This week it launched the WatchKit, for developers creating apps for the Apple Watch. And with it came the Interface guidelines, with the company’s recommendations for almost every detail about the design of the apps. Here’s what they reveal.
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The apps are an extension of the iPhone, at least at first
The WatchKit guidelines, Apple says that “an app to Watch complements your app for iOS, but don’t replace”. Therefore, it requires an iPhone all the time for work, but to turn just a clock. However, the company warns that will release, in 2015, the creation of native apps, which do not depend on an iPhone.
There are two types of notifications
When you use the Apple Watch and raise the pulse, the screen turns on automatically and displays the Short Look “: a notification with an icon, the app name and part of the information. After a moment, the screen displays the “Long Look”: the information occupies most of the screen, and you can navigate through the interface to dispense with notice or to perform actions-“reply” or “enjoy”, for example – touching a button.
There is also Glances
The Glances function as Google’s cards Now: they offer a short information coming from an app, which is “timely and contextually relevant”, perhaps based on location and others.
All the information-for example, schedule appointments or weather forecast – must fit on a single screen. Tap the Glance and you are taken to the corresponding app.
You decide when to see the Glances. “Unlike an alert sent by the device, push the Glances are accessed at the discretion of the user,” says Apple – simply slide from the bottom edge.
The source adapts to your eyes
Apple has created a new source, called San Francisco, specifically for the Watch. And interface guidelines explain why she is best suited for small screens.
Contrary to some sources, the San Francisco will condense or expand based on the size of the letters. If you are reading a text, for example, there will be more space between each letter and the size of the score will be higher, as well as the size of the holes in the lyrics as “and” and “the”. This facilitates the reading when the text in the Watch is too small.
“Force Touch adds a second layer of interaction
We already knew that the Retina display of the watch would be able to interpret the strength of your finger. But now we’re starting to see how this would impact the interface.
The Force Touch acts like a second layer of interactions because you will use it to access a top-level menu, which displays the options within each app.
“A small screen cannot accommodate so many controls,” says Apple. “Interactions via Force Touch display the context menu (if any) associated with the current screen. The apps use this menu to display the actions relevant to current content. ”
The “digital Crown” adds to touchscreen
One of the highlights in the Apple Watch is the digital Crown, the rotary knob on the side. It allows you to zoom and scroll through pages. The idea, as explained by Apple, it’s clear the screen when it is need to interact more accurately. “The Digital Crown was designed for accurate and accelerated scrolling, without blocking the screen. So, it’s easier to scroll through long pages, “says Apple.
There are other ways to interact with the Apple Watch …
In addition to the touch and digital Crown, also works with the Apple Watch. You can dictate emails or speak to Siri, which can bring the same information as on the iPhone.
And there’s an additional button with a function a little bizarre: you can send emoticons, quick drawings or even your heartbeat to your contacts.
… but we still don’t know much about the Taptic Engine
The Taptic Engine will make the Apple Watch shaking differently depending on the app to send the notification. In September, the company said, with this feature, “you feel a tactile sensation that is notably different for each type of interaction”. It seems that Apple will have the control, because that does not appear in the WatchKit.
The small vibration motor also helps in navigation: in the app maps, it vibrates differently if you have to turn right or left, so you don’t have to look at the directions on your wrist.
The Apple Watch will cost $349 when it’s released in 2015, and works only with iPhones.