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Pebble tells us why we still don't have the new 2.0 app and appstore

Android's Pebble 2.0 app lagging behind is a matter of resources

There has been a good bit of outcry about Pebble releasing their new version — and their appstore — on iOS before Android, and even more that we still haven't seen the official version of the app in Google Play.

Lead software engineer from Pebble Kean Wong took the the blog to tell us why, and what they're doing to rectify the situation.

The reason why the Android version of the 2.0 Pebble app has lagged the iOS version is fundamentally pretty simple – it has purely been a matter of resources. In order to ship a high quality, reliable Android experience that will work for many thousands of users across the myriad of devices and operating systems, we need engineers working on the Android app who are both fantastic engineers and great Android developers.

Make no mistake — we're talking about some complicated and intricate code here. Not only do the developers have to make a product that works as well or better than the previous Android app did, but they have to worry about app versions, automatic upgrading for watch apps and watch faces, and users who may not be tech-savvy if things go wrong. I do not envy these guys.

The current beta version of the Pebble 2.0 app is available for those brave souls who want to try it out. We're using it, and can tell you that it's not even close to ready yet. Trust us when we say you do not want this to be released to the general public, and it's very much still a developer preview. We love the new functionality, but when lots of little things go wrong it makes for a poor experience that normal users won't want. Pebble is wise to hold this back.

The good news is that Pebble is actively looking for Android engineers and developers — ones with the right credentials who can back it up with results. Those folks are few and far between, because most are already employed elsewhere because of the high demand for quality Android coders. 

This is a situation that will correct itself, but only after a lot of hard work and long nights. While we all want the latest and greatest for our Pebble, sometimes it's better to wait.

Source: Pebble Blog

Jerry Hildenbrand
Jerry Hildenbrand

Jerry is an amateur woodworker and struggling shade tree mechanic. There's nothing he can't take apart, but many things he can't reassemble. You'll find him writing and speaking his loud opinion on Android Central and occasionally on Twitter.

  • At least transperancy was offered here. Posted via Android Central App
  • replying weeks after missing a deadline is not transpartent.
  • As long as we're waiting on them to allocate coding resources they don't even have on staff or contract...
  • Yeah that's what I'm concerned about reading this. How I'm reading this is "Very Very soon" was turned into we're looking to hire the right kind of developers. I hope I'm reading this wrong. I'm very excited for 2.0 Posted via Android Central App
  • Then they shouldn't have come out on January 6th and said it would be out by the end of the month. They should have been MUCH more clear. I bought my Pebble after the announcement as that is what swayed me toward the Pebble over the Galaxy Gear. Now I'm thinking I should have went the other way. -Shawn
    Noting the world one S-Pen at a time
  • You should try the Sony Smartwatch 2. It gets all notifications like the Pebble and it also gets 3-4 days of battery life. Plus you get the color touch screen. Posted via Android Central App
  • I've been thinking about the SmartWatch 2 heavily, lately. Posted from my "KNOX-FREE" 4.3 Sprint GS3 Maxx...!!!
    (ZeroLemon 7000mA battery and ZeroShock Case)
  • I've been using it for 2 months and I really like it. There are quite a few apps for the Sony too. Posted via Android Central App
  • If I could return my Pebble and get the smartwatch 2, I would. -Shawn
    Noting the world one S-Pen at a time
  • My heavens. Now that I've seen the Pebble Steel, the original Pebble is hideous looking. Posted via Android Central App
  • There you go. Anyone else care to say there's no such thing as Android Fragmentation as an issue again? ¬¬ I love Android over iOS, but it must be hell for a developer to account for that many hardware/software variations.
  • This has nothing to do with fragmentation if I am guessing what you are saying is right. Android and iOS are coded very differently. I assume that out side of hardware requirements, pebble is coding for all of pebble. The Android APIs are relatively the same. If hardware makers mess it up and not follow the standard, that is not the fault of Android.
  • It's probably a little bit to do with different versions (fragmentation), but mostly just dealing with all the device sizes (not fragmentation, just effort). I still argue that all new development should abandon less than 4.0 Posted via Android Central App
  • Take your time, do it nice or do it twice. Posted via Android Central App
  • Glad to see that the Pebble team updated all of us about what's going on with 2.0 I'm really looking forward to 2.0 for my pebble, but I'd rather get a well done final version later than get a sketchy version soon. Posted via Android Central App
  • Hope we they aren't relying on those great engineers that aren't employed yet or we have a long wait ahead of us.
  • Right?! Not exactly confidence inspiring. Good thing the biggest draw for me is having a constantly present "trusted device" for my Moto X (yes, I hate the PIN lock screen about $250 worth). Notifications and a "coming soon" Android app store won't hurt. Hopefully by the time the novelty of getting texts on my wrist dissipates I will have a brand new app store to refresh my enthusiasm. Oh, me... ever the optimist. Posted via Android Central App
  • Seems like iOS7 made it a lot easier. Posted via Android Central App
  • I have done more Android programming than iOS7, which is not saying much at all, but the guys i know that do both say iOS7 is easier.
  • I'm loving the Pebble Steel, and it's giving me everything I ordered it for, mainly notifications, customized watchfaces, and a couple of specