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Apr 12, 2001
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Apple today debuted a new developer site (via Macotakara) titled "Creating Bands for Apple Watch", which includes band design guidelines for third-party companies looking to make bands for the Apple Watch. The design guidelines include requirements for the bands to achieve Apple certification in the new Made for Apple Watch program, which is similar to the already established Made for iPhone program.

applewatchbands.jpg
Apple Watch bands are easily changed with simple release buttons and lugs that secure the band to the Apple Watch case. When creating your custom bands, refer to the band design guidelines and lug profile. Apple Watch lugs will be available soon through the Made for Apple Watch program.
Firstly, the bands must integrate with the two lugs that mate with the Apple Watch Band Interface. They also should not integrate magnetic chargers and the lug latch must never be jammed while in an extended position. Bands also cannot prevent a user's skin from maintaining direct contact with the Watch's heart rate sensors or general back area. The band themselves must also compensate for any potential shifting or dimensional changes in material.

Apple also has recommendations for the materials that lugs and lug latches should be made of, with the lugs being made out of a specific silicone, nylon or stainless steel while lug latches are recommended to be made out of either nylon or stainless steel. Other requirements for band materials include compliance with applicable environmental regulations in regions where bands are intended to be sold.

Finally, Apple has physical requirements for what the bands for Apple Watch are not allowed to do, which include not obstructing Apple Watch hardware items like the mic or speaker, the charging pad, the antenna, and the heart rate sensors. They also cannot extend beyond the sensor windows, cover the glass or interfere with the Digital Crown or Force Touch.

While the Apple Watch only launched a little over a week ago and many early adopters have yet to receive their new devices, interest in third-party bands has been growing, with some using parts from the Classic Buckle to make their own custom bands. The guidelines for the Made for Apple Watch program are now available, and it's likely the first official third-party bands could be seen in the coming months.

Article Link: Third-Party Apple Watch Bands May Be Coming Soon Following Launch of New Guidelines
 

avalys

macrumors 6502
Jun 4, 2004
299
23
Awesome! So glad I went with the sports band on my 42mm SS. I can't wait until there are aftermarket bands available, hopefully by Fall there will be some really great ones.

The sports band is great, I would definitely pay $50 for one in a different color. I don't care if it costs Apple $2.00 to make it, I think it's worth $50. OTOH, the leather Apple bands all look and feel cheap and I wouldn't pay $10 for them. The link bracelet is nice and might even be reasonably priced for what it is, but $450 is too much for me. I'd rather save it for the Apple Watch 2.

Really looking forward to a high-quality leather band.
 
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JCrz

macrumors 6502
Sep 12, 2014
446
1,307
Now we'll find out if those Apple bands are really worth hundreds of dollars...
 
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iCore24

macrumors 6502
Jan 6, 2013
388
51
Michigan
Honestly Apple's Link and Milanese bands are one of the best in the watch industry. The link clasp folds as thin as the whole body, and the Milanese's magnet latch is great. But I really could not pull the trigger for a $150 leather band. I got the Milanese and Sport Band, all I need is a nice $50 leather band.
 
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RDeckard

macrumors regular
Sep 23, 2013
187
564
Well shoot, this makes me rethink that $149 leather band purchase...

If you haven't received it yet you can always cancel the order...

Or, if you've already received it you should still be within the 14-day return window. :D

(I'm assuming that you ordered the band separately.)
 
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Rogifan

macrumors Core
Nov 14, 2011
22,716
28,739
So let me guess...people here don't care about more options they just care about getting something cheap. Considering this is a 'Made for Apple Watch' program I hope there are some standards and it's not just a way to flood the market with cheap bands.
 
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avalys

macrumors 6502
Jun 4, 2004
299
23
So let me guess...people here don't care about more options they just care about getting something cheap. Considering this is a 'Made for Apple Watch' program I hope there are some standards and it's not just a way to flood the market with cheap bands.
The standards are listed in that document. I'm sure Apple will pick just a few high-quality bands to sell in their store, but you'll be able to buy a bunch of crappy ones for $5 at Best Buy if you like. Just like there are zillions of cheap piece of **** iPhone cases out there.
 
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Rogifan

macrumors Core
Nov 14, 2011
22,716
28,739
The standards are listed in that document. I'm sure Apple will pick just a few high-quality bands to sell in their store, but you'll be able to buy a bunch of crappy ones for $5 at Best Buy if you like. Just like there are zillions of cheap piece of **** iPhone cases out there.

Are all those cheap iPhone cases part of MFI?
 
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RDeckard

macrumors regular
Sep 23, 2013
187
564
I can already see the el-cheapo $1.99 bands coming... (eBay, free shipping from China in 2 weeks!)

And I can also see those bands -- with the attachment mechanisms failing (there goes the Apple Watch, crashing to the ground!), toxic plastics causing rashes or worse, and metal link bracelets probably filled with lead. And I guarantee someone will blame Apple for that.

