The Secret History of Apple Watch ➝

Great behind the scenes profile of the Apple Watch development process by David Pierce. It’s a long read, but it’s chock full of interesting tidbits — like the first working prototypes for Apple Watch being iPhones that they would strap to their wrists and run a simulator on for software testing:

The team built a simulator that displayed a life-size image of an Apple Watch on the screen. Software was moving much more quickly than hardware, and the team needed a way to test how it worked on your wrist. There was even an onscreen digital crown—a facsimile of a watch’s classic knob—that you could swipe to spin, but it hardly replicated the feeling of twisting a real crown. Swiping, after all, is what the knob was supposed to replace. So they made a custom dongle, an actual watch crown that plugged into the bottom of the phone through the cord jack.

I also found the bit about Apple’s work on the Taptic engine interesting. Translating sound effects into physical sensations that capture what a text message or a tweet would feel like is the kind of attention to detail I’ve come to expect from apple.