I understand. What little I have seen (having now looked at the AI link to a comparison of the iPhone unlock screen in Helvetica and San Francisco), the chief benefit is the taller x-height (readability) and more rounded and condensed numerals (less boxy/more friendly).

     

    A very slight tweak, but an improvement, nonetheless

  • Reply 10 of 38
    blazarblazar Posts: 270member
    Ok, so making text readable by making it look generic?

    I guess they don't have to pay anyone else for fonts. Will they get bored and change fonts again in the future, or stick with this one "forever"?
  • Reply 11 of 38
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by blazar View Post



    Ok, so making text readable by making it look generic?



    I guess they don't have to pay anyone else for fonts. Will they get bored and change fonts again in the future, or stick with this one "forever"?



    Right, because Helvetica isn't everywhere.

  • Reply 12 of 38
    ajlajl Posts: 93member
    I love this typeface, but doesn't it looks like too much to Roboto?
  • Reply 13 of 38
    rogifanrogifan Posts: 10,669member
    ajl wrote: »
    I love this typeface, but doesn't it looks like too much to Roboto?

    You mean Roboto that looks an awful lot like Helvetica and Din?
  • Reply 14 of 38
    crowleycrowley Posts: 5,540member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by blazar View Post



    I guess they don't have to pay anyone else for fonts. 

    Pretty sure they'll still be licensing Helvetica and many other fonts.  Not being the system font doesn't mean it isn't on the system.

  • Reply 15 of 38
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by blazar View Post I guess they don't have to pay anyone else for fonts. Will they get bored and change fonts again in the future, or stick with this one "forever"?

     

    My guess is Helvetica Neue could have been a stop-gap, as it looks similar to the new San Fran font, & only used until they had SF ready to launch in all countries. Remember not every country uses the same alphabet & characters.

     

    Guess we'll never know for sure though, & all things move on, just like the newer iOS & OS X style. I liken those differences like going from a Nautilus / Victorian look interface, to an Enterprise / contemporary look. Don't forget though, things tend to go in circles given enough time as tastes change.

  • Reply 16 of 38
    crowleycrowley Posts: 5,540member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by TogetherWeStand View Post

     

     

    Remember not every country uses the same alphabet & characters.


     

    Good point, which alphabets does San Francisco cover?  Just the Latin, plus close derivations presumably?  Excuse my ignorance, but does arabic, cyrillic, hanzi and other different alphabets have wide font support and variances?  Would a San Francisco style of kanji make sense?

  • Reply 17 of 38
    MacProMacPro Posts: 17,581member
    dougd wrote: »
    Honestly, why should I care ?

    It's a bit of history for true Apple fans. I just loaded it and it is very nice and it's hard to believe it is 31 years since I printed out Apple's first San Francisco font on my Apple ImageWriter attached via AppleTalk to my Mac Plus!
  • Reply 18 of 38
    MacProMacPro Posts: 17,581member
    ajl wrote: »
    I love this typeface, but doesn't it looks like too much to Roboto?

    Talking of loving a font ... I recently starting using Avenir Next for a lot of work, especially email where it is my default, it is so pleasing on the eye for me. Anyone else like it, or is it just me?
  • Reply 19 of 38
    mr squidmr squid Posts: 58member



    I just wish that Apple would make the switch to Comic Sans and be done with it.

  • Reply 20 of 38
    The barnyard is noisy today. All naying and braying.
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