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  • Apple Releases Apple Watch Band Design Guidelines for Third-Party Manufacturers


    Apple recently posted a previously unreleased document that details the guidelines for creating an Apple Watch band design for third-party manufacturers that are interested in creating aftermarket straps for the device. The document titled “Band Design Guidelines for Apple Watch,” which was added to Apple’s Developer Resources webpage, offers an extensive overview of the stringent regulations to which third-party accessory makers have to abide by if they want to market Apple Watch-compatible straps.

    It should be noted that the document carries a revision date of April 24, which is the same day that the device launched worldwide. In the document, Apple noted that all band accessories must meet environmental regulations while maintaining a high level of durability as assessed by reliability tests measuring corrosion, metal purity and strength among many other requirements. Furthermore, it was outlined that special consideration is given to band lugs, which are integral components that mate straps to the Apple Watch by interfacing with Apple’s proprietary magnetic attachment system.

    Many design specification regulations are expectedly strict as well. Apple noted that accessories must allow full Watch functionality including direct access to the device’s heart rate sensor. The document goes into several highly detailed schematics for both the 38mm and 42mm Apple Watch chassis as well as individual specifications for the magnetic band interface and lug design. There is a separate download which contains an Apple Watch lug Drawing Exchange Format (DXF) file for mocking up designs in drafting software such as AutoCAD. Apple says that official Apple Watch lugs “will be available soon” as part of the new Made for Apple Watch program.

    All-in-all this is great news for several parties: first for the accessory manufacturers and companies looking to enter the space and more importantly for us the consumers, as such a move should lead to a variety of custom watch bands in the near future! Are you excited?!

    Source: Apple (Developer) (PDF)
    This article was originally published in forum thread: Apple Releases Apple Watch Band Design Guidelines for Third-Party Manufacturers started by Akshay Masand View original post
    Comments 7 Comments
    1. Ambi_Valence's Avatar
      Ambi_Valence -
      Aren’t these guys the most pretentious punks you’ve ever heard of?
    1. cpotoso's Avatar
      cpotoso -
      "stringent regulations to which third-party accessory makers have to abide by if they want to market Apple Watch-compatible strap"

      You know, if I want to make a crappy strap and sell it, it is really none of your business. I can design it in any way I please. (Whether it sells or not... that is of course a different story.)
    1. repoman16's Avatar
      repoman16 -
      Quote Originally Posted by cpotoso View Post
      "stringent regulations to which third-party accessory makers have to abide by if they want to market Apple Watch-compatible strap"

      You know, if I want to make a crappy strap and sell it, it is really none of your business. I can design it in any way I please. (Whether it sells or not... that is of course a different story.)
      While I agree with you, I kinda like the idea. Pretend "this accessory may not be supported" every time you plug your watch in with a cheap band. Next thing you know the watch doesnt work, the battery is fried and the CPU is busted because someone used a cheap knock off, all while Apple support gets flooded because of a "dead bad watch" instead of a "bad third party band fried my watch"

      The fact that they are opening this up to third party manufacturers is a move forward in my opinion.
    1. holyshnikes's Avatar
      holyshnikes -
      I'd rather have the strict guidelines. It makes sure people make it for quality. It's a bad representation of an apple product to other people who don't know it's a third party band. They'll think "look at that cheap watch. $700 for that?"
    1. qumahlin's Avatar
      qumahlin -
      Quote Originally Posted by Ambi_Valence View Post
      Aren’t these guys the most pretentious punks you’ve ever heard of?
      Huh? Do you think this is unique to Apple? This is how 3rd party manufacturing works if you want the manufacturer of the product you're developing to give you their blessing. Every company provides a style/functionality guideline for accessories to their devices. They also provide manufacturers with the proper schematics, such as the one shown above, to make sure they can develop to said guidelines.

      You don't need to follow their guidelines, if you don't it simply means your device will never be sold in an Apple store, nor will Apple guarantee their devices continue to work with your product and you can't market the device as an apple approved accessory therefore hurting sales.

      To think this has something to do with anyone being "pretentious" is asinine.
    1. Ambi_Valence's Avatar
      Ambi_Valence -
      Quote Originally Posted by qumahlin View Post
      Huh? Do you think this is unique to Apple? This is how 3rd party manufacturing works if you want the manufacturer of the product you're developing to give you their blessing. Every company provides a style/functionality guideline for accessories to their devices. They also provide manufacturers with the proper schematics, such as the one shown above, to make sure they can develop to said guidelines.

      You don't need to follow their guidelines, if you don't it simply means your device will never be sold in an Apple store, nor will Apple guarantee their devices continue to work with your product and you can't market the device as an apple approved accessory therefore hurting sales.

      To think this has something to do with anyone being "pretentious" is asinine.
      Why on earth makes you think that I’m under the impression Apple are unique in this kind of behaviour?
      What I’ve highlighted above is an asinine statement. In fact it’s hilarious too. Go to the Apple Store or support site with a problem and see how quickly they tell you to consult the OEM for the device that they have ‘guaranteed' to work.
    1. cpotoso's Avatar
      cpotoso -
      Quote Originally Posted by repoman16 View Post
      While I agree with you, I kinda like the idea. Pretend "this accessory may not be supported" every time you plug your watch in with a cheap band. Next thing you know the watch doesnt work, the battery is fried and the CPU is busted because someone used a cheap knock off, all while Apple support gets flooded because of a "dead bad watch" instead of a "bad third party band fried my watch"

      The fact that they are opening this up to third party manufacturers is a move forward in my opinion.
      I would love to know how a bad band will fry your watch, given there are no electrical connections there (if you disregard the CLOSED auxiliary port).