Made for Apple Watch
Apple has publishes a set of guidelines for those looking to develop third-party bands for its first wearable device - the Apple WatchApple

Apple has finally published the details of its "Made for Apple Watch" program which will allow designers and developers created third-party bands for the company's first wearable.

Apple has a range of official straps available for the Watch but it was widely expected to open up its wearable to third-party manufacturers just as it has done with its iPhone and iPad products.

One of the most important aspects of the new program is that it confirms that Apple Watch straps will be able to connect using standard lugs, with Apple promising to release special "Made for Apple Watch" lugs soon.

The guidelines outline the measures manufacturers will have to make sure they stick to including strict environmental specifications and they will also have to make sure the straps will tighten sufficiently around a user's wrist to make sure the heart-rate sensor works correctly.

Extra battery

There are already a number of manufacturers which have developed unofficial straps for the Apple Watch, including some which incorporate an extra battery pack - something which could be a major feature of what is expected to be a raft of official third-party bands.

Apple says that its Watch battery lasts just a single day, with users needing to recharge it every night, therefore it offers no sleep tracking capabilities. One case already on the market however offers a 250mAh additional battery power, which more that doubles the battery included inside the 38mm version of the Apple Watch (205mAh).

The iPhone accessory market alone was worth $20bn (£13.2bn) in 2012 according to research from ABI Research with manufacturers offering everything from cases, covers and speaker docks to the more recent phenomenon of selfie sticks to augment your smartphone.

Apple's MFi licensing program bestows the official seal of approval on third-party manufacturers and allows them put the "Made for iPhone/iPad/iPod/Watch" on the box of their product and even gives them the chance of having their products sold through Apple's online and high street stores.

As well as bands and buckles, expect to see a raft of docking stations for the Apple Watch to come on the market in the coming weeks, though Apple has yet to official announce guidelines for developing charging accessories.