Developers get Apple Watch Band, New Interface Guidelines

Apple's new guidelines for developers make it clear third-party Apple Watch bands have an official thumbs up. Thanks to updates for Apple's Human Interface Guidelines website, developers have new resources to aid in their watch app designs, too.

Apple updates its Apple Watch developer resourcesApple updates its Apple Watch developer resources

With the rollout of the watchband guidelines (PDF), bands and other watch accessories are now part of the "made for i" certification program. Those accessories can include watch stands, chargers, cases, and more.

The changes to the app interface design guidelines detail what watch apps should do for users, how to work with interface elements, using the Digital Crown and Force Touch, and offers better information on notifications and short interaction designs with WatchKit.

The updates are good news for users and developers alike. Most Apple Watch apps available today were designed without the benefit of having actual hardware available, and with limited guidance for Apple. Now developers have the resources to refine their apps, and design new watch apps that work even better.

Apple began delivering Apple Watch pre-orders on April 24 and developers started releasing compatibility updates for their iPhone apps a couple weeks ahead of that. Over 3,500 Apple Watch-compatible apps are available already and more are on the way. With the updates for watch app design guidelines, the quality of those apps should start improving soon.