Dec 23, 2013 10:16 AM EST
Between Samsung’s Galaxy Gear and the Qualcomm Toq, you might have forgotten about Kickstarter darling, the Pebble smartwatch. After meeting its funding goal several times over, the Pebble has been doing fairly well in mass production and the company is now announcing that it will launch the world’s first smartwatch app store in early 2014.
The app store will feature watch faces and apps that users will be able to download through both Android and iOS versions of the Pebble app.
Pebble has already opened a “developer portal” for third parties to submit custom smartwatch apps and consumers should begin to see the fruits of that initiative starting next year.
“Today, we are proud to announce exciting news to our developer community: the Pebble Developer Portal is now open! Pebble app developers can now upload their Pebble apps for distribution in the upcoming Pebble appstore,” the company wrote in a blog post. “When it launches in early 2014, the Pebble appstore will be a first-of-its-kind wearable tech application directory—giving Pebble users a one-stop-shop for searching, browsing, and installing Pebble watch faces and apps directly from the iOS or Android Pebble smartphone app.”
Since the primary criticism against most smartwatches on the market today has been a lack of features, Pebble’s move to launch an app store seems a step in the right direction. Third party developers have historically been far more innovative with creating new functionality for a piece of hardware via new software and it’s encouraging to see Pebble embrace this notion so early in the product’s life cycle.
Wearable tech is still very much a fledgling segment in the consumer electronics market, but advents like the Pebble app store will hopefully encourage the technology to grow and mature.
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