iOS update for Pebble smartwatch brings Notification Center to wrists

Pebble smartwatch iOS notifications update
Introducing the end of 'I didn't have my phone on me' excuse

Touting over 190,000 Pebble smartwatches sold, the wearable tech start-up of the same name announced that Apple's Notification Center will soon be as easy to check as flicking one's wrist.

This major iOS 7 update brings alerts from any app enabled in Notification Center: Calendar, Twitter, Facebook, Google+, Instagram, Flickr, Dropbox and so forth.

It builds on top of the calls, texts and emails that are displayed on the smartwatch when tied to an iOS device and it means Apple owners have finally caught up to Android users.

All of this is convenient for cutting down on the number of times iPhone owners check their smartphone throughout the day.

Now the handset can stay in a pocket and the iPhone 5S Touch ID home button can get a much-needed break from constantly being pressed.

More Pebble watch apps to come

Pebble said the new iOS functionality is under review by Apple and should be available in the iTunes Store "soon," according to an official blog post.

In the meantime, it's issuing Pebble SDK 2.0 to developers with the hope that they make rich new apps specifically designed for the smartwatch.

The four new APIs include Javascript, Accelerometer, Data Logging and Persistent Storage.

For the end-user, that means future apps will be able to take direct advantage of the web for real-time weather, transit info and location check-in.

The accelerometer access can be used for health and fitness monitoring and gesture-based remote control, while the data logging can store this information even when disconnected from a phone.

No new hardware hints yet

Pebble didn't announce a hardware refresh beyond its Kickstarter-funded smartwatch today.

However, as the company climbs to a healthy 200,000 watches sold and two million app and watch face downloads, it seems like new software is only the beginning of what's to come.

Matt Swider