Fitbit's smartwatch will launch with an app platform after all, powered by Pebble

Fitbit CEO spills some deets
Fitbit's app store is coming

One of the big questions about Fitbit's upcoming smartwatch is what the app situation is going to be. Early reports said the app store wouldn't be ready in time for the smartwatch's fall launch, instead launching with custom-made apps. However, Fitbit CEO James Park has told The Verge that its app store will be ready in time.

When Fitbit's smartwatch launches, the company will be rolling out a software development kit based on technology it acquired from Pebble, which was working on a new Javascript-based SDK when it was purchased by Fitbit. The new SDK for Fitbit's smartwatch will, according to Park and Thomas Sarlandie, Fitbit's head of software, make it easy to build apps, which will be compatible with both iOS and Android.

Essential reading:The Fitbit smartwatch investigation

Like Pebble, Fitbit will take a lightweight approach to app reviewing, allowing developers to easily share custom-made versions of its apps with friends and family.

Rather than launch in an app store, Park says the apps will be featured in an "app gallery" within Fitbit's companion app. At launch, Fitbit's smartwatch will have a handful of third-party apps from select partners. Shortly after that, the SDK will roll out to every developer. So what apps can you expect at the launch of the smartwatch? Park declined to name specifics, but he did say there'll be some kind of music experience.

Fitbit's smartwatch will launch alongside an app platform powered by Pebble's SDK

"All we can say at this point is that music is a really important part of the fitness experience, and you'll see functionality related to that," Park said. "When it comes to the music industry, it's not just technical. There are business issues as well when it comes to offline playback."

There's still no word on when Fitbit's smartwatch will launch, with Park not mentioning when the device will ship. He does, however, insist that Fitbit's smartwatch plans have "never changed."

Reports have indicated that Fitbit's smartwatch has been pushed back multiple times because of hardware and software issues, like the GPS antennae and waterproofing issues. However Park recently confirmed that the watch will be waterproof.

Fitbit's smartwatch will launch alongside an app platform powered by Pebble's SDK


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1 Comment

  • datalore says:

    Park has a press conference at the IFA conference in Berlin on August 31st and fitbit has sent out a save the date invitation to journalist. Seems like that would be a good time to release the watch. 

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