5. Glances are read-only cards
Apple describes a Glance as a “quick view of a focused set of content from an app” that is “timely and contextually relevant”. They are template-based, static and read-only, but can link deep into their corresponding app. You swipe up to access Glances, and then swipe horizontally between them; think a card-based iPhone/iPad Notification Center, pared down to the bone.
6. Notifications can be ‘short’ or ‘long’
‘Short’ notifications are visible only briefly after the wrist is raised, showing the app’s name and icon, and a brief, to-the-point notification title. If the wrist remains raised “for a moment”, a custom ‘long’ notification can offer more information and basic interactivity, such as buttons for commenting or liking something.
7. Strict but flexible layouts
App layout is clearly defined and heavily automated. Apple states side-by-side elements are restricted to three, apps can use all space to the display edges, and positioning is relative, not fixed. Elements are laid out from top-to-bottom and left-to-right, with element groups enabling developers to add a little layout sophistication. Apps should therefore ‘just work’ on any future Apple Watch size, and never look a horrible mess. In theory.
8. Apple wants tasteful, elegant apps
Apple stops short of defining how a developer must design their app, but only just. Black backgrounds are heavily recommended, along with careful use of high-contrast colours; however, colour must not be used for indicating interactivity (a rule we wish would extend to iPad and iPhone…).
Typography must be legible and preferably use Apple’s built-in styles; branding should be minimised in a “refined, unobtrusive way”. This all suggests Apple Watch will be a unified, stylish experience, if perhaps lacking some heart and soul.