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Fitbit's next watch will allow apps from other companies

These apps would be powered by software acquired when Fitbit bought Pebble.


The sequel to the Fitbit Blaze watch will have apps.

Sarah Tew/CNET

We might finally know one reason why Fitbit purchased the Pebble watch company for $23 million last year: Apps.

Fitbit's next watch is going to launch with its own app platform that would rival those found on the Apple Watch and Android Wear watches, Fitbit CEO James Park said to The Verge. Park said that upon the watch's launch, Fitbit would also have a development kit available to all app makers that relies on software it acquired from the Pebble purchase.

Similar to how Pebble operated its own app platform with watches like the Pebble 2, these Fitbit watch apps would be compatible across both iOS and Android devices according to Park and Thomas Sarlandie, Fitbit's head of engineering. The company also hopes to keep its app review process as simple as possible for developers.

However, Park is hesitant to call it an "app store," specifying that apps made by other companies would be found inside of an "app gallery" inside Fitbit's current mobile app.

Fitbit confirmed Park and Sarlandie's comments to CNET, but did not have any other details about the watch. So far, this next Fitbit wearable is rumored to look similar to its Blaze watch while also including GPS and waterproofing. Park did say that Fitbit hopes to have better music features though in its next device.

"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 to The Verge.

Meanwhile, Pebble's watches recently received a software update that will allow their timepieces to keep working, even after Fitbit pulls the plug on their cloud services.