Apple Watch bands and accessibility

While it has a bevy of software-based accessibility features, the Apple Watch also offers significant hardware accessibility as well. Whether it was intentional or just the result of good, usable design being accessible, there are several Apple Watch bands especially that are exceptionally easy to put on and adjust. Steven Aquino, writing for MacStories:

Putting on my Apple Watch with the Milanese Loop for the first time felt like drinking a tall glass of water on a scorching hot day; it was so refreshing. There was no struggle, no frustration, no proliferation of unfit-to-write-here cuss words coming out of my mouth, nothing. Putting it on was a breeze, and most importantly, I could do it on my own.The only bands I've tried thus far have been the Sport band and Milanese Loop. That said, it's my opinion that Apple's magnetic bands are the most accessible for those with fine-motor problems. They're the easiest to get on without fumbling, and they effectively fasten themselves. I highly recommend them, even to those with no dexterity troubles.

My mother, whose arthritis has led to problems putting on jewelry, felt very much the same. She ordered a leather loop band because of how easy it was to put on and adjust. Even the modern buckle, which is adjusted like a buckle but closes with magnets, was appealing to her.

So, intentional or serendipitous, it's another feature that makes the Apple Watch valuable.

Rene Ritchie
Contributor

Rene Ritchie is one of the most respected Apple analysts in the business, reaching a combined audience of over 40 million readers a month. His YouTube channel, Vector, has over 90 thousand subscribers and 14 million views and his podcasts, including Debug, have been downloaded over 20 million times. He also regularly co-hosts MacBreak Weekly for the TWiT network and co-hosted CES Live! and Talk Mobile. Based in Montreal, Rene is a former director of product marketing, web developer, and graphic designer. He's authored several books and appeared on numerous television and radio segments to discuss Apple and the technology industry. When not working, he likes to cook, grapple, and spend time with his friends and family.

6 Comments
  • It's a good point - I love the look of my link bracelet, but it isn't an easy mechanism to put on (and obviously initial sizing is a task in itself). Is it *hard*? No, it's fine and I'm happy. But for people with motor issues, it easily could be a problem.
  • yikes. he was pretty harsh on the sport band. It's a shame Apple ignored accessibility when designing the entry model of the Apple Watch
  • Yeah, interesting how Rene left that out, huh?
    Also interesting is the lack of any mention of price.
  • Or... he was specifically highlighting the ones that would make better choices for the dexterity-challenged? Just maybe? I mean, I know the 'thing' around here is to auto-bash anything with his name on it, but... I'm doubting the magnets - though probably very secure - are all most will want securing their watch while engaged in strenuous exercise, whose audience the Sport version targets. Sent from the iMore App
  • I found the Sport band really tricky at first – I felt like I needed three hands*. After a couple of days I developed a knack and I now find it easier than my other watch's regular leather strap/buckle. I wouldn't say it's any worse than a normal watch strap to put on, and I'd say it's slightly easier to take off. (note that I don't have any accessibility issues) * I guess this is one of the reasons they have someone put the watches on you in the store. ;)
  • I find the sport band easier to put on than my leather loop. Place on top of wrist>pull the top strap from under with index finger while thumb is holding bottom strap>bush onto pin with thumb while index finger holds the back strap. This literally takes 2 seconds
    The leather loop can take longer if you try to fit the bottom loop through the top slot while on the wrist, but if you put it through slightly and lock the magnet on the other side I found it easier. Wish I could post pictures of the process. As with anything in life practice makes perfect Sent from the iMore App