One of our favorite things about the Pebble smartwatch is its wide range of custom watchfaces and apps, but there hasn't been a central repository to download them. Now the company is making it easier by launching the Pebble appstore, going live in early 2014.
The Pebble appstore will integrate seamlessly into the existing Pebble app for iOS and Android. Pebble owners will be able to download, browse and install watch faces, apps and games directly from this app. The store will include seven app categories when it launches: Daily, Remotes, Games, Notifications, Tools & Utilities, Sports & Fitness, and Watchfaces. All apps in the Pebble store will be free to download, as the company says it’s not supporting paid applications at this time.
The introduction of an app store for the Pebble is sure to streamline and simplify the app installation process for watch owners. There are more than 2,000 watch faces, apps and games for the Pebble that have been created by third-party developers, but users are currently forced to use independent app stores or Google Play to find them.
Currently, Pebble owners must browse these stores via a smartphone connected to the Pebble, download the app from a mobile Web browser and then choose to open the file in the official Pebble app. Once this is done, the app will automatically appear on the Pebble. That's a fair amount of work.
The announcement serves as another indicator that Pebble is attempting to offer broader functionality with its platform as the smartwatch competition thickens. In November, a software update enabled fully functional notifications for iOS 7. Pebble-compatible iOS 7 apps now include Google Maps, Instagram, Facebook and Foursquare . An even more recent update from last week heralded a new “Do Not Disturb” mode and snooze functionality for alarms on the Pebble.