watchOS on the Apple Watch Series 7 is optimized for a larger screen. Now Apple CEOs Alan Dye and Stan Ng have explained some of the reasons behind watchOS settings for the Series 7 in an interview with CNET.
Alan Dye is Apple’s vice president of interface design, and Stan Ng is vice president of product marketing. They explained that Apple decided to increase the screen size of the Apple Watch with the 7 Series because of the need for easier-to-read text to improve accessibility:
We had the opportunity to allow users to increase the size of points [for text] even bigger than we allowed in the past. It is very motivated by the new screen … [it will be] far more useful and accessible to a large number of users who only need a larger point size.
Ng said that the refractive limit of the front watch “Apple Watch Series 7” led to the company’s design decisions for watchOS and explained how the refractive edge works:
This refractive edge creates this very subtle sheath effect. And the screen seems to bend down, straight toward the watch case. Indeed, it is an optical effect, it is due to the way the light from the OLED is refracted at the edges of the front crystal. We redesigned that crystal to be more dome-shaped, which also contributed to a thicker crystal and greater durability. So it was kind of a deuce for both of them.
The decision to create dials that emphasize the curvature of the edges of the screen obviously came after the development of the new front crystal. Dye said that “When we started playing with this new crystal and screen, all those subtle design decisions were made to push those hooks to the very edge of the screen to highlight some of these effects.”
The Apple Watch for the first time offers a full on-screen keyboard with the 7 Series that also works with QuickPath. According to Dye, Apple has decided not to add separate areas for each key to make the keyboard less cramped, but also to suggest to users that “precision isn’t entirely critical with your touches because we have that intelligence built in.”
Dye said that despite the extra screen space, Apple still sees the Apple Watch as a short-term device, just like the original 2015 model:
I think many of those core values about how we manage to watch the news remain the same. Despite the fact that we are able to enable more content on the screen, we still see it as a product that can be viewed, smaller, with shorter interaction compared to something like a phone or certainly an iPad.
Ng added that he sees the larger screen of the “Apple Watch Series 7” mainly as a tool for “faster and easier consumption of this information”.
It’s not about the 30 minutes you spend looking at your phone and social media, or the hour on your Mac working on a document. The power of the Apple Watch is in the hundreds of views per day that can give you the information you need right at that moment.
Dye suggested that Apple still sees watchOS as different from iOS and iPadOS, with the basic concept of Apple Watch working well. Looking to the future, he said that “we always think about the future, we always look and challenge the language we have”.
We spent a lot of time on the initial design. I think we did a lot of things well, especially as a wearable device that is really made for comfort on the wrist. We’re pretty happy with where it’s located from a design perspective.
CNET asked Dye and Nga why Apple decided not to create a watch store on the Apple Watch, despite partnering with companies like Nike and Hermés. Dye suggested that Apple has no immediate plans for a watch store:
As critical as hardware is in playing the role that distinguishes the Apple Watch from the Apple Watch, we think the watch dials also play a pretty big role here, which is why we’ve been so careful over the years, despite the wide variety, to have a lot of consistent design elements. . If you take a closer look, the hands of the clock are always drawn in exactly the same way, despite the fact that they appear in different colors. We think we have achieved a really good balance. The watches are by themselves, providing a canvas for third parties safely and a template that they can [use to] create more complications and turn the dial into your watch, and this in a way becomes an interface for their application.
Watch the full interview for more information on design decisions around the larger Apple Watch Series 7 screen.
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