Now, Pebble is going a step further: On Wednesday its creators announced the first of what they expect to be numerous apps designed specifically to run on the watch, using the smartphone’s processing power but the watch’s sunlight friendly e-paper display.
”**Attention #pebblers** We’d like to announce thar our first partner is @RunKeeper!,” Pebble tweeted on its official account.
RunKeeper is a free app for the iPhone and Android smartphones that allows users to accurately map their running routes using their smartphone’s GPS, so long as the phone is present during the run. The app was developed by a Boston-based startup called FitnessKeeper.
As FitnessKeeper CEO Jason Jones wrote on the RunKeeper blog on Wednesday:
Well, when Pebble approached us about integrating with RunKeeper, we loved the idea. We know that many of you are always looking for ways to make your fitness tracking easier, and with Pebble integration, you won’t ever have to pull the phone out of your pocket or armband - you can just see and do everything you need right from your watch (which connects with the phone via bluetooth). Not to mention that quite a few of you have been requesting it in our support forum as well.
Pebble’s creator Eric Migicovsky further elaborated on how the new RunKeeper Pebble app will work in an email to TPM: Firstly, it will still require the phone to be present throughout the entire run.
But RunKeeper for Pebble won’t be the same as the current iPhone and Android apps, nor a subtly modified or scaled-down version for the watch.
Instead, it will be a custom app designed specifically for Pebble using the watch’s own software development kit.
The RunKeeper Pebble application also won’t ship directly with the watch when it becomes available later this year (right now Migicovsky and his small team of nine at Pebble are aiming to get the watch out by September 2012).
Instead, Migicovsky told TPM that it will be available to download, along with other apps, from a whole new Pebble watch app online “directory,” similar to Apple’s App Store or Google’s Play online store.
The partnership furthers Pebble’s aim to not just be another gadget, but rather among the first of a new category of “wearable” computing devices that revolve around the smartphone.
Pebble, the small company behind the eponymous watch, earlier revealed on its Kickstarter page that it was also partnering with a company called Freecaddie to develop a golf rangefinder app for the watch.
“We’re looking forward to working with either big or small developers, so who knows” what partnerships will be announced next, Migicovsky told TPM.