Apple Executives Explain Challenges of Adding Larger Display to Apple Watch Series 7

The Apple Watch Series 7 comes in new 41mm and 45mm size options and it has the largest display of any Apple Watch to date, a design challenge that Apple executives called "unique" in an interview with The Independent.

Apple Watch Series 7 Pink and Green Feature
Implementing the new design without major increases to the casing size required "completely re-engineering the display, the front crystal, the internals and the internal enclosure," according to Apple's vice president of product marketing, Stan Ng.

Apple was able to reduce the borders on the Series 7 to 1.7mm, down from 3mm in the Series 6, and it's a noticeable change. The ‌Apple Watch Series 7‌'s launch was delayed until October after its September introduction, and rumors suggested that was due to the complicated design necessitated by the updated display.

The size increase was implemented only because Apple found a way to do it without compromising on other Apple Watch features. The touch sensor was integrated into the OLED panel, which kept the height of the Apple Watch the same and the general case size consistent.

"The re-engineered display on Series 7 is a major technical innovation. Growing the display is such a huge benefit to users, but only if it doesn't compromise any other part of the experience, such as comfort or aesthetics or battery life or band compatibility."

Apple's vice president of interface design, Alan Dye, said the company's goal with the update was to "make the user experience more clear and more accessible." The size increase required Apple to make hundreds of small UI changes.

"We knew this was an opportunity to optimize the design of the entire experience. So, we went about over the past couple of years reconsidering and recrafting every element, making hundreds of really small but we think important and impactful changes to make the UI to work in harmony with the new display design and making the UI even easier to use."

Text input on the Apple Watch has always been "a huge challenge," according to Dye, so the QWERTY keyboard that was implemented with the larger display was an achievement. Dye says that Apple always wanted a QWERTY keyboard. The bezels around the keys were removed to make it feel less cramped, a move that also conveys to customers that "precision isn't critical" because the keyboard uses machine learning to correct what you want to type.

Going forward, Apple plans to continue to innovate on the Apple Watch user experience, the information that's displayed, and cutting down on wasted space.

The full interview, which goes into more detail on design decisions like the new Apple Watch faces and Apple's obsession with typography, can be read over at The Independent.

Related Roundup: Apple Watch Series 7
Buyer's Guide: Apple Watch (Caution)
Related Forum: Apple Watch

Top Rated Comments

alexandr Avatar
9 months ago
right, it is amazing that they managed to fit the qwerty keyboard on the 41mm screen, yet it just won't fit a 44mm one from previous gens...
Score: 32 Votes (Like | Disagree)
midkay Avatar
9 months ago
It's a minor thing, but I'd really like to see enhancements to the workout metrics display. It hasn't changed in years, despite the screen size increasing twice, it still just shows a few lines of plain text, and the entire top 1/3 of the display is wasted on the huge workout icon in the top-left. I'd love to see a redesign, with more detail and maybe a graph or two showing heart rate/pace/calories over time, maybe a couple different 'views' to swipe between, etc.
Score: 22 Votes (Like | Disagree)
BootsWalking Avatar
9 months ago
This afternoon I solved a major lunch challenge by inserting an extra slice of tomato onto my turkey sandwich without causing said sandwich to increase vertically in size. Stay tuned - I'll be filing a patent later this month.
Score: 18 Votes (Like | Disagree)
kiensoy Avatar
9 months ago
It’s funny they mention the QWERTY keyboard is now possible because of the larger screen while still adding it to the smaller Series 7 but not the large Series 6.
Score: 18 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Naraxus Avatar
9 months ago
You mean the QWERTY keyboard Apple ripped off from a developer? That QWERTY keyboard?
Score: 14 Votes (Like | Disagree)
midkay Avatar
9 months ago

You mean the QWERTY keyboard Apple ripped off from a developer? That QWERTY keyboard?
Yes, that developer totally invented QWERTY keyboards. /s
Score: 12 Votes (Like | Disagree)

