Apple released its first-ever wearable device yesterday, not the iWatch as the world expected, but the simply-named Apple Watch. This is also Apple’s newest iDevice developed under the complete control of Tim Cook after he took charge of the company as CEO. And what a device it turned out to be!
Obviously, wristwatches were made to be worn on the wrist, like normal people do, so they should be designed with the users in mind and how people will interact with the device. This way of thinking is nothing new to the engineers and designers at Apple and they came up with a smart watch which intimately bonds with its owner like a dear friend.
As with any device with a display, the most important thing about it is how vivid and clear the information displayed on the device is conveyed to the user. To achieve this feat, Apple specifically made a custom typeface specially designed for the Apple Watch’s small screen.
The new Apple typeface, still nameless as of this writing, is very similar to Roboto, a font made by Google in 2012 for its Android devices. The Apple Watch typeface has been described as a bolder but rounder version of the Roboto font. Coincidence? Not really as both Apple’s new typeface and Roboto seem to share the same typeface influences foremost of which are Helvetica and FF DIN, sans-serif fonts both exhibiting impeccable readability/legibility even at minute sizes.
Now this may come as a bit strange (even prejudiced) since the Roboto typeface elicited a lot of criticisms when it came out in 2012 while the Apple Watch’s typeface, though extremely similar to Roboto, has been garnering praises from the majority.
Designers at Apple said that the new typeface had to be developed specifically for the Apple Watch for a single but very important function and that is legibility. The Apple Watch small screen became a challenge to them because users must clearly see everything shown on the display at a glance to fully maximize the usability of the Apple Watch.
It is still too early to say how the Apple Watch will fare when it is made available for purchase by early 2015 but from the looks of things, Apple may have another winner in its corner, breaking the barriers for this particular niche market and once again become the trendsetter which other companies will follow.
Image Source: TheVerge