Apple Launches "Made for Apple Watch" Program

The current program is specifically for watch band makers

Incipio's Apple Watch bands
Incipio

It looks like Apple Watch owners will have some more options soon when it comes to bands for the wearable. Apple has launched a new “Made for Apple Watch” program where it’s allowing developers to create their own bands for the watch based on specifications put out by Apple. The program gives developers exact measurements for how to create their bands as well as some additional guidelines pertaining to the materials the bands are made of, and how they fit on a user’s wrist.

Specifically, Apple wants to ensure that a watch band fits on someone’s wrist in such a way that the Apple Watch can still read his or her heartbeat.

"Bands must not prevent the user’s skin from maintaining direct contact with the Apple Watch heart rate sensors and back of Apple Watch, and must incorporate sufficient margin to compensate for shifting or dimensional changes of the band material. Failure to do so may interfere with Apple Watch wrist detect and Apple Pay features."

If a developer creates a band that meets all of Apple’s requirements then it can earn a "Made for Apple Watch"  designation. For now, the Made for Apple Watch program only extends to watch bands, but the name implies that the category could ultimately extend to other accessories designed for the watch as well. Apple currently has a similar “Made for iPhone” program where it certifies products made for its smartphone.

Although the Made for Apple Watch program just launched, a number of manufacturers have already started creating their own third-party bands for the wearable. You can expect a few of these to earn the "Made for Apple Watch" designation soon:

WiPower Band

If you’re concerned about your Apple Watch battery making through an entire day, then the WiPowerBand might be an excellent choice.

The band isn’t exactly the most attractive watch band option on the block, but it has a built in 250mAh lithium-polymer battery to make sure the wearable keeps ticking well into the night. The 38mm version of the band is $89.99, while the 42mm version is priced at $99.99.

Incipio

Case-maker Incipio doesn’t have any watch bands available for the Apple Watch yet, but it does have a sign up page on its site where you can stay up to date on its efforts in the space and find out when it does have bands available. From the look of the photo on its site, it looks like the company is going to create some interesting nylon bands for the Apple Watch which might offer some new style options at a less expensive price point that some of the alternatives.

Casetify

The company Casetify has a number of interesting bands available for the Apple Watch and also offers the opportunity for users to design their own Apple Watch band. Bands include a Faux Leather option as well as a number of interesting designs ranging from tribal prints to pastel tapestry.

Monowear

The company Monowear is selling a number of different watch bands as well, made out of everything from nylon to leather. Bands are priced from $59.99 to $119.99, and offer something a little different than what you can pick up in the Apple Store.

Monowear's designs tend to lean more towards classic watch looks rather than the colorful fashion-forward designs that some other manufacturers are experimenting with.