The system font Apple made specifically for the Apple Watch, dubbed San Francisco, will reportedly be included in the upcoming updates to iOS and OS X. According to sources speaking to 9to5Mac, the font will replace Helvetica Neue, and be used in part to refresh Apple’s software, while also providing better legibility.
Following Apple’s complete change to Helvetica Neue last year, a number of designers voiced their displeasure with the font, chastising its illegibility in particular. Apple actually designed San Francisco specifically for the Apple Watch’s smaller display.
Apple executives supposedly feel the use of San Francisco will not only please those who felt Helvetica Neue was a poor font choice, but completely refresh iOS 9 and OS X, which some in the Apple camp feel are becoming stale. On the other side of the coin, however, some developers have complained that San Francisco isn’t the best choice either, especially for non-Retina screens because the font just flat out doesn’t look good.
9to5Mac notes that using a new font isn’t as simple as it sounds. Apple has to change all of its pre-bundled applications for iOS and OS X, and do a lot of testing to ensure the font looks good at different sizes.
With WWDC coming in early June, we’ll hear plenty more about the fate of iOS and OS X, and whether or not San Francisco is involved. 9to5Mac says daily builds of OS X 10.11 and iOS 9 have already begun to include the new font, so testing is at least ongoing. We’ll find out soon enough.