Following a recent change to the Apple Watch’s accessory port functionality in watchOS 2.0.1, all shipments of the ‘Reserve Strap’ band with a built-in battery to recharge your Apple Watch for an additional 30 hours, have been suspended. According to MacRumors, the changes have essentially left the band defunct and unable to ship to those who pre-ordered the accessory last summer.
The Reserve Strap was supposed to take advantage of the accessory port on the bottom side of the Apple Watch casing to provide extra battery life. However, it seems that Apple has blocked off third-party band manufacturers from taking advantage of the accessory port to fuel the abilities of so called “smartbands” in watchOS 2.0.1. Here’s what developer Lane Musgrave says in a blog post:
“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 smart bands”.
Meanwhile, any user who has not yet upgraded to watchOS 2.0.1 and is not planning to do so in the near future either, can still take advantage of Reserve Strap. The company says it will ship the orders to such customers “in the next few weeks”.
While the company is hoping for an MFi program for smartbands to launch soon, it is encouraging users to submit feedback on Apple.com and spread awareness about the lack of an official Apple Watch smartband MFi program.