Ugh. In this case I'm actually OK paying a few bucks more for an Apple-certified watch band (assuming they're reasonably priced).
 
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RDeckard

macrumors regular
Sep 23, 2013
187
564
Are all those cheap iPhone cases part of MFI?

I don't know but I think if they cases are MFI they at least adhere to Apple's case guidelines... fitting properly, allowing proper earphone/charging cable access, not covering the flash, etc. (like some cheap cases do):

https://developer.apple.com/resources/cases/Case-Design-Guidelines.pdf

I know FOR SURE I'd never buy those cheap-a$$ $0.99 knockoff chargers and risk getting killed/electrocuted just to save a few dollars.

I guess some people are ok with that risk. No thanks (for me).
 
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Rogifan

macrumors Core
Nov 14, 2011
22,716
28,739
I don't know but I think if they cases are MFI they at least adhere to Apple's case guidelines... fitting properly, allowing proper earphone/charging cable access, not covering the flash, etc. (like some cheap cases do):

https://developer.apple.com/resources/cases/Case-Design-Guidelines.pdf

I know FOR SURE I'd never buy those cheap-a$$ $0.99 knockoff chargers and risk getting killed/electrocuted just to save a few dollars.

I guess some people are ok with that risk. No thanks (for me).

I think this program is great for providing more options and allowing more personalization. I fear though it could turn into flooding the market with cheap straps. Straps that will look nice in pictures and people will be drawn to them because they're cheap (price) and then soon find out they're also cheap in every other way.
 
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citi

macrumors 65816
May 2, 2006
1,363
508
Simi Valley, CA
The standards are listed in that document. I'm sure Apple will pick just a few high-quality bands to sell in their store, but you'll be able to buy a bunch of crappy ones for $5 at Best Buy if you like. Just like there are zillions of cheap piece of **** iPhone cases out there.

The cheap cases you are making fun of are made at the same factories your "expensive" case is. It all comes from China. My Jetech case cost me like 10 bucks and it's one of the best cases I've owned and I've had all the "good" ones.
 
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teslo

macrumors 6502a
Jun 9, 2014
929
599
i'm just waiting for otter box to make some ridiculously huge band for the butterfingers-in-denial who buy them. i shall chuckle at your monstrous army green contraption.
 
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Small White Car

macrumors G4
Aug 29, 2006
10,938
1,273
Washington DC
The cheap cases you are making fun of are made at the same factories your "expensive" case is. It all comes from China. My Jetech case cost me like 10 bucks and it's one of the best cases I've owned and I've had all the "good" ones.

It's nice that you got lucky, but no. There really are some amazingly awful cases out there.

My friend got a $10 iPhone 6 case that looks a lot like my Spigen case but his wobbles and shifts around like they never actually had an iPhone 6 before making it. There's enough of a gap to slip a penny in. The front edges stick out unevenly so you can tell which side of the phone you're touching based on exactly how much the case is raised from the screen. I could honestly have made a better case with Saran Wrap and scotch tape.

Again, I'm glad you got lucky. But advising people to just buy any old thing off the internet because it's "all from China" is not good advice.
 
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djgamble

macrumors 6502a
Oct 25, 2006
900
390
The cheap cases you are making fun of are made at the same factories your "expensive" case is. It all comes from China. My Jetech case cost me like 10 bucks and it's one of the best cases I've owned and I've had all the "good" ones.

Often the case ay... although there is a difference between premium goods that just happen to be made in China and typical 'Chinese' items that are intentionally made to be as cheap/poor quality as possible.

But yeah... just because something's 'made in China', doesn't mean it's the same quality as the stuff made by the factory down the road.
 
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TouchMint.com

macrumors 68000
May 25, 2012
1,594
294
Phoenix
There will still be bands that bypass these limitations they just won't be "blessed" by apple just like there are iPhone cases that don't meet apples strict guidelines.
 
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cr2

macrumors 6502
Feb 19, 2011
259
49
Well shoot, this makes me rethink that $149 leather band purchase...
I think you are just fine. Generally, it is hard to match Apple quality and price. I think iPhone leather cases are reasonably priced considering the quality.
 
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Derekuda

macrumors 6502
Oct 2, 2004
326
1,147
Just like how Apple charges $350+ for an $89 watch, I cannot belive they have the nerve to charge $50+ for a 10 cent plastic band.
 
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Soccertess

macrumors 65816
Oct 19, 2005
1,253
1,751
It's nice that you got lucky, but no. There really are some amazingly awful cases out there.

My friend got a $10 iPhone 6

Again, I'm glad you got lucky. But advising people to just buy any old thing off the internet because it's "all from China" is not good advice.

Well he probably overpaid if he paid 10 from China.. Some of those 3 dollar ones are fantastic!
 
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