Third-party Apple Watch battery straps likely not to work

“What happens when you have an accessory that separates your Watch from your wrist? I’ve tested this by inserting a thin, opaque piece of cloth underneath my watch,” Dave Hamilton reports for The Mac Observer. “With this in place the Watch does not remain unlocked and asks for my passcode every time I try to use it. I would assume the same would be true for battery/charging straps or ‘NATO’ straps, too.”

“This means things like bicycle mounts that would theoretically allow your watch to be seen on your handlebars while riding aren’t likely to work very well,” Hamilton reports. “With the screen off – and the watch perpetually falling back into unlock mode – this is not the user experience you’re likely going to want.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: Yes, if you take your Watch off to show somebody how it works, you have to enter your passcode to unlock it. With Apple Pay capability, you do not want your Watch unprotected when it’s off your wrist.


  1. I’m actually waiting for cheaper straps out of China (which will not separate the watch from my wrist- only give me a larger selection of colors and styles to supplement Apple’s offerings).

    I’m sure the strap is patented, but that’s never stopped the Chinese before…

    1. Isn’t that port sealed on shipping watches? If not it makes water resistance more of an issue. Opening it up to third parties creates some new problems. I’m not saying it won’t happen, but it’s not easy.

  2. I read somewhere that Apple will have approved 3rd party bands, however its hard to know when they will start showing up with better pricing..

    While I doubt it will ever happen, it would be nice if Apple re-evaluated the pricing on the bands and made them more reasonable. Sport Bands for say $20..

    1. Could be liability issues if leakage occurred, or if, heaven forbid, the battery band exploded. The Sharks (lawyers) will be circling with the release of the first battery band! 🖖😀⌚️

  3. What does AppleWatch use to detect human skin? Some sort of capacitance? In theory, couldn’t a third-party band offer the surface the watch is looking for? Say, something like a moistened pigskin or sheepskin. Or does AppleWatch detect flowing blood which would be a bit more complicated to replicate as a watch mount?

    1. Hmm. I’ll have to try putting an Watch on my BattleBot’s arm.

      Certainly, Apple could use the heart rate sensor to detect if a human heartbeat signal is returned to the watch. As such, it would NOT be useful to cut off someone’s arm then attempt to use the watch. That would be good to know! EXCEPT that the author of the article noted: “As an aside, with the cloth in place I measured my resting heartrate at 174 – not good!” Which means something ELSE is involved. Skin capacitance would make sense. In that case, it might actually be useful to cut off someone’s arm…. I’ll have to perform that experiment as well. 😈

      How all this relates to changing to a third party battery watch band, I do no understand. How would some other watch band impede the sensing of a human arm beneath the watch? It’s going to extend beneath the watch? How? Why?

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