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Apple publishes guidelines for third-party Apple Watch bands

Have an idea for creating the ultimate Apple Watch band and making your fortune? Not so fast, pardner. You’re going to have to make sure that you follow Apple’s guidelines to the letter, and they’re pretty strict. The company added a PDF document titled “Band Design Guidelines for Apple Watch” to its Developer Resources web page, and the requirements are impressive.

First of all, the bands must integrate two special lugs that mate with the Apple Watch Band Interface, and there must be a “lug latch” feature to prevent accidental removal of the band. Bands cannot integrate magnetic chargers, something that probably caused millions of developers to cry out in terror and they were suddenly silenced

But wait, there’s more. The bands must have “length sizing adjustment pitch of less than 7 mm (center to center)” for compatibility with the heart rate sensors in the watch, and the company has lists of recommended materials for the lug bodies and lug latches. 

To top it off, Apple has strict environmental restrictions in place to make sure that certain materials are never used in bands. Endangered species of flora and fauna are not allowed either in the bands or their packaging, so if you were waiting for a watch band made of rhinoceros horn, you’re out of luck (you’re also a horrible person). 

Writer Steven Aquino found these guidelines interesting from an accessibility standpoint, noting in a tweet yesterday that:

The guidelines are actually somewhat fun reading, even if you’re just interested in seeing the wonderfully drafted dimensional drawings. Here’s hoping that Apple co-founder Ron Wayne, who excelled in creating such drawings, has had a chance to see what his former company hath wrought. 

Steve Sande
the authorSteve Sande
Steve is the founder and former publisher of Apple World Today and has authored a number of books about Apple products. He's an avid photographer, an FAA-licensed drone pilot, and a really bad guitarist. Steve and his wife Barb love to travel everywhere!