The soon-to-be-released Apple Watch has been a long time in the making. In exclusive interviews with Apple technology vice president, Kevin Lynch, and creative director, Alan Dye, Wired magazine's David Pierce uncovered deep insights into the thought process, testing and development that gave rise to the company's new smartwatch. The article, "iPhone Killer: The Secret History of the Apple Watch," appeared in the April issue.
Here are five funny and surprising details the conversations turned up:
1. First there was a watch, then there was a reason for a watch
In what seems like a fairly backward way to come up with a new product, Apple first decided that it was going to make a wrist-mounted technology. What it would actually do and what problems it would solve would be figured out bit by bit through late-night brainstorming while working on other projects.
"Apple decided to make a watch and only then set out to discover what it might be good for (besides, you know, displaying the time)," Pierce wrote.
2. The eureka moment: The problem is the iPhone
As Pierce put it, "Along the way, the Apple team landed upon the Watch's raison d'être. It came down to this: Your phone is ruining your life."
The Apple Watch became the answer to being glued to a cellphone screen -- hence the Wired article's title. Freeing us from the hours we spend staring at a smartphone, this newer, smaller device would be used in short bursts of no more than 10 seconds each.
Of course, the Apple Watch won't kill the iPhone; it can't work without it. But you get the point.
3. The original Watch was an iPhone
It's a great image: The first working prototype for the Apple Watch was an iPhone attached to a Velcro strap. A simulator played the role of the early watch on the smartphone display.
4. Need a new font
Once the actual watch was developed, the design team realized Apple's standard Helvetica font wasn't going to cut it. They created a new typeface that would be more readable, with squarer letters (with "gentle, curved corners," as is Apple's way) and more space between them. They called the new font San Francisco.
5. Options, options, options
If you think about it, Apple isn't typically big on letting the customer choose. It was front page news when they offered iPhone 5c in five colors. The 5s, 6 and 6 Plus come in just silver, gold or space gray.
But for the Apple Watch, Pierce said, the company took cues from traditional watchmakers and "broke away from the company's long-standing practice of offering a narrow range of options." Between its three models, two sizes, several band options and changeable watch face, Apple Watch is highly customizable.