Until Android Wear comes to consumers, Pebble is going to continue to have the most robust app ecosystem of any wearable device. Music Boss is a particularly impressive app for the Pebble. It connects to your phone to control music playback with the Pebble's built-in buttons. The most recent update streamlines the process a bit by properly detecting what's going on with the phone.
Music Boss is a robust way to control playback of various media apps via your Pebble or Pebble Steel smartwatch, and it was also one of the very first additions to the official Pebble app store. The tool is light-years ahead of the basic music player built into the Pebble, allowing users to launch and switch Android music apps, adjust volume, and integrate with more esoteric apps like Tasker.
The Pebble can handle plenty of functions thanks to a wide range of third-party apps, but interacting with messages typically remains a passive experience. Naturally, someone had to address this. Reqallable, an app that provides smartwatch wearers with the ability to respond to email and text messages without pulling out their phones, has added the Pebble to its list of supported devices.
That new smartwatch may not be the first platform that comes to mind when the urge comes to kill time gaming, but Pebble wants to change that. Today at the Game Developer's Conference in San Francisco, the company announced three games that it's immediately making available for its smartwatch. The three titles - Mr. Runner, Icon Pop Quiz, and Hatchi - all come from different developers, and as you can see below, they're now just a tap away in the Pebble appstore.
Following last week's big update, the Pebble smartwatch now has a centralized app store where Android users can find nifty content for their monochromatic watch. What next? The team is kicking off the Pebble App Challenge, offering up $5,000 to the app developer who finishes first and a Pebble Steel for each of the top 16 finalists. Users get new apps, some developers get nice stuff, and we the public get to watch the action firsthand.
For Pebble owners, getting good apps and watchfaces has been akin to settling down in the Wild West. There are a handful of websites that do a good job of organizing content and making it easy to install via QR codes, and there's no way we can overlook the immensely useful Pebble apps app available in the Play Store, but these made things no less exciting when, back at this year's CES, the Pebble folks announced that a centralized app store was finally on its way.
Update: Since this post was published, Pebble has introduced a beta appstore for Android through their developer blog. Pebble encourages interested users to "help us finalize the Android app and ship it to everyone very quickly" by using the beta release and reporting any bugs. The beta release is certainly not without its issues, but interested parties can download it here.
Since Pebble first became available to the masses, finding good apps and watchfaces for the device has been sort of a hit-and-miss experience.
The Pebble is a humble smartwatch, and this is one of its biggest strengths. It doesn't have a color screen, it can hardly do anything without being paired to a phone, and the functions it supports out of the box are very limited. But the device has the support of a large community, and this greatly expands its usefulness for people who want to do more with their $149 purchase. AutoPebble is one of the more complex apps to hit the platform, as it pretty much does for Pebble what Tasker does for Android.
Smartwatch fans now have a new Pebble to drool over: the Pebble Steel. This is functionally identical to the original pebble, but it's smaller, thinner, and of course comes in a steel wrapper. This new model of the Pebble comes in black or silver colors and demands a $100 premium over the standard plastic model, retailing for an impressive $249.
Pebble Steel comes with a matching metal band and a bonus leather band, custom made for the unique head (which may not work with interchangeable watch bands).