Date: Monday, February 3rd, 2014, 09:38
Category: Accessory, Announcement, App Store, Apple, Apps, iOS, iPhone, Software, Wearables
Last Friday, via its Twitter account, Pebble announced that the release date for the new Pebble appstore would be today, Feb 3rd, at 10 AM PST. So, only a few hours to go until Pebble owners can start playing with the new goodies. The announcement indicates that only the iOS update to the Pebble companion app would be released today, with an Android update arriving soon. For those already using a Pebble smartwatch with their iPhone, you should see the update appearing in the iOS App Store app, ready for download, or automatically installed if you have background updating enabled.
Previously, watch faces and apps for the Pebble could come from a number of places. A limited number of watch faces could be downloaded through the Pebble app itself, and loaded onto the watch. Some apps, like Smartwatch+, could be downloaded from the iOS App Store which, when running in the background, would add additional features to the Pebble such as weather readings and iPhone battery level. Also, there were other apps that allowed you to download apps and watch faces from 3rd party repositories, which could then store them on your phone for easy access, and offer a way to load them onto the watch through the official Pebble app. Pebble plans to change all that with their appstore which will act as the central location for all these items as well as a host of new “sponsored” apps that include Foursquare, Yelp, and CNN.
It remains to be seen if this eliminates the need or features of the other standalone apps. The update to the Pebble app not only includes the appstore, but also brings the device OS up to version 2.0, which has been through vigorous testing, and app updates from developers, in preparation for today’s launch. The 2.0 software will bring some long awaited features to the wearable device, improving notifications, and making it less reliant on the iPhone to perform functions which are necessary to make the new apps, like the one for Foursquare, useful. The first time you launch the updated iOS app, it should prompt you to download and install the new watch firmware. A quick reboot and you should be ready to browse the new offerings. We’ll post our findings about the update and new apps in an upcoming post once we’ve had a chance to play with it for a while. Happy discovering!