Pebble, the device that started the smartwatch craze, has finally released their much anticipated app store with iOS support. While some Pebble owners were disappointed the Android version did not ship simultaneously with the iOS version, the Android version in beta for developers was announced a short while later. Now any Pebble owner, from the very first iteration on, may download 3rd party apps. Pebble announced the expected app store during their trip to CES 2014 in early January. The new Pebble Steel version, which is already shipping to customers, was also announced during CES.
The store launched with over 1000 apps and watchfaces. The actual store is built into the Pebble App on your iOS or Android device. Prior to launching their proprietary source for apps, users were able to discover and download apps on other independent locations like MyPebbleFaces. There are separate areas for apps and watchfaces, with six app categories: Daily, Tools & Utilities, Notifications, Remotes, Fitness, and Games. Pebble had previously announced partnerships with Yelp, GoPro, Foursquare and other big names to provide a number of high profile integrated apps.
Developers are expected to have access to download statistics soon which will be available on a developers portal.
Founded by Canadian entrepreneur Eric Migicovsky, Pebble Smartwatch is one of the most successful crowdfunding campaigns of all time. The Kickstarter campaign launched in 2012 raised their $100,000 goal in just two hours. Over $1 million was raised in 28 hours. The funding surpassed $10 million by the end of the project. The new company went on to raise additional funding from VC’s as their concept was validated by the intense interest from consumers.
Migicovsky and his company have pretty much launched the smartwatch trend – an industry that now includes mega company Samsung and others. Apple has been rumored to be launching their own version smartwatch / health device in 2014 but so far management in Cupertino has been late to the game.
Pebble’s watches may be purchased on their site from $149 to $249.
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