A few days back, iHelpBR leaked an image that they had retrieved from the iOS 13 Beta 7 assets. It showed to us that Apple are planning on bringing the yet-to-be-announced Apple Watch Series 5 in titanium and ceramic cases, similar to have they have done with previous Apple Watches such as the Series 3, which came in a Ceramic chassis.
I found this to be a super cool leak, and I was pretty excited to see it. Like, a titanium Apple Watch sounds pretty epic. But, over the past few days I’ve been looking at this image and something has been slightly off about it, and I haven’t been able to put my finger on what seems strange about this image.
Finally, I was looking at the images, and I noticed that the leaked asset from iOS 13 Beta 7 have a discrepancy in them. The typeface that is being used around the spirograph is wrong. It’s using Helvetica Neue, which is not the font that Apple uses on any of its products anymore, especially the Apple Watch.
Apple’s font for all of it’s modern-day devices is their custom-made font “San Francisco”, which was built in-house for the Apple Watch back in 2015. The typeface was designed for ultimate legibility (especially on the small screen of the Apple Watch). In June of 2015, Apple introduced an edited version of the typeface, named ‘SF Pro Display’ and ‘SF Pro Text’, for system font for iOS 9, and that is the font that is used on iOS today. On the Apple Watch, Apple use a modified version of San Fransisco named ‘SF Compact Display’ and ‘SF Compact Text’.
The last time Helvetica Neue was used in software by Apple was in 2015, with the introduction of iOS 9, which removed Helvetica Neue. In macOS, Helvetica Neue was also killed in 2015 with the introduction of Mac OS X El Capitan, following just one year of usage in macOS Yosemite.
So, I know it’s super boring reading about fonts and typefaces, but here’s the interesting part. The leaked image of the spirographic pairing animation of the Apple Watch Series 5 uses Helvetica Neue, not San Francisco – which has been used in every pairing animation since the very beginning of the Apple Watch. Going back through all the models, including the first-generation Apple Watch, the Series 2, 3, 4, and even the >$10,000 18-karat Gold models that were there back in 2015.
So, I know this might be difficult to imagine in your head, so I recreated the Apple Watch spirographical pairing animation in Photoshop and compared it to the one leaked by iHelpBR. Even though it doesn’t look like much, this is a difference between the two. As you can see, AppleInformed’s mock-up (with SF Compact) has distinct features such as no tail on the ‘G’, a more compact design, a straight-legged ‘R’, and a higher centre-tail on the ‘M’. Both typefaces have many differences, but these are the most distinct features.
So, what does this mean? It could mean many things. I’m not suggesting that iHelpBR made this up or created this leak, but it is odd how Apple wouldn’t use their corporate font for the new titanium Apple Watch. Apple’s could have created it super fast with little attention, but considering iHelpBR’s image is showing it being played in QuickTime Player, it’s obviously a video. Therefore, that means that Apple would have had to animate this intricate animation with the incorrect font, which is something I don’t think Apple would do. For reference, below is the full animation(s), which are quite intricate.
What do you think about this? Let us know in the comments or tweet at us @AppleInformed on Twitter!