Apple Executives Discuss Apple Watch Series 7 Challenges and Design Process

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In a new interview, two of Apple’s design makers provide insight into how they implemented features and overcome challenges when designing the Apple Watch Series 7.

The Apple Watch Series 7 was announced at the Apple event in September 2021, with a new, larger screen and some new tricks up its sleeve thanks to the all-new watchOS 8.

Apple Vice President of Interface Design Alan Dye and Vice President of Product Marketing Stan Ng spoke with The independent to discuss how they designed the latest Apple Watch.

The Apple Watch’s larger screen is particularly noteworthy this time around. While the case only saw an increase of 1 millimeter, the overall screen size increased by 20%.

“The size limits the amount of information that can be displayed and therefore every pixel counts,” Ng said. He explains that by integrating the touch sensor into the OLED panel, they were able to keep the same height, thus avoiding unnecessary bulk.

The larger screen also allows for new responsive watch faces and a QWERTY keyboard on the Apple Watch screen itself.

“Since the first Apple Watch, entering text has been critical and a huge challenge,” Dye said. “We’ve always wanted a QWERTY keyboard and this new display has enabled that and enabled it in a way that we think we can deliver functionality in an incredibly usable and powerful way.”

He states that it was a challenge and that there was a need to rethink how the keyboard should appear on the screen. By removing the bezels – the outlines around the keys – the new onscreen keyboard feels a bit less cramped. And thanks to watchOS 8, a user doesn’t have to be extremely precise, as the device intelligently determines which keys you are trying to press.

When it comes to looking to the future, executives don’t talk about what to expect, but are ready to recognize the challenges that may arise with future generations of Apple Watch.

“The wrist has unique challenges, you can’t just put a huge screen on your wrist and assume someone can wear it all day, or wear it on any occasion, that won’t work,” he said. said Ng. “This small size really puts a strain on what and how much information can be displayed at any given time and there can be no wasted space. Alan and his team are really innovating in this area to ensure that the user experience is so phenomenal. “

“And we will continue to innovate in all of these areas. In addition to these key features with the watch in terms of connecting people, getting fit and being that smart guardian of your health. Everything we think has had such a big impact. “


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Billie M. Secrist