Pebble has announced a new premium smartwatch and more details of the developer options for working with it.
Pebble became famous following a very successful Kickstarter campaign that enabled it to develop its Pebble smartwatch. The Kickstarter campaign raised over $10 million in funding, and Pebble has so far sold more than 300,000 of its original model. The smartwatch can be linked to your iOS or Android device, so you can see notifications and control your music from the smartwatch on your wrist. While other smartwatches exist from companies such as Samsung and Sony, Pebble's has a much better battery life thanks to its use of an e-ink screen.
The new version, Pebble Steel. has the same user interface as the current watch, but a smarter metal body, a Corning Gorilla Glass display, anti-fingerprint coating, and two straps, one leather the other metal. It will be priced at $250 when it goes on sale at the end of January.
For developers, the more interesting news from CES was that the recently announced Pebble appstore will open at the end of January, together with the general availability of Pebble SDK 2.0. The store will be made available as a software update to the Pebble mobile apps for Android and iOS. According to the Pebble Developer Blog,
"When users install the new Pebble mobile app, the list of apps installed on their Pebble will be downloaded and saved on the phone. The firmware will be automatically upgraded to 2.0 and the Pebble app will look for and install the 2.0 version of those apps from the Pebble appstore."
Beta4 of the Pebble SDK 2 is now available and is needed to make sure apps meet the requirements.
The app store features an "app locker" that keeps note of which apps users are interested in. There's a limit of eight apps on Pebble devices at one time, so if you're interested in others, the app locker acts as a bookmark so you can find the others again. Over 3,000 developers are creating apps for the app store, according to GetPebble.com CEO Eric Migicovsky, and 3 million apps and watchfaces have been downloaded so far.
Could this be the year of the wearable app?