Pebble started shipping its new Pebble Steel hardware last week, but until today, the version of the companion app available to the general public didn’t contain any of the version 2.0 goodness that granted access to the Pebble appstore. The new appstore is being billed as the “first open platform for sharing apps optimized for wearables” by Pebble, and as of today, it’s available to the general Pebble-wearing public, so long as you’ve got an iOS device.
The Pebble appstore works with any Pebble running OS version 2.0, which you’ll be prompted to install on your device when you download and install the updated Pebble app. You’ll also get a completely new interface for managing your Pebble and the new apps you can install on it from within the software. As you can see in our review, the update introduces an app and watchface management tray that lets you see what’s already on your Pebble (each smartwatch supports a maximum of 8 third-party apps and faces).
Pebble’s new appstore features apps updated to work with SDK 2.0, and is divided into either apps or watchfaces, with subdivisions within each. The apps section features categories, including fitness apps and remotes, for example, and the watchface category can be organized by popularity, recency or staff picks. In my review, I noted that it struck me as a bit rudimentary, but it’s perfectly functional for a version 1 release, and sort of resembles the early days of Apple’s iOS App Store.
I’ve already got some favourites picked out from the inaugural batch of Pebble apps: Both Yelp and Foursquare’s official software never leave my wrist, and the third-party Huebble app is arguably a better Philips Hue remote than the iOS app itself in many ways. The PipBoy 100 Pebble watchface also provides some great utility, including battery indicator, connectivity loss alarm when you venture too far from your phone, and what amounts to a loose step counter via an XP display and level up system. And if my life was exciting enough that I owned a GoPro, I’d definitely use the remote app for that gadget.
Already, Pebble’s app ecosystem offers up a number of software titles that can replace entire gadgets, with software for tracking daily activity and progress towards a goal, as well as stuff that turns your Pebble into a hardware remote for controlling your smartphone camera’s shutter.
Grab the updated Pebble app now if you want access to all that appstore goodness. Even if you aren’t one of the few pre-orderers lucky enough to have a Pebble Steel, you’re going to feel like you’ve got a brand new device with this update. Android users, Pebble promises you don’t have to wait long – they haven’t put a specific timeline on when the appstore makes it to Google’s mobile OS, but it should arrive “very, very soon” according to the company.