Related Stories

apple watch series 7 aluminum colors

2022 Apple Watch Lineup Rumored to Include New Apple Watch SE and 'Rugged' Model for Sports

Sunday December 5, 2021 8:22 am PST by
Apple is planning an entire revamp of its Apple Watch lineup for 2022, including an update to the Apple Watch SE and a new Apple Watch with a rugged design aimed at sports athletes, according to respected Bloomberg journalist Mark Gurman. Writing in the latest installment of his Power On newsletter, Gurman said that for 2022, alongside the Apple Watch Series 8, Apple is planning an update to ...
Apple Watch Series 7 Rainbow Cropped Blue Discount

Deals: Apple Watch Series 7 Models Discounted by $50, Starting at $349 for 41mm GPS

Wednesday March 16, 2022 7:38 am PDT by
Amazon has returned with all-time low discounts on the Apple Watch Series 7 today, reaching up to $50 off many models of the newest Apple Watch. Compared to other Apple products, the Apple Watch Series 7 remains one of the most consistently discounted devices in Apple's lineup for 2022. Note: MacRumors is an affiliate partner with some of these vendors. When you click a link and make a...
Apple Watch Series 7 Rainbow Cropped Blue Discount

Deals: Take $50 Off the Apple Watch Series 7, Starting at $349 for 41mm GPS

Wednesday January 26, 2022 7:32 am PST by
Amazon is offering fresh discounts across the entire Apple Watch Series 7 lineup today, with $50 markdowns across the board on 41mm and 45mm GPS and cellular models. Every model is shipped and sold directly by Amazon, with stock available for shipping today for most devices. Note: MacRumors is an affiliate partner with some of these vendors. When you click a link and make a purchase, we may...
91mmobile apple watch series 1

Alleged Apple Watch Series 7 CAD Renders Reveal New Design With Flat Edges and Larger Display

Tuesday August 17, 2021 5:34 am PDT by
The upcoming Apple Watch Series 7 will feature flat edges, a larger display thanks to smaller bezels, and a more prominent speaker, according to new CAD renders, allegedly obtained from industry sources, shared today by 91mobiles. The renders reveal an updated Apple Watch design that takes inspiration from the flat-edges of the iPhone 12, iPad Pro, iPad Air, and the upcoming 14 and 16-inch...
prosser apple watch series 7

Rumor: Apple Watch Series 7 to Come in Larger 41mm and 45mm Sizes

Tuesday August 24, 2021 7:40 am PDT by
The upcoming Apple Watch Series 7 will come in larger 41mm and 45mm case sizes, replacing the current 40mm and 44m options offered since the Apple Watch Series 4, according to a leaker on popular Chinese platform Weibo. The account sharing the information goes by UnclePan, who has shared information regarding Apple's plans in the past. According to a post from the leaker this week, the...
Apple Watch Series 7 Keyboard

Apple Watch Series 7 Larger Display Allows for Full On-Screen Keyboard

Tuesday September 14, 2021 12:10 pm PDT by
Thanks to the larger display on the Apple Watch Series 7, users can now use a full keyboard right on their wrist. Users will be able to tap or slide across letters to type, in which case watchOS will use "machine learning to predict the word you’re typing." The new Apple Watch Series 7, which comes in larger 41mm and 45mm sizes, features larger displays compared to the Series 6 thanks to...
Apple Watch Series 7 Pink and Green Feature

Apple Watch Series 8 Could Come in Three Sizes, Claims Analyst

Tuesday October 12, 2021 11:06 am PDT by
Next year's Apple Watch, which would be the Series 8, could come in three sizes, according to display analyst Ross Young. On Twitter, Young said that people should not be surprised "if there are three sizes next year." Young did not provide details on what those three sizes might be, but he asked if users would like to see a "bigger display," so presumably the third size would be a larger...
apple watch abc action news

Apple Watch Saves Woman's Life With Feature She'd Never Heard Of

Wednesday March 23, 2022 1:59 am PDT by
An Apple Watch has been credited with saving a woman's life after it contacted emergency services when she fell, leading to a lung cancer diagnosis, ABC Action News reports. 71-year-old grandmother Raylene Hackenwerth, from Saint Petersburg, Florida, fell in early March, triggering her Apple Watch's Fall Detection feature. The Apple Watch's Fall Detection feature can tell when a wearer has...

