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Retail Apple Watches still feature 'hidden' diagnostic port, could lead to 'Smart Band' accessories

Retail Apple Watches still feature 'hidden' diagnostic port, could lead to 'Smart Band' accessories

That iThingy You're Wearing
April 12, 2015

It seems the retail Apple Watches available for try-on sessions in Apple Stores indeed feature the hidden diagnostic port, inside the device’s band adapter, which we first heard of some months ago. As such, the presence of this port hints that at some point, we could see so-called “Smart Bands” launch for the Apple Watch, which connect to the port and interact with Cupertino’s smartwatch in some way.

Of course, we’ve already seen “Smart” accessories launch for iOS devices: on the iPad, for instance, Smart Covers and Cases simply activate and deactivate the tablet’s display using a combination of magnets both inside of the case’s cover and along the inside of the iPad itself. It seems that for the Apple Watch, Smart Bands, which would connect to the device’s diagnostic port, might enhance the device’s health and fitness functionality by including additional sensors, perhaps, or even a more advanced haptic notification system.

Image via John Gruber (@gruber).

Image via John Gruber (@gruber).

This, however, is pure speculation, though what is certain is the presence of the diagnostic port itself on the Apple Watch, according to MacRumors. John Gruber, who, incidentally, also wrote a highly respected review of the smartwatch, has also noted that the diagnostic port remained on the Apple Watch review unit he received from Apple.

MacRumors adds that Apple Store retail staff “had no training on the use of the port,” or, perhaps, had been told not to disclose information to members of the public. It’ll be interesting to see whether Apple publicly details the nature of the Apple Watch’s hidden diagnostic port further down the line, and, if so, whether the port might integrate with “Smart Bands” in the way critics suspect.

Preorders for the Apple Watch launched on the Apple Online Store a couple of days ago, on Friday, and almost immediately the initial stock for the device sold out. This, indeed, had been anticipated, with senior vice president of Retail Angela Ahrendts noting that consumer demand was expected to outweigh supply for the wearable at launch. At the minute, most models are listed as dispatching in “June” on the Apple Online Store; it seems orders had to be placed within the first minutes of preorders launching, at 12:01 a.m. PDT, in order for customers to secure the elusive “4–24/5–8” delivery estimate.

See also: AOL’s Yo-like Pip app goes 2.0 with international support, custom messages and more, Create your own paper dinos and have some Jurassic fun with Foldify Dinosaurs, and Popular podcast app Overcast gains Apple Watch support and other improvements.

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