Pebble, the smart watch born from a successful Kickstarter campaign, launched their long-awaited Pebble App Store this week. Apps are not new to the Pebble, there have already been some great apps since the watch was first introduced (mattbeckwith.com/2013/09/02/pebble-watch/), now there's even more, and a nice new interface for finding and installing them.
The original Pebble app had limited options for watch faces (much more were available via third party sites) and was very clunky. Watch faces were listed by their names with easy way to identify which was which.
The new Pebble app is completely different and much more of a polished product. There are hundreds of watch faces, with more coming I'm sure. Also, I can finally see what faces are loaded on my watch, which makes adding and deleting new ones a lot easier!
The Pebble App Store is not about the watch faces (although, I really like the new ones that add the current temperature) it's about the apps!
The new user interface is slick and makes browsing for new apps a breeze. Since only 8 apps and/or watch faces can be loaded on a watch, the Pebble app stores your deleted apps and watch faces in a "locker" for simple re-loading later.
What kind of apps would one want to load on their watch? Well, there are hundreds to choose from. The day that the app store was launched, I was in San Diego giving a presentation. I am actually in southern California all week delivering the same 45 minute presentation nine times. To help me stay on time, I downloaded a stop watch (of which there are too many different ones to count).
How about apps that let you pay for your Starbucks? Control the camera on your smart phone, learn how to play chords on the guitar, plus lots of other things.
Interestingly, all of the apps and watch faces on the Pebble App Store are free. They currently don't have a way to charge people for downloads from the app store. Pebble has no concern with developers charging for a companion app on the smart phone, but it doesn't look like they'll be turning the Pebble App Store in to a place to sell apps.
Overall, I'm pretty happy with the new offerings and the new interface is great. Still holding out for the rumored iWatch, but until then, I'm still loving my Pebble.