Even before we had any details about the Apple Watch, accessory-makers were clamouring to sell you a $50 thing to strap to your $500 smartwatch. Apple has now finally released details about how third parties can make bands for the Watch. And it's made things clear: no fancy connectors, no hidden ports, no charging. Just make a dumb strap, OK?
In a new website spotted by 9to5Mac, Apple lays out the details for making an approved third-party strap for the Watch. Attachment to the body will be via lugs, provided to band manufacturers by Apple. Designers must also "not integrate magnetic chargers" into the bands, destroying the hopes of more than one Kickstarter campaign (although they can still try and make a non-Apple-certified product).
Most glaringly obvious, however, is no mention of the 6-pin 'diagnostic' port that is hidden in the side of the Watch's housing. That port would provide an ideal way to integrate other sensors (or batteries!) into a strap; by publishing this guide, with its stringent design rules and ignorance of the diagnostic port, Apple is killing those dreams dead. Basically, you can make different kinds of distressed leather straps, and call it a day.
In case you've been waiting with bated breath for the Apple Watch-band Kickstarters to get going, Apple has promised to make lugs available to designers in the timeframe of "soon". Better start saving. [Apple via 9to5Mac]