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macOS Mojave and watchOS 5 are close enough to final that Apple is ready to give developers new downloadable templates for designing Mac and Apple Watch apps. The company today updated its Human Interface Guidelines with new AppKit elements for designing Mac apps, as well as new UI elements, watch face templates, text styles, and color guides for watchOS.

Mac developers will now find separate collections of “Aqua” and “DarkAqua” UI elements in the collection, including all of the new menu bar, window, button, and field elements introduced in Mojave’s optional dark mode. Each element is broken into layers for easy editing, and Apple’s San Francisco font is bundled to enable the sample files to be customized for app-specific dialog. Touch Bar glyphs are included in a separate template.

Apple Watch developers get everything from app, icon, and complication design templates to highly specific color guides for buttons, backgrounds, and platters. Separate 38mm and 42mm templates are available where appropriate, corresponding to the smaller and larger versions of the Apple Watch.

Today’s release is interestingly timed in that the next Apple Watch is expected to be upgraded with larger screens in September, potentially impacting app design choices. It’s unclear whether Apple will be upgrading the new Apple Watch display resolutions or merely enlarging existing pixels to fit larger screens. Historically, it has chosen the former route, which could leave some of the new templates outdated — or perhaps just surrounded by more empty space.

The new templates are available in Adobe Photoshop and Bohemian Sketch formats. They’re free from Apple’s developer website, along with previously updated templates for iOS 12.


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