Apple on Monday premiered a new developer site, “Creating Bands for Apple Watch,” which lays out band design guidelines for third-party band makers looking to make bands for the Apple Watch.
The guidelines list the requirements for bands in order to receive Apple certification in the new Made for Watch program. The certification program is similar to the already established Made for iPhone certification process.
The document: “Band Design Guidelines for Apple Watch” (PDF link) offers an extensive overview of the stringent regulations to which third-party accessory makers must abide if they wish to market Watch-compatible straps.
Apple says all bands should conform to the band design guidelines, and should include simple release buttons and lugs that secure the band to the Watch case. Apple notes that Apple Watch lugs will soon be available via the Made for Apple Watch program.
Apple also notes that all band accessories must meet environmental regulations, maintain a high level of durability, assessed by tests including measuring corrosion, metal purity and strength, and more.
Watch bands must allow direct access to the Apple Watch’s heart rate sensor, which will likely prohibit manufacturers from creating bands that feature magnetic charging capabilities. Blocking the transmission of Apple’ Pay NFC communications are also forbidden.
The documents on the site also include highly detailed schematics of both the 38mm and 42mm Apple Watch chassis, along with specifications for the magnetic band interface and lug design. A separate document includes a Drawing Exchange Format (DXF) file to allow designers to mock up designs in drafting software.