An Apple Watch ‘Glance’ is a Today Extension for Your Watch

The Apple Watch isn’t out yet—not until April, 2015, Tim Cook says. But your company should be planning and designing for it already.

Apple has released a beta version of the developer’s SDK (software development kit) for it, as well as UX HIG (human interface guidelines) for it, and your architect and UX designer should be abreast of them.

The Apple Watch introduces several new terms which will become part of your vocabulary, such as Glances, Short Look Notifications, Long Look Notifications, Apple Watch app, and Apple Watch Extension. Each one of these new Apple Watch interfaces varies in the amount of customizability it offers to your company when creating an Apple Watch experience.

What are all these new terms, and what’s a good way of thinking about them that won’t overtax our already full brains?  Continue reading

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Why the iPhone 6’s will be Probably be This Screen Size

In my previous post (2 Reasons Why the iPhone 6 Won’t Need to be 1.5x Retina Resolution), I explained why Apple isn’t so constrained about the rumored iPhone 6 screen sizes. That blog post was long enough, so I thought I’d break out into a new post exactly what size(s) I’m expecting in the iPhone 6 4.7″ and 5.5″ phones (assuming the rumors are real).

I’m thinking Apple will make both phones at 1920×1080. Then they will be able to contain letter-boxed 1.5x-sized existing apps (fitting inside a 1704×960 rectangle). Each phone will have 1.5x-sized tap targets (66 points tall instead of 44 points tall) but will still have an extra 10% or so extra space vertically (1920 vs 1704) and horizontally (1080 vs 960), so there’s a little more room for app content.

The benefit to users: Continue reading

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2 Reasons Why the iPhone 6 Won’t Need to be 1.5x Retina Resolution

When Apple moved to iPhone 4 and iPhone 5, there were tremendous constraints that Apple wisely overcame to determine exactly how it made its phones with higher resolution and then larger (taller). How?

With the iPhone 4, Apple exactly doubled the resolution, leading to a 2x “Retina” resolution. And with the iPhone 5, Apple kept the pixel density (pixels per inch) the same, but just extended the screen size vertically, to create a 16:9 screen ratio.

This resulted in a great user experience, as well as minimizing the efforts for developers and UI designers.

Now Apple is coming out with two much larger iPhone 6 models, reportedly 4.7” and 5.5”. Many pundits are saying these phones will need to be 1.x Retina resolution or the phones need to have the same pixels-per-inch as the iPhone 5S. But Apple isn’t constrained by the same circumstances as before. There are two things that have changed in the past 5 years that mean that Apple can make these new iPhone 6’s any resolution they want: Continue reading

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Product Owners: It’s Time to Throw Off the Shackles of iOS 6!

One year ago, Apple introduced the most significant visual upgrade in iOS’s short but significant history: iOS 7 had a completely new look. Along with that look came subtle but significant changes in how to design and implement iOS apps.

Those subtle changes by themselves weren’t so hard to implement, but there was one albatross that hung over developers’ and designers’ heads: Continue reading

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