Apple Watch Battery Bands Will No Longer Work with Latest watchOS

Apple Watch Battery Bands Will No Longer Work with Latest watchOS

It's not easy being an App Developer. Every time Apple releases a new version of iOS or one of their own apps, there is the concern that it could replace an app that a developer has been working on for months or years. It can be even more challenging to be an accessory maker for Apple. When the Apple Watch first came out, savvy users discovered a secret "port" behind the watch band connector that allowed for diagnostics but could also be a way to power the watch.

Reserve Strap

Master your iPhone in one minute a day:

Sign up to iPhone Life's Tip of the Day Newsletter and we'll send you a tip each day to save time and get the most out of your iPhone or iPad.

Master your iPhone in one minute a day:

Sign up to iPhone Life's Tip of the Day Newsletter and we'll send you a tip each day to save time and get the most out of your iPhone or iPad.

This opened up a whole new line of accessories, theoretically, that clamped on to that secret port. One such example is Reserve Strap. This is a somewhat bulky Apple Watch band with a built-in battery. It connects to the Apple Watch using that secret diagnostics port, providing power throughout the day. Given the number one complaint about the Apple Watch has been the battery life, this idea showed a lot of promise. And it worked. Until recently, that it. 

Reserve Strap

With the latest version of watchOS, Apple disabled the ability to power an Apple Watch using the diagnostics port. The Reserve Strap will continue to work for those users who bought one, but they have to remember not to upgrade the operating system on their watch. Apple makes it so easy to automatically stay updated that this could be a problem. The folks at Reserve Strap are in a bind, and have asked their users and interested parties to petition Apple to allow this capability. Apple has changed direction before, so it's not unprecedented. Maybe Apple will release a "Made for Apple Watch" accessory program. In the meantime, this demonstrates the rocky road accessory makers find themselves on, especially when charting new territory. 

Master your iPhone in one minute a day: Sign up here to get our FREE Tip of the Day delivered right to your inbox.
Todd Bernhard's picture

Todd Bernhard is a bestselling (6+ million downloads) award-winning (AARP, About.com, BestAppEver.com, Digital Hollywood, and Verizon) developer and founder of NoTie.NET, an app developer specializing in Talking Ringtone apps including AutoRingtone. And his profile photo is of the last known sighting of Mr. Bernhard wearing a tie, circa 2007!

An iPhone is almost always attached to his hip or in his pocket, but over the years, Mr. Bernhard has owned an Apple Newton, a Motorola Marco, an HP 95LX, a Compaq iPaq, a Palm Treo, and a Nokia e62. In addition to writing for iPhone Life, Mr. Bernhard has written for its sister publications, PocketPC Magazine and The HP Palmtop Paper.