'Reserve Strap' Suspends Shipments of All Orders Due to Apple Watch Accessory Port Policy Change

Discussion in 'iOS Blog Discussion' started by MacRumors, Apr 18, 2016.

  1. MacRumors macrumors bot


    Apr 12, 2001

    It's been a while since Reserve Strap last updated its customers on the status of the device's shipping estimates, but a recent change to the Apple Watch's accessory port functionality in watchOS 2.0.1 has essentially left the band defunct and unable to ship to those who pre-ordered last summer.

    In each of the band's design mock-ups, the device would have connected to the accessory port on the bottom side of the Apple Watch casing to provide up to an estimated 30 hours of extra battery life. But, as developer Lane Musgrave mentioned in a recent blog post, a lesser-known update in watchOS 2.0.1 has blocked off third-party band manufacturers from taking advantage of the accessory port to fuel the abilities of "smartbands."

    The three iterations of Reserve Strap​
    The developers note that any user who has yet to upgrade to 2.0.1, and seemingly doesn't plan on doing so in the future, can still take advantage of Reserve Strap. The company will ship a device to those customers "in the next few weeks." It's also encouraging users to send an email to the Apple Hardware Evangelism team, and submit feedback on Apple.com, to spread awareness about the lack of an official Apple Watch smartband MFi program.

    In March, Reserve Strap also announced the "Reserve Strap LTE," which would allow users to bypass the Apple Watch's need of a Bluetooth-connected iPhone thanks to a micro-SIM card & low power WiFi hotspot built directly into the band. Since the LTE version of the Reserve Strap uses a hotspot to connect to the Apple Watch and wouldn't necessarily require connecting through the accessory port, it could possibly move forward as a full-fledged product, but it's in very early R&D stages at this point.

    The company is hoping that an MFi program will launch soon, and looks to a recent patent filing by Apple as a potential indicator of such a move. The patent describes a series of strap designs that have embedded electronic devices -- including batteries, displays, and GPS sensors -- that all connect to the Apple Watch's diagnostics port, hinting that the company could be opening the floodgates to third-party smartband developers in the future.

    Given that Apple just launched a new array of bands, and has yet to suggest smartbands could be coming to the first-generation Apple Watch, it's likely such a feature would debut on future versions of the device, such as the Apple Watch 2.

    Article Link: 'Reserve Strap' Suspends Shipments of All Orders Due to Apple Watch Accessory Port Policy Change
  2. 2010mini macrumors 68040

    Jun 19, 2013
  3. samcraig macrumors P6

    Jun 22, 2009
    Who didn't see the MFi for Apple Watch coming?
  4. Crosscreek macrumors 68030


    Nov 19, 2013
  5. DipDog3 macrumors 65816


    Sep 20, 2002
    Should allow direct data access instead of the need for a wifi workaround for adding LTE.

    Also, adding GPS via a band would be a nice feature..
  6. JosephAW macrumors 68020


    May 14, 2012
    You wonder why I don't update right away. Now you know. iOS 8 and aOS 1 are just fine.
  7. dwaltwhit macrumors 6502


    Oct 25, 2013
    I'm sympathetic to this company. I hope that they did not do all this work in vain. Those bands even look pretty cool.
  8. hlfway2anywhere macrumors 65816

    Jul 15, 2006
    they don't need to fix anything. it's not broken. the "accessory port" was not documented for them to use.
  9. nick42983 macrumors 6502


    May 18, 2009
    Can we get an official Podcasts app for the Apple Watch first please? Anyone home Mr. Cook? This device has been out for a year already, ridiculous.
  10. dwaltwhit macrumors 6502


    Oct 25, 2013
  11. dumastudetto macrumors 68040

    Aug 28, 2013
    This change closes a security hole. Apple has done the right thing for all customers.
  12. kwikdeth macrumors 65816

    Feb 25, 2003
    Tempe, AZ
    Hardware Evangelism Team? I didn't know that alias to /dev/null had been given a specific name.
  13. illegalprelude macrumors 68000


    Mar 10, 2005
    Los Angeles, California
    I have no sympathy for them. That port was never designed for accessories. It's like building software around a known security bug and being mad when Apple takes it away. Doesn't sound like a legitimate business to me. Plus asking customers not to update their Apple Watch software? Yea, ok.
  14. earthTOmitchel Contributing Editor


    Staff Member

    Mar 6, 2015
  15. NT1440 macrumors G5


    May 18, 2008
    Why? A company just randomly decided to use a port that Apple never told anyone they could use. It just happens that two of the pins support power in, and this company designed around that.

    There WILL be a MFI program for the watch, this company jumped the gun.
  16. galrito macrumors regular


    May 4, 2010
    Finally I can rest. I've lost countless hours of sleep thinking about this matter.
  17. Dayv macrumors 6502

    Aug 18, 2009
    I love the part where they call this a "bug". Way to deceive your customers, guys.
  18. rdlink macrumors 68040


    Nov 10, 2007
    Out of the Reach of the FBI
    Fix what?
  19. jonnysods macrumors 603


    Sep 20, 2006
    There & Back Again
    It's a great idea, but they can't blame Apple for wanting to close out a security flaw. I hope they do give official permission for people to use the port at some later stage so we can create more functionality on the watch but without a compromise in security.
  20. macduke macrumors G3


    Jun 27, 2007
    Central U.S.
    Pretty sure I called this when I first heard about it. You can't base your whole business on using undocumented ports. It reminds me of Palm back when they decided to hack USB protocols with iTunes to allow WebOS devices to sync to iTunes. Apple kept patching it up, shutting them down. But this is even worse because the entire business is dependent on it. Hopefully Apple launches an official program with Watch OS 3 later this year and we can hear all about it in June at WWDC. I'm suprised something like that wasn't in Watch OS 2 SDK. It's weird that Apple Watch shipped with that port if they never intended for it to be used.
  21. SBlue1 macrumors 65816


    Oct 17, 2008
    Why? What has Apple done wrong??
  22. zorinlynx macrumors 603


    May 31, 2007
    Florida, USA
    They made a port available and functional, then told people they can't use it.

    The right thing for Apple to do would have been to document the port and continue to allow its use.
  23. Mac 128 macrumors 603

    Mac 128

    Apr 16, 2015
    I guess I didn't really read how this thing was going to work. I thought it used a magnetic coil that merely passed the power through the inductive method already approved for the watch. I mean why else does it have that stupid back plate?

    Apple clearly has plans for the port, so it's better to stop them now, than before thousands of customers pay for them and then complain to Apple after they stop working, when Apple denies the specs for their documented use. Every customer should demand their money back now, since it's unlikely to ever work the way the company planned.

    I don't actually see this port remaining the same in the next gen watch anyway, so this band likely won't fit or work with it. I suppose it could continue to work with existing watches which haven't upgraded, but all it will take is one cool upgrade opening up new great features to motivate the user. And using it is likely to void all warranties -- I'm sure Apple has a way to determine if the "diagnostic" port has been used.
  24. Datalinks macrumors regular


    Sep 17, 2011
    I believe Apple is right on this one..there are health and safety issues involved here. These things could explode while wearing them.
  25. dwaltwhit macrumors 6502


    Oct 25, 2013
    Whew thats steep, but if you need it, I guess it's a must have. For that company's sake I hope they can solve this quickly

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