On Monday Pebble officially announced that their much-anticipated App Store was finally ready for prime time, at least for iOS users. Hours later, the smartwatch maker revealed that the Android version was also available, though only as a beta.
Since this is still a beta app, it’s definitely not as polished as the final version is expected to be, and at times the app can be a little on the slow side.
We might not have gotten a full release this week, but the beta definitely shows what we can look forward to in Pebble world! I’ve been using the App Store for the last few days, and have generally been impressed by what I’ve seen. If you’re looking to download the beta app for yourself, you can find it here.
Up until now, getting apps for your Pebble smartwatch required you to search various websites and look for compatible apps. You’d then have to manually install them as well. Although it wasn’t that difficult to find apps, with the introduction of the new Pebble App, everything is now in one place.
With the introduction of the new Pebble App, everything is now in one place.
Since a lot of these individual apps also had to be downloaded to your phone, another huge advantage of this consolidation into one app is the clutter reduction in your device app drawer. Now all you have to do is tap on one app and get everything you’d need to manage your smartwatch.
On the downside, this is still a beta app, so it’s definitely not as polished as the final version is expected to be, and at times things can be a little on the slow side.
On the Pebble smartwatch, you can only have up to 8 watch faces or apps installed at one time. In order to manage these apps and switch them out for new ones, you previously had to download another app that would list all the Pebble apps in one place in order to add or remove them.
Making life a lot easier, the Pebble Store introduces “Locker”, a special feature that shows you what apps are currently installed on your device and gives you the ability to quickly swipe them out for new ones.
The most exciting part about the Pebble AppStore, however, is the apps and watch faces themselves. As you can see in the video above, there are tons of options out there when it comes to watch faces. You can even search through these watchfaces by looking through different categories including Most Loved, picks that Pebble likes, and a splash screen at the top of the app that has a few featured watch faces.
Anything you like can easily be added to the Locker, and then added to your Pebble from there. If you’re looking to change the way your smartwatch looks when in “watch mode,” this is the place to do it.
Next is a quick look at the various apps that you can download for the Pebble. App categories include fitness, tools and utilities, notifications, games, daily, and remotes. Just like the watchfaces section, there’s also a splash screen that contains a few featured apps at the top. There are also special categories for Top Weekly Picks, Most Loved, and Essentials.
For those that know exactly what app they are looking for, there’s also a search icon that lets you type the name of the app.
The magic of the new Pebble AppStore isn't necessarily that it introduces new functionality, it's that it makes finding, installing and swapping apps and watchfaces as convenient as possible.
You might be thinking, “Everything that the Pebble App Store does could be done before”, and that’s true. The magic of the new Pebble AppStore isn’t necessarily that it introduces new functionality, it’s that it makes finding, installing and swapping apps and watchfaces as convenient as possible. Extra features like Locker also make the AppStore a welcome addition to the Pebble experience.
So there you have it! This concludes our first look at the beta version of the Pebble App Store for Android. Hopefully, the final version, without all the current kinks, will make its way to the Google Play Store very soon.
For those that have yet to pick up a Pebble watch of their own, stay tuned to Android Authority, where we’ll be sure to bring you a full review of the smartwatch as soon as firmware 2.0 is fully released.