In a crowded wearable market, Fitbit reigns supreme. In Q1 2014, research firm Canalys says Fitbit occupied 50% of overall shipments, leaving the rest of the market searching for a foothold. When it came to smartwatches, though, another tried-and-true leader in Pebble is outshining the rest.
Pebble has rolled out a bunch of updates today, bringing forth new firmware for the smartwatch, as well as updated iOS and Android apps. All of them have just rolled out, with the smartphone app updates being available through the respective app stores, and the firmware update being available through the Pebble smartphone app.
In the oncoming war of the wearable device, it’s usability, not their power or aesthetics, that will drive the market. While Samsung releases three new smartwatch devices this season with full-functioning operating systems and Sony releases a sports band that’s just about as simple as a wearable device can be, it’s clear that we’ll be seeing a full spectrum. But what drives the successful machine? Besides advertising dollars, that is.
Smartwatches will be everywhere this year. With Google announcing Android Wear and companies already showing off devices at CES and Mobile World Congress, it won’t be long before a slew of smartwatches are sitting on store shelves.
Of course, smartwatches are already available. In fact, several companies, from Samsung to Pebble, have offered their interpretation of wrist-worn wearables. The trouble for those firms, however, is that so far, those products haven’t taken off. And it’s unclear whether even Android Wear could go a long way in pushing smartwatches onto more wrists.
This week Pebble 2.0 has launched for Android in full after a brief Beta period which was in full play as recent as earlier this week. This version of the Pebble app will bring on a full-fledged look at the Pebble browser for apps and watch faces, including all compatible software connections to Pebble 2.0 and firmware version 2.0.1. This app also adds the ability to troubleshoot issue and make suggestions to the Pebble crew straight from the software itself.
As promised, Pebble rolled out an app store for its iPhone users earlier today, and Android users were left asking for info about when their own would surface. Fortunately, the wait was less than a day, with Pebble announcing a beta version of its appstore for Android -- a few bugs notwithstanding.
Pebble's appstore for its smartwatches has gone live, arriving in an update for the iOS Pebble app and with an Android version due "very, very soon" the company says. Currently stocked with more than 1,000 apps and watchfaces - though expected to become the main hub for all of the company's third-party developers to release their software through - the appstore is split into six app categories, spanning notifications through fitness and games.