watchOS 10 includes a new Snoopy face for Apple Watch, and the comic strip-inspired clock is full of surprises. In a new interview this week, the team behind the Snoopy face discusses the process behind making such a fun addition to Apple Watch.
Spending just a few minutes with the Snoopy watch face illustrates just how dynamic it can be. Snoopy and Woodstock are full of surprises each time you check your watch, and the two are snoozing on the dog house when the always-on display is dimmed.
According to GQ, Apple engineered a “scene layout engine that can rotate certain clips by six degrees every minute, as well as a Snoopy decision engine that figures out the optimal time to showcase them without too much repetition.”
That’s a level of contextual awareness that rivals even the Siri watch face.
“You wouldn’t believe the minutiae we go into to make them work at every angle, but going into this first meeting with Apple I was going ‘I don’t even know if I’m smart enough to wear this watch,’” says Paige Braddock, chief creative officer at Charles M Schulz Creative Associates.
The meeting between Apple and the keepers of Snoopy was actually the watch team’s “first in-person meet-up after the pandemic,” according to GQ.
Members of the watch team shared some behind-the-scenes details about that first meeting:
“I’m typically a very organised person,” says Gary Butcher, human interface designer at Apple. “So I felt, ‘We’ve got a limited amount of time together and there might be some uneasiness, so I’ll print out 148 pieces of blank paper and we need to leave the room having filled out every one of those pages.’ By the end of the day, we’d not touched the wall of A3 paper, but had tons of sketches littering the table.”
“Snoopy has this way of bridging the gap between generations,” says Eric Charles of Apple Watch product marketing. “What’s really interesting about the strip is that the scenarios Snoopy ends up in are still relatable to the audience that grew up with him and a new audience that’s being introduced to him.”
The new Snoopy watch face is available on watchOS 10 and later. Apple officially released the software update for Apple Watch Series 4 and later on Monday. Read the full GQ piece here.