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Apple is telling other companies how to make Apple Watch straps

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New Made for Apple Watch program offers band design guidelines

Apple has launched a new program to help third-party designers to make their own connecting bands for its Apple Watch. As part of the new scheme, called "Made for Apple Watch," accessory developers can download design guidelines and Watch schematics from an official Apple site, allowing them to create straps in various materials that comply with Apple's specifications for third-party bands.

Accessory designers have already hurried out straps for Apple's latest device, but the new Made for Apple Watch program specifies the conditions Apple requires — specifically, that band makers stick to environmental guidelines in the creation of the straps, and that when fastened, the Watch can sit tight enough against the wrist that it can read the wearer's heartbeat. Designers also can't integrate magnetic chargers into their bands if they want to be certified under the program. 

The program only covers third-party bands but could be expanded

The Made for Apple Watch program only extends to third-party bands at the moment, but given its name, it could soon be expanded to cover third-party chargers, stands, and other peripherals. As part of the new program, Apple has released design schematics of the Watch to show third-party designers components vital to its functionality. Conspicuously absent, however, is mention of the device's mysterious hidden port, which could be used for charging and accessories.