Apple Watch “secret” port to spawn new accessories – but not yet

Macworld Australia Staff
5 May, 2015
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Apple has never been shy about building entire ecosystems around their products. The iPod, iPhone and iPad have all spawned industries whose sole purpose is to create accessories such as headphones, speakers, cases, cradles and myriad other add-ons and gadgets so that you can get more from your device.

The Apple Watch boasts a small port where the strap slips into the bottom part of the watch face.

Although the Apple Watch uses a magnetic, inductive charging system, a wired connection to the device’s hidden 6-pin port will make designing battery straps much easier. For example, Reserve Strap is creating an Apple Watch strap that will boost the Apple Watch’s much criticised battery life. The Reserve Strap will sell for $249 but there’s no word on when it will actually be available.

Reserve Strap says “Our engineers have been able to independently confirm that the 6 pin diagnostic port underneath the Apple Watch case can be used for charging”.

Of course, the real question isn’t whether accessory makers should exploit that port – which Apple doesn’t mention anywhere on the Apple Watch website or other official documentation.

The Apple TV boasts a micro-USB port but Apple specifically mentions that it is for “service and support”.

Apple not mentioning the Appel Watch’s “hidden” port suggests it’s not yet officially supported. Given that almost every button in Apple’s devices can be controlled programmatically it’s not hard to believe the port will be officially enabled in future for some, as yet unexplained, purpose.

Until then, we’d keep our wallets closed.

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