Apple to drop Helvetica on iOS 9 and OS X 10.11

There are just over two weeks left for us to see the face of OS X 10.11 and iOS 9, which will surely change little in terms of their interface , which they recently radically renewed. At the moment we only know the key names of these operating systems: Gala and Monarch, respectively.

What they do talk about for sure is that Apple has finally come to its senses and will remove all traces of the Helvetica font, which reigns in the iOS 8 and OS X Yosemite interfaces, with one stroke of the pen. The designers immediately went to the head, knowing that Helvetica is not a good typeface for screen readability , and Apple seems to have noticed it too.

Apple to drop Helvetica on iOS 9 and OS X 10.11
Apple to drop Helvetica on iOS 9 and OS X 10.11

We still don’t explain how the Apple design team let this idea go to waste, but it’s better to rectify it, even if it’s late. Surely the new font we see will be the San Francisco designed by Apple itself, and that we have been seeing for some time in the Apple Watch . It is a typeface designed specifically for high readability in its display, and it comes as a ring to the finger of a graphical user interface.

There are some engineers within Apple who don’t look too kindly on San Francisco , because it shouldn’t look too good on Retina displays. I personally don’t like it particularly, but I like it much better than Helvetica. Although honestly, I think the best one is the old Lucida Neue that Apple has used for years in its graphic interfaces.

Changing the entire font of an operating system is not as simple as it might seem. The change requires Apple to change all its applications, and iOS and OS X menus to fit the new font . This also requires a lot of testing to ensure that the new font does not alter usability in the various sizes, or in the apps in the App Store. In fact the build internal to OS X 10.11 and iOS 9 that some employees of the company already use bring the San Francisco typeface, since March.

As expected, all developers will now have to switch to San Francisco in their apps , so as not to clash with the hegemony that already seemed to have been created in the applications. Those who have already redesigned their applications to adapt them to the Apple Watch will be halfway there. The new 12-inch MacBook also has San Francisco in the letters of its keyboard . We’ll get out of the way on June 8th, where we’ll see if Apple has finally decided to make the leap to San Francisco or if they’re finally going to back off and stay with Helvetica Neue.

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