It's been a while since Reserve Strap last updated its customers on the status of the device's shipping estimates, but a recent change to the Apple Watch's accessory port functionality in watchOS 2.0.1 has essentially left the band defunct and unable to ship to those who pre-ordered last summer.

In each of the band's design mock-ups, the device would have connected to the accessory port on the bottom side of the Apple Watch casing to provide up to an estimated 30 hours of extra battery life. But, as developer Lane Musgrave mentioned in a recent blog post, a lesser-known update in watchOS 2.0.1 has blocked off third-party band manufacturers from taking advantage of the accessory port to fuel the abilities of "smartbands."

reserve-strap-change

The three iterations of Reserve Strap

Beginning with watchOS 2.0.1 an unexpected change to the Apple External Accessory Protocol disabled the functionality of Reserve Strap. Until this change, Reserve Strap functioned perfectly–extending the battery life of Apple Watch by over 150% in many cases allowing users to keep their Watch charged for up to a week.

Specifically, this bug interferes with the communication between accessories and Apple Watch. For the time being, Apple has suspended use of this port until they unveil an official MFi program for Watch. In keeping with their wishes we will also be suspending shipment of all orders until Apple supports development of smartbands.

The developers note that any user who has yet to upgrade to 2.0.1, and seemingly doesn't plan on doing so in the future, can still take advantage of Reserve Strap. The company will ship a device to those customers "in the next few weeks." It's also encouraging users to send an email to the Apple Hardware Evangelism team, and submit feedback on Apple.com, to spread awareness about the lack of an official Apple Watch smartband MFi program.

In March, Reserve Strap also announced the "Reserve Strap LTE," which would allow users to bypass the Apple Watch's need of a Bluetooth-connected iPhone thanks to a micro-SIM card & low power WiFi hotspot built directly into the band. Since the LTE version of the Reserve Strap uses a hotspot to connect to the Apple Watch and wouldn't necessarily require connecting through the accessory port, it could possibly move forward as a full-fledged product, but it's in very early R&D stages at this point.

The company is hoping that an MFi program will launch soon, and looks to a recent patent filing by Apple as a potential indicator of such a move. The patent describes a series of strap designs that have embedded electronic devices -- including batteries, displays, and GPS sensors -- that all connect to the Apple Watch's diagnostics port, hinting that the company could be opening the floodgates to third-party smartband developers in the future.

Given that Apple just launched a new array of bands, and has yet to suggest smartbands could be coming to the first-generation Apple Watch, it's likely such a feature would debut on future versions of the device, such as the Apple Watch 2.

Related Roundup: Apple Watch Series 9

Top Rated Comments

hlfway2anywhere Avatar
108 months ago
This is bad. Apple needs to fix this.
they don't need to fix anything. it's not broken. the "accessory port" was not documented for them to use.
Score: 11 Votes (Like | Disagree)
NT1440 Avatar
108 months ago
This is bad. Apple needs to fix this.
Why? A company just randomly decided to use a port that Apple never told anyone they could use. It just happens that two of the pins support power in, and this company designed around that.

There WILL be a MFI program for the watch, this company jumped the gun.
Score: 6 Votes (Like | Disagree)
dwaltwhit Avatar
108 months ago
I'm sympathetic to this company. I hope that they did not do all this work in vain. Those bands even look pretty cool.
Score: 5 Votes (Like | Disagree)
2010mini Avatar
108 months ago
This is bad. Apple needs to fix this.
Score: 3 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Crosscreek Avatar
108 months ago
HaHaHa BandGate.
Score: 3 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Dayv Avatar
108 months ago
I love the part where they call this a "bug". Way to deceive your customers, guys.
Score: 3 Votes (Like | Disagree)

Popular Stories

iPhone 17 Plus Feature

iPhone 17 Lineup Specs Detail Display Upgrade and New High-End Model

Monday July 22, 2024 4:33 am PDT by
Key details about the overall specifications of the iPhone 17 lineup have been shared by the leaker known as "Ice Universe," clarifying several important aspects of next year's devices. Reports in recent months have converged in agreement that Apple will discontinue the "Plus" iPhone model in 2025 while introducing an all-new iPhone 17 "Slim" model as an even more high-end option sitting...
iPhone SE 4 Vertical Camera Feature

iPhone SE 4 Rumored to Use Same Rear Chassis as iPhone 16

Friday July 19, 2024 7:16 am PDT by
Apple will adopt the same rear chassis manufacturing process for the iPhone SE 4 that it is using for the upcoming standard iPhone 16, claims a new rumor coming out of China. According to the Weibo-based leaker "Fixed Focus Digital," the backplate manufacturing process for the iPhone SE 4 is "exactly the same" as the standard model in Apple's upcoming iPhone 16 lineup, which is expected to...
Apple TV Plus Feature 2 Magenta and Blue

Apple TV+ Curbs Costs After Expensive Projects Fail to Capture Viewers

Monday July 22, 2024 5:11 am PDT by
Apple is scaling back its Hollywood spending after investing over $20 billion in original programming with limited success, Bloomberg reports. This shift comes after the streaming service, which launched in 2019, struggled to capture a significant share of the market, accounting for only 0.2% of TV viewership in the U.S., compared to Netflix's 8%. Despite heavy investment, critical acclaim,...
iPhone 16 Pro Sizes Feature

iPhone 16 Series Is Just Two Months Away: Everything We Know

Monday July 15, 2024 4:44 am PDT by
Apple typically releases its new iPhone series around mid-September, which means we are about two months out from the launch of the iPhone 16. Like the iPhone 15 series, this year's lineup is expected to stick with four models – iPhone 16, iPhone 16 Plus, iPhone 16 Pro, and iPhone 16 Pro Max – although there are plenty of design differences and new features to take into account. To bring ...
iPhone 17 Plus Feature Purple

These 5 Features Will Make the iPhone 17 the Biggest Update in Years

Monday July 22, 2024 4:02 pm PDT by
The upcoming iPhone 16 models that we're expecting to see in September are going to be quite similar to the iPhone 15 models, but rumors suggest that Apple is making big changes in 2025. We've been hearing hints of an all-new device in the iPhone lineup, and it may be the most expensive iPhone Apple has offered to date. New 'Slim' Design Rumors have taken to referring to the new iPhone 17...
iPhone SE 4 Thumb 1

iPhone SE 4 Rumored to Launch Early Next Year With OLED Display, 48MP Camera, and More

Monday July 22, 2024 7:22 am PDT by
The fourth-generation iPhone SE will offer a series of major upgrades over the current model, the leaker known as "Ice Universe" claims. The information was listed in a post on Weibo, which also detailed the specifications of the iPhone 17 lineup. As previously rumored, the fourth-generation iPhone SE is expected to feature Face ID and USB-C, marking a major upgrade from current and previous ...
bsod

Microsoft Blames European Commission for Major Worldwide Outage

Monday July 22, 2024 11:55 am PDT by
Last Friday, a major CrowdStrike outage impacted PCs running Microsoft Windows, causing worldwide issues affecting airlines, retailers, banks, hospitals, rail networks, and more. Computers were stuck in continuous recovery loops, rendering them unusable. The failure was caused by an update to the CrowdStrike Falcon antivirus software that auto-installed on Windows 10 PCs, but Mac and Linux...