Popular Stories

airpods pro 2 1

AirPods Pro 2 No Longer Expected to Feature Built-In Heart Rate or Body Temperature Sensor

Sunday July 3, 2022 8:07 pm PDT by
While past rumors have indicated the upcoming second-generation AirPods Pro will feature a built-in heart rate and body temperature sensor, Bloomberg's Mark Gurman has cast doubt on those rumors turning out to be true, saying instead such a feature is unlikely to come anytime soon. "Over the past few months, there have been rumors about this year's model gaining the ability to determine a...
top stories 2jul2022

Top Stories: M2 MacBook Air Release Date, New HomePod Rumor, and More

Saturday July 2, 2022 6:00 am PDT by
The M2 MacBook Pro has started making its way into customers' hands and we're learning more about how it performs in a variety of situations, but all eyes are really on the upcoming M2 MacBook Air which has seen a complete redesign and should be arriving in a couple of weeks. Other top stories this week included a host of product rumors including additional M2 and even M3 Macs, an updated...
Apple Watch 8 Unreleased Feature Thumb

Apple Watch Series 8 Model Rumored to Feature 5% Larger Display

Monday July 4, 2022 5:50 am PDT by
Apple is working on an Apple Watch Series 8 model with a larger display, according to DSCC's Ross Young and Haitong International Securities's Jeff Pu. In October last year, Young suggested that the Apple Watch Series 8 could come in three display sizes. Now, responding to a query about the rumor on Twitter, Young claims that the additional display size joining the Apple Watch lineup will be ...
intel go pc justin long

Windows Laptop Makers 'Worried' About New MacBook Air Impacting Sales

Tuesday July 5, 2022 6:57 am PDT by
The upcoming launch of Apple's redesigned MacBook Air with the M2 chip has some Windows laptop manufacturers "worried" that sales of Intel-based laptops will be negatively affected, according to industry sources cited by DigiTimes. "A Wintel brand vendor pointed out that at a price point of US$1,000-$1,500, the MacBook Air will crowd out other high-end notebooks," the report claims, with...
Apple Watch Series 8 What We Know Feature

Apple Watch Series 8 Might Be Able to Tell If You Have a Fever

Sunday July 3, 2022 6:36 am PDT by
The upcoming Apple Watch Series 8 will be able to tell a wearer if it believes they have a fever due to a higher than normal body temperature thanks to a new built-in sensor, according to Bloomberg's reliable Mark Gurman. Writing in the latest edition of his Power On newsletter, Gurman says that the Apple Watch Series 8 will feature a new body temperature sensor, given that the sensor passes ...
macbook air m2

Exclusive: Apple Plans to Launch MacBook Air With M2 Chip on July 15

Wednesday June 29, 2022 5:23 pm PDT by
The redesigned MacBook Air with the all-new M2 Apple silicon chip will be available for customers starting Friday, July 15, MacRumors has learned from a retail source. The new MacBook Air was announced and previewed during WWDC earlier this month, with Apple stating availability will begin in July. The MacBook Air features a redesigned body that is thinner and lighter than the previous...
European Commisssion

EU Approves Landmark Legislation to Regulate Apple and Other Big Tech Firms

Tuesday July 5, 2022 5:53 am PDT by
European Union lawmakers have approved landmark legislation to heavily regulate Apple, Google, Meta, and other big tech firms. The Digital Markets Act (DMA) and Digital Services Act (DSA) were proposed by the European Commission in December 2020. Now, collected in a "Digital Services Package," the legislation has been formally adopted by the European Parliament and seeks to address...