Apple.com Switch From Myriad to San Francisco: a Disaster For Japanese Typography

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Apple’s Japanese web site for Suica Apple Pay using Apple TP

With the release of iPhone 6 in 2014, Apple refreshed their Japanese site with a new web font Apple TP  (above). Apple TP is a custom font using Myriad Set for roman glyphs and Axis for Japanese glyphs. One of the design aims of Axis was to harmonize roman and kanji glyphs in mixed text strings making heavy use of proportional spacing.

Some liked it, some did not but there was no denying that Apple had spent time and money on Japanese web typography.

This week Apple.com ditched Myriad Set for San Francisco on their main English language pages. In Japan Apple ditched Apple TP and replaced it with SF Pro JP. The result is what you see below.

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Apple’s Japanese web page for Apple Pay Support uses SF Pro JP which appears to be a custom mix of San Francisco roman glyphs and Hiragino Kaku Pro kanji and kana glyphs

SF Pro JP appears to be a horrific mish-mash of San Francisco roman glyphs and Hiragino Kaku Pro for everything else using Japanese style fixed spacing. The hot mess looks like an Apple Japan web page from 1995 using the long gone Osaka system font: raw Japanese text with zero typographic finesse,   huge    gaps     between      English    and   Japanese    text, weird spacing between kanji and kana glyphs.

Somebody at Apple really dropped the ball.

Update: Font folks from the mother ship tell me that SF Pro JP should not be rendering like that. 12 hours after the above screen grabs, SF Pro JP now renders like this (below) in Safari on macOS 10.12.3 and iOS 10.3 beta 1:

SF Pro JP render 1-27-2017.png

The bolder glyphs make the text stings look a little more balanced, if indeed this is how it is supposed to look, but Apple TP did a much better job balancing roman, kanji and kana glyphs into well-balanced, good-looking text strings. SF Pro JP text stings are gappy, chunky and ugly.

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Apple Pay Suica Express Transit and Security

YouTube blogger macgeek discovered that Apple Pay Suica works on his Apple Watch Series 2 device even with the device locked and off his wrist. As explained in his video, this is the way Apple Pay Suica is supposed to work when Express Transit is turned on, but what about security?

Express Transit only works with the Stored Fare (SF) on Suica and debits the SF amount. Once SF is used up you have to recharge Suica using an Apple Pay credit card which requires TouchID authorization. 
If your iPhone or Apple Watch are stolen the thieves could use the SF amount of your Suica but could not use Apple Pay to recharge Suica or make purchases.

The only potential fly in the ointment would be if you have Suica SF auto-recharge enabled in the JR East Suica app. JR East limits daily SF auto-recharge to a 20,000 JPY maximum. 
In any case the solution is simple: if your iOS device is lost or stolen the first step is to turn on Lost Mode which disables Apple Pay.