Apple Watch band guidelines exert careful control over design

Third-party bands can't include a wireless charger or interfere with the smartwatch's heart rate sensor

Apple released guidelines and technical drawings for accessory makers looking to create Apple Watch bands.

Apple released guidelines and technical drawings for accessory makers looking to create Apple Watch bands.

Third parties interested in creating Apple Watch bands should keep their designs simple and consider the environment, according to guidelines Apple released for accessory makers.

Some of the requirements are obvious, like clauses prohibiting bands from interfering with the smartwatch's heart rate monitor or the ability to use Apple Pay. Bands must provide people with "a snug, yet comfortable, fit that prevents movement of Apple Watch relative to skin," Apple said.

Other requirements stress less obvious issues, such as meeting the environmental regulations in the regions where the bands will be sold. The EU and China, for example, have restrictions on the amounts of nickel and formaldehyde that can be used in products that come in contact with a person's skin.

One regulation may disappoint people who hoped to buy an Apple-approved, third-party band to boost the device's battery life: Bands incorporating wireless chargers are forbidden. Accessory makers can still make such bands, but their products won't receive Apple's blessing and run the risk of not working when the watch's software is updated.

The guidelines, which are spelled out in two documents, detail corrosion, durability and strength tests, among other requirements, that the bands and lugs must pass. The lugs secure the bands to the watch by using a magnetic attachment system that Apple designed. Apple said the lugs would be available "soon," but didn't offer a time frame.

Apple didn't share any details on developing bands that utilize a six-pin port found on the watch, the purpose of which remains a mystery. Some media reports speculate the port, which is covered, could be used for diagnostic tests. One accessory maker has discovered that the port can be used to charge the device and developed a band with that function.

Apple also provided detailed drawings of the 38mm and 42mm Apple Watch bodies, the lug and the interface where the band attaches to the watch.

Fred O'Connor writes about IT careers and health IT for The IDG News Service. Follow Fred on Twitter at @fredjoconnor. Fred's e-mail address is fred_o'connor@idg.com

Join the newsletter!

Or

Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags Appleconsumer electronics

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Fred O'Connor

IDG News Service
Show Comments

Cool Tech

Bang and Olufsen Beosound Stage - Dolby Atmos Soundbar

Learn more >

Toys for Boys

ASUS ROG, ACRONYM partner for Special Edition Zephyrus G14

Learn more >

Sony WF-1000XM3 Wireless Noise Cancelling Headphones

Learn more >

Nakamichi Delta 100 3-Way Hi Fi Speaker System

Learn more >

Family Friendly

Mario Kart Live: Home Circuit for Nintendo Switch

Learn more >

Philips Sonicare Diamond Clean 9000 Toothbrush

Learn more >

Stocking Stuffer

Teac 7 inch Swivel Screen Portable DVD Player

Learn more >

SunnyBunny Snowflakes 20 LED Solar Powered Fairy String

Learn more >

Christmas Gift Guide

Click for more ›

Brand Post

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Tom Pope

Dynabook Portégé X30L-G

Ultimately this laptop has achieved everything I would hope for in a laptop for work, while fitting that into a form factor and weight that is remarkable.

Tom Sellers

MSI P65

This smart laptop was enjoyable to use and great to work on – creating content was super simple.

Lolita Wang

MSI GT76

It really doesn’t get more “gaming laptop” than this.

Jack Jeffries

MSI GS75

As the Maserati or BMW of laptops, it would fit perfectly in the hands of a professional needing firepower under the hood, sophistication and class on the surface, and gaming prowess (sports mode if you will) in between.

Taylor Carr

MSI PS63

The MSI PS63 is an amazing laptop and I would definitely consider buying one in the future.

Christopher Low

Brother RJ-4230B

This small mobile printer is exactly what I need for invoicing and other jobs such as sending fellow tradesman details or step-by-step instructions that I can easily print off from my phone or the Web.

Featured Content

Product Launch Showcase

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?