The Pebble smartwatch does more than tell time and deliver notifications. With the right apps, you can check the weather, play a game, track your workout, and more. The problem is that Pebble itself doesn’t provide an easy way to find these apps.
That’s going to change early next year, when Pebble says it will launch its own “appstore.” Through the Pebble app for iPhone and Android, users will be able to browse and install apps on their watches. At first, all the apps themselves will be free, but developers can still charge for companion apps on iOS and Android.
The appstore launch will coincide with the release of new developer tools that Pebble has been working on, as detailed in November:
These API allow developers to make Pebble apps that interface directly with the web (real-time weather, transit info, location check-in), access the accelerometer (health/fitness monitoring and gesture-based remote control), log data when disconnected from the phone (health/fitness tracking), and store info on the watch (high scores for games, settings).
In the meantime, third-party stores such as PebbleBarn and MyPebbleFaces can help you track down watch apps, but the selection from these stores is limited. Hopefully the official store from Pebble and the new developer tools will greatly extend the smartwatch’s usefulness.