Apple Watch Glances and the Watch Face

Pavan Rajam, on Ben Thompson’s confusion from Glances only being available from the “watch face”:

I think issue here is the term watch face. The traditional meaning of clock/watch face, per Wikipedia, “the part of an analog clock (or watch) that displays the time through the use of a fixed-numbered dial or dials and moving hands.” On the surface, this sounds analogous to the Apple Watch’s display.

Apple’s copy, on the other hand, seems to define watch face as the watch face UI in the Clock app, not the Watch’s display.

I think Rajam is correct. Something that occurred to me yesterday is that Glances only being available from here might also have something to do with the watch face UI not being scrollable. The elements are all fixed. That means when you swipe up on the touchscreen, it can only mean one thing: you want to see your Glances. If Glances were available system-wide, it could get all screwy with swipes that intended to scroll a list, or pan around on the home screen. The watch might well be too small physically to allow for “you have to swipe from the very edge of the display” distinctions like we have in iOS for Notification Center and Control Center.


If anything, this tells me that many of the interactions we take for granted on iOS won’t necessarily translate to the Watch. Pinch to zoom is one of these, Notification/Control Center is another.

Pinch-to-zoom is definitely out. Apple Watch is not multitouch.

Update: I don’t know why people are pushing back on this multitouch thing. It’s not multitouch. It’d just be a waste. The display is way too small for meaningful multitouch interaction — that’s why Apple added force touch and the digital crown.

Thursday, 12 March 2015