Fitbit promises its smartwatch will still compete with Apple and Samsung

The anticipated Fitbit smartwatch will launch with a proprietary app platform, thanks in part to its acquisition of Pebble

The new waterproof device - that’s set to launch in Autumn - will embed what Fitbit is calling an “app gallery” into its companion app, which is available on iOS, Android and Windows 10

From there, users will be able to add third-party applications to the smartwatch, similar to how users could augment Pebble’s now-defunct lineup of wearables.

It seemed obvious that Fitbit would utilize the smarts of Pebble’s smartwatches, and after that being the low point of the Fitbit Blaze it would seem like a smart thing to add in.

This now looks certain after The Verge has received confirmation that Pebble’s new software development kit (SDK), which was in development at the time of its liquidation, has been reworked for use with Fitbit’s new smartwatch.

Is it all about the apps anymore?

What sets a good wearable apart from a bad one? Certainly, app variety plays a decent-sized role in that, which hasn’t been Fitbit’s strong suit. 

So considering the company’s ploy to play with the big dogs of the wearables industry, like Apple, Samsung and Google, implementing apps into the package is all but necessary to even the playing field a bit.

Thankfully for app developers, Fitbit’s approach to app development on its smartwatch is apparently just like Pebble’s: easy, or at least it’s being touted as such. 

However, even a few short months away from launch (supposedly), Fitbit CEO James Park isn’t naming names as to who will be making apps for the platform, though we’ve heard that it’s working on getting music streaming services on board. 

The big issue with these services, Park says, is negotiation surrounding offline playback. 

There’s a tremendous amount of pressure surrounding Fitbit’s smartwatch. And following its purchase of Pebble, it has more than just Fitbit fans waiting to see what happens next. 

It’s obviously still too early to tell how it’s shaping up, but we’ll know soon enough when it launches in the next few months.

Cameron Faulkner

Cameron is a writer at The Verge, focused on reviews, deals coverage, and news. He wrote for magazines and websites such as The Verge, TechRadar, Practical Photoshop, Polygon, Eater and Al Bawaba.