Anyone with an Apple Watch will be pleased to know that Apple has just launched an official program for third-party accessory developers to design bands (straps) for the wearable device. In line with the MFi (Made for iOS) program for iPhone, iPad and iPod accessories, the new program is called “Made for Apple Watch”.
This opens the door to hundreds of other companies to produce other straps that can connect to the way by way of a standard connector on either side of the watch, and much like the iPhone and iPad accessories, third parties will be able to make good use of the product’s features.
Made for Apple Watch program launched
On a new developer website, Apple provides design guidelines for third-party bands, and Apple says that “lugs” (attachments for the bands) will be available soon. Even before today’s launch, some third-party developers have launched, or said they would launch, new straps with different leathers, battery packs built in, and unique designs. Apple’s guidelines for third-party bands indicate that the accessories must comply with certain environmental specs, and be able to be tightened enough to the wrist to maintain compatibility with the Watch’s heart rate sensor.
The made for Apple Watch guidelines however don’t mention the hidden diagnostic port that some accessory makers want to use. Today’s announcement also does not provide official specs for charging accessories. Apple sells various rubber, metal, and leather Apple Watch bands, as well as extra MagSafe chargers in a stainless steel model. Apple has also provided some design schematics for the watch, which will interest those in Apple Watch’s industrial design:
You can also of course just do a DIY modification as shown in this video.
SOURCE: Apple Developer website