To many, the world’s most notable smartwatch, Pebble, has been somewhat limited. Sure, third-party developers have flexed their creative muscles to try and squeeze as much functionality out of the wrist-mounted notification machine as possible. But until now, out of the box and officially, Pebble has done little more than deliver notifications to your wrist and tell time.
Finding watchfaces and apps required perusing the Internet. There, you would find a handful of treasure troves. Installing these unofficial watchfaces and apps wasn’t difficult, but it wasn’t a smooth, polished experience either. It always felt a little hackish – something many consumers who paid $150 for a plastic watch would never feel satisfied with.
Today, that changes.
Pebble Steel begins shipping today, and soon to follow will be an update which brings a much needed feature to the Pebble experience: Pebble appstore.
Currently, we are told there are nearly 1,000 apps in Pebble appstore, and over 6,000 registered developers. But this update isn’t solely about downloading and finding new apps for your Pebble, it’s about managing them. This can be done through the My Pebble menu. From there, you can manage the installed apps and watchfaces on your Pebble. Once your Pebble is full, however, new applications you add will be stored in your locker for safekeeping. Yes, the eight app limit still exists, but Locker does an awesome job of compensating for such a low limit by making it incredibly easy to swap out commonly used apps you may not need to have installed all the time.
The Pebble appstore version we used for this demonstration was a pre-release version and it wasn’t final software. Also we’re an Android version will be available soon. (In the meantime, you can check out what I did with Pebble on Android.)
As a person who has used Pebble for 10 months (and only missed two days of use, mind you), this update is something to look forward to. It improves the end user experience, all around, and brings some much needed polish to the wearable.
Now … if I could just get my hands on a Pebble Steel.