The new Apple Watch Series 4 was finally introduced at the Steve Jobs Theatre on the Apple Park Campus Cupertino, CA. It will finally be available tomorrow via Apple stores and Apple online. This was doubled down by Alan Dye, Vice President of User Interface Design at Apple, whose design team reimagined what the “face” of an Apple Watch could provide.
The device is being praised for offering a handful of new innovations, two important ones being the increase viewability of the watch face by 30%, while volumetrically making it smaller than past iterations, Highsnobiety reports. Interestingly, this accomplishment enabled the company to think about all possible complications in a whole different way.
By essence, complications are functional additions on traditional timepieces – second counters and timers come to mind. But the tech giant takes complications further on the new Apple Watch Series 4, as it allows for a total of eight complications to simultaneously co-exist on the larger face. They can take the form of countless info-centric measurements like calendar reminders, Activity, UV indexes, and timers.
For developers working with Watch OS 5, which is the core operating system powering the Apple Watch Series 4, this means rethinking what can be shared on the “Home” screen of the Watch. Complications are tappable throughout edge to edge screen that bodies the Watch Series 4. Tap into the very corner of the screen’s infographics and it is responsive and actionable.
The addition of complications is not the only changes Apple made in Watch Series 4 face. Dye and his team also developed new fire, water, vapour, and liquid metal metals, not through digital rendering, but by building out a studio to develop and capture the motions in real life. And while it would have been cheaper for Apple to render the faces, Dye tells us this is not a shortcut Apple would take. It may be above and beyond the means others would go, but make sense when one thinks about the considerations Apple put into not only the outward design of the Watch Series 4, but the user experience itself.
Changes in the Design Aspect
For those who are familiar with previous iterations of the Apple Watch, the Series 4 is the first major overhaul of the watch body itself. Beyond the already mentioned increased viewable face and size, Apple’s design team has made other changes.
Apple Watch Series 4 features an all-new Digital Crown with haptic feedback. Dye tells adding haptic feedback to the crown enhances the user’s feel for the device and where a user’s focus is positioned when working with the Watch. The haptic feedback could help users understand where they are in position to a menu and especially when reading Messages. It is a minor addition with maximal impact on the user experience.
The addition of an electrical heart sensor with an electrode in the Digital Crown and electrodes on the back crystal provides users to utilize the ECG app to generate an electrocardiogram that monitors heart rhythms and “analyzes pulse rate data to identify episodes of irregular heart rhythms suggestive of atrial fibrillation” – both functions cleared by the FDA as sharable with physicians.