How the New Snoopy Apple Watch Face Came to Life
Apple has collaborated with Charles M. Schulz Creative Associates to bring the iconic character Snoopy to the Apple Watch. The new watch face is part of the free watchOS 10 software update made available on Tuesday, and features 148 unique animations of the beloved beagle.
“When you design an analogue watch with Snoopy, he’s a static character right?” said Paige Braddock, Chief Creative Officer at Charles M Schulz Creative Associates, in an interview with British GQ. “You wouldn’t believe the minutiae we go into to make them work at every angle, but going into this first meeting with Apple I was going ‘I don’t even know if I’m smart enough to wear this watch.’”
The animations are drawn directly from Charles M Schulz’s Peanuts comics and are contextual depending on the time of day, local weather, and activities. For instance, Snoopy dons scuba gear when the user goes for a swim and howls at the moon at night.
“I’m typically a very organized person,” stated Gary Butcher, Human Interface Designer at Apple. “By the end of the day, we’d not touched the wall of A3 paper, but had tons of sketches littering the table.”
The design team paid meticulous attention to Snoopy’s look, settling on an ’80s-inspired design with specific features. “In the initial brainstorm, the team had started with sort of generic sketches where he’s walking in the rain with an umbrella or whatever,” Braddock added. “But there are some very specific Snoopy things that no other comic character does, like he holds up his ear and blocks the rain for Woodstock.”
Apple engineers created a scene layout engine that rotates certain clips by six degrees every minute and a Snoopy decision engine to determine the optimal time to showcase animations without repetition.
“Snoopy has this way of bridging the gap between generations,” said Eric Charles of Apple Watch Product Marketing. “What’s really interesting about the strip is that the scenarios Snoopy ends up in are still relatable to the audience that grew up with him and a new audience that’s being introduced to him.”
The Snoopy watch face is now available on Apple Watch through the watchOS 10 update. You’ll need to update your iPhone to iOS 17 first in order to proceed.