The original Apple Watch was released on April 24th, 2015 – five years ago. Imran Chaudhri, a designer who worked on the the first-generation Apple Watch, shared some behind-the-scenes details about the development of the product in a twitter thread. He was also part of the development team which worked on the first-generation iPhone and Apple Watch. However, Chaudhri has moved on and now is a founding member of Humane, a tech company he started by former executives from Apple, but not much is known about it yet.
What did Apple Watch’s development look like?
Imran Chaudhri shared a sketch of the first Apple Watch’s home screen design and commented, “the crown gave the home screen a dimensionality, allowing you to scrub through layers of the UI”. The drawings show a circular skeleton, next to a much more developed drawing, representing the initial stages of the Watch’s development. Digital Touch in the Watch was called ET (electronic touch). “I called it that for its potential as a new form of emotional connection,” says Chaudhri.
According to information shared by Chaudhri on Twitter, the butterfly watch face was created by Andrew Zuckerman as he photographed a butterfly that had passed away.
Chaudhri also mentioned how he developed the Solar watch face so that users can tell the sun’s position quickly, a feature primarily used by Muslims observing Ramadan. Besides all the unique features shared by the developer, he also pointed out the fact that one of the Watch’s earliest prototypes came in the form of a sixth-generation iPod nano attached to a watchband.
my first prototype was built on a 6th gen nano strapped to this band. i had just wrapped up ios5 and took it down to show the ID team what notification centre and siri was – and what it could be in the future. i never got to share it with steve. we lost him right after ios5. pic.twitter.com/j4JJYNIgIu
— Imran Chaudhri (@imranchaudhri) April 24, 2020
Apple Watch celebrated its fifth birthday on April 24th. The watch has grown popular with time and outsells the entire Swiss watch industry. Apple has continued to add new features and technology, especially health-related, to the Watch since the time it first came out. Furthermore, Apple Watch Series 5 received a full redesign in 2019 and added an always-on-display so that users can always look at the time.