Apple has proudly dubbed the Apple Watch ”our most personal device yet”, and we aren’t too surprised, as – taking into account the broad choice of collections, case sizes and bands available at launch – the watch already comes in 38 different models. However, this number looks set to grow over the coming weeks and months, as Apple has just provided guidelines for third party companies to make bands highly suitable for use with the Apple Watch.
A recently-made page of the Developer section of the Apple website challenges companies to “give users more choices to express their style by designing beautifully crafted bands for Apple Watch.” This page includes various details, including the above mentioned guidelines for designing Apple Watch bands, which make clear how easily the watch’s band can be removed and replaced with another band that can more accurately reflect the wearer’s personality.
This page of the website explains that the bands “are easily changed with simple release buttons and lugs that secure the band to the Apple Watch case”. It then urges third party companies to, when making unique and exciting bands, take account of the documentation titled ‘Band Design Guidelines for Apple Watch’ and ‘Apple Watch Lug Profile’ that can be downloaded from the Apple website.
Though some third party companies had already made bands for the Apple Watch before Apple issued these guidelines, those bands were not approved by Apple and, therefore, were not necessarily guaranteed to work effectively with the device.
Accompanying the guidelines is a program called ‘Made for Apple Watch’ – where, basically, a company can apply to obtain a special badge of approval after they have made a band that meets tough specific criteria set by Apple. There’s no slacking with the quality standards here, then – and Apple has long been renowned for its stringent quality control.
What does all of this mean for people who have an Apple Watch or will have one soon? Basically, that they can rest assured that, when they buy a band with packaging adorned by the distinctive ‘Made for Apple Watch’ badge, the band will have the right sizing and design for easy attachment to the watch.
This, in turn, should encourage a dramatic blossoming in the number of manufacturers of Apple Watch bands – as assurance of high quality with their bands is, naturally, in their interest as well. It looks like we can expect to soon see a lot more choice in the market for Apple Watch bands.