According to a new report, Apple plans to keep iOS and OS X fresh by introducing the new Apple Watch font as the system default.
Sources “with knowledge of the preparations” inform 9to5Mac that the Apple Watch’s ‘San Francisco’ font will replace the current default font Helvetica Neue which arrived with iOS 7 in 2013 and with OS X Yosemite just last year.
The Apple-designed San Francisco first arrived on Apple Watch late last year with a focus on legibility on the smaller device screens. Apple has been criticized in the past for its choice of Helvetica Neue, a font that puts style ahead of readability and changing to San Francisco is said to be an effort to solve this.
According to the sources familiar with the decision to move to the San Francisco type face on iOS and OS X, Apple higher-ups also believe that the new look will serve to refresh its familiar operating systems, helping iOS and OS X to avoid becoming stale. However, some Apple engineers have told us that they are not fans of the new font, which may look particularly rough on non-Retina screens.
Changing the system font is no easy undertaking and would require adjustments in all stock apps across iOS and OS X. Third-party developers would also need to ensure the new font does not alter the usability of their apps.
Sources state that beta builds of iOS 9 and OS X 10.11 began incorporating San Francisco in late March, but 9to5Mac states that while Apple is “certainly well into the process of redesigning its two main operating systems to match the Apple Watch’s typography”, its sources warn that Apple “could ultimately choose to retain Helvetica Neue this year and push back or cancel its plans for San Francisco”.
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