Alan Dye, Apple’s vice president of human interface design, has once again sat down with the Hodinkee Radio podcast to discuss the continued evolution of the Apple Watch. This year, Dye offers an in-depth look at the Apple Watch Series 6, watchOS 7, and details on how Apple’s design team has adapted to COVID-19.
Here is the description of the episode courtesy of Hodinkee:
This go-around, we talk about why Apple continues to look to old-school, analog horology for watch face inspiration, the challenges of designing flexible watch face platforms instead of set-in-stone faces, and how Alan’s team responded quickly to some COVID-induced design needs. As always, Alan offers up extremely thoughtful answers along with that rare peek behind the curtain at Apple.
One of the topics discussed during the show is the new hand washing feature in watchOS 7. Other Apple executives had already said that the hand washing feature was in the works before the COVID-19 pandemic, but Dye adds that the pandemic is what really kicked the development into high gear.
People at Apple were investigating the possibility of hand washing detection “quite a few months ago,” Dye says during the interview.
“We saw what was happening in the world and scrambled to come up with a UI and experience that would encourage users to wash their hands for 20 seconds,” he adds. “The timing really worked out quite well and we did hustle to get it in this release because we knew how important it could be.”
Aside from hand washing, Dye also offered insight into the new sleep tracking features across Apple Watch and iPhone, the new watch faces in watchOS 7, and Blood Oxygen monitoring with the Apple Watch Series 6. The full interview is definitely worth a listen if you’re interested in the Apple Watch hardware and software. You can find it on the Hodinkee website or subscribe to the show in Apple Podcasts.