Apple Watch’s hidden port a goldmine for developers, accessory makers

“One of the first companies to announce plans to make a battery strap for Apple Watch— allowing you to charge the device while on the go while continuing to wear it— has confirmed plans to tap into Apple Watch’s hidden port to charge the device and offer faster charging,” Jordan Kahn reports for 9to5Mac.

“Apple utilizes a magnetic, inductive charging solution to charge Apple Watch, but a wired connection to the device’s hidden 6-pin port will make designing battery straps much easier, according to maker of the upcoming Reserve Strap accessory, and even allow for faster more efficient charging compared to Apple’s own solution,” Kahn reports. “The port, hidden inside of the slot where one side of the Watch’s strap connects to the device, is covered, but Reserve Strap will provide a tool to access it. Some speculated Apple included the port for diagnostics by retail employees— it didn’t, diagnostics are done through a connected iPhone — but Apple could have included the port for getting software on to Apple Watch at the factory and or for developer use.”

Much more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: Risky if it’s not officially supported by Apple, which it doesn’t seem to be, for third-party use.

20 Comments

  1. This reminds me of the first IBM PC’s where certain copy protection schemes would use an extra track on the disk that was not ‘officially’ available. Copy protection data was placed o this track. When IBM redesigned the drives so that they could no longer access the extra track, all that copy protected software would not run.

    Sounds like a good reason to not use copy protected software/video/ music and not use ‘features’ that are not officially endorsed by the manufacturer.

  2. Anyone remember the original iMac’s Mezzanine port? The one Apple told Devs not to use? The one that was removed with a subsequent update? Apparently these guys don’t.

    On the other hand, this first batch of Apple Watches will end up being collectors items for having that port (which is surely going away with).

    1. I’ve been saying the same thing. If third party developers will use this for non intended purposes, Apple will likely remove it the way they did that connector in the iMac.

      John’s remark about waterproofing is correct as well, though the waterproofing seems to be much better than he, and some others, realise.

  3. You know, removing that cover is going to wreak havoc on the small amount of waterproofing the watch has. That’s one good reason to leave it alone.

    1. The water restance rating Apple gives the watch requires a 30 minute dunk at a depth of 1 meter. Sites are already reporting far better resistance than that.

      Apple is being very conservative in their worded claims however. But that rating would be ruined with the cover removed from the port.

  4. I think we’re missing the biggest objection… the stupid lightening bolt on the watch band. What developer isn’t smart enough to know that aesthetics are key for any 3rd party watch band. You’re stupid lightening bolt is appropriate for a kids watch, not a professional.

    1. lightening |ˈlītn-iNG, ˈlītniNG|
      noun
      a drop in the level of the uterus during the last weeks of pregnancy as the head of the fetus engages in the pelvis.

      The word “you’re” is a contraction of the two words “you are” and is not appropriate in your last sentence. As an uneducated ‘Pirate’, you can be forgiven for not knowing the difference but can also be commended for pointing out the ludicrousness of the lightning mark on the band.

  5. Everyone keeps talking about what the “hidden port” MIGHT be for. Someone please just take apart the watch and find out where the wires go to!

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