Developers: Leave Apple Watch’s diagnostic port alone!

“Accessory makers are getting excited about the hidden – and undocumented – diagnostic port present on the Apple Watch,” Adrian Kingsley-Hughes reports for ZDNet. “While leveraging this port is certainly innovative, making use of the undocumented port could have unexpected consequences down the line.”

“One accessory maker that is embracing this new port is Reserve Strap, a battery strap maker,” Kingsley-Hughes reports. “This comes across to me as a terrible idea for a commercial product.”

“First off, that port is undocumented,” Kingsley-Hughes reports. “Secondly, there’s the issue of Apple pushing a software update to the Apple Watch that changes the way the port works… Another possibility is that Apple will open up the port to accessory makers at some point down the line. But for now there is nothing about that port that says ‘use me.'”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: As we wrote earlier this month:

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

Related article:
Apple Watch’s hidden port a goldmine for developers, accessory makers – May 4, 2015

14 Comments

  1. If indeed Reserve Strap has no  approval to provide and sell their Watch straps, we know what will happen. Knock, knock.  at the door. Here’s your court subpoena. You’re being sued.

    IOW: Anyone making Watch accessories requires approval by , as with every other iOS device.

    1. I don’t think this is true, is it? In order to use the Apple Watch logo, “Made for Apple Watch” line and other trademarks, sure.

      But there’s nothing barring me from making and selling accessories that fit the Apple phone, watch, iPod, etc.

      I suppose Apple can hold the consumer to have violated their warranty if the device is damaged by using unsupported third-party accessories. But they shouldn’t have any position to take action against the accessory-maker.

      1. We’ve been over this subject a few years back. Apple has the right, as I pointed out, to sue anyone making accessories for the Watch if they do not have a contract with  to do so.

        Now, whether  will bother is another matter. We know full well there are heaps of fake iOS device chargers from wherever. Some of them have been so poorly made that deaths have resulted from their dysfunction. I recall the kid in Thailand who got fried by one of them. What  chooses to do regarding these frauds is up to them.

        As for the consumer violating the warranty, that would require proving that the customer knew they were using a fraudulent accessory. And YES,  is in the position to sue the accessory maker, no question.

         has total control over the technology of the Watch. It’s proprietary. It’s that simple. No one has the right to compromise that technology without  consent.

        (I’m having fun replacing Apple with  today, just for something new to do).

        There are plenty of lawsuit examples from years past.

        1. Is there legal precedent for this? It seems wrong.

          I can manufacture and sell “Screen Protector” (not Cinema Display protector) in exactly the size & shape of an Apple display. I would think I could make and sell “smart watch band” in the shape of the groove on an apple watch without fear of reprisal, too.

          By what law are they protected from people making things to be used alongside their tech?

          1. Good point, I think. It’s when something connects into the Watch hardware, such as via the undocumented port, that I’d expect lawsuits. I see your point about something like a ‘screen protector’. I’m unaware of Apple having any control over such things.

  2. If the 3rd party suppliers don’t access it, whose to say the consumer won’t either.

    You know the saying: “your mother always told you not to stuff peas in your ears, but you did anyway.”

    (which is a really old saying, that nobody says anymore.)

  3. The danger to using the port, (beyond lawsuits) is that later on, if and when Apple decides to allow the use, the 3rd party developers may find their product no longer complies or works with the port.

    Take a look at the original Griffin 20. It was designed for the original Apple Airport express to provide an attractive plugin for the airport express to use Apple’s airplay. Then what happened? Apple changed the design of the airport express. It will still plug into the older Griffin 20, and it still works with the newer airport express design, but its not an elegant, one piece product anymore.

    They were fortunate that it still worked, but it could have easily been a redesign that completely broke their product. Messing with the undocumented port on the Apple Watch could do the same thing. Either it won’t be as elegant, or it won’t work.

  4. Apple developers and enthusiasts are all about pushing the boundaries, thinking out of the box, exploring new lands. Hey, doing stuff with this port fits with the above sentiments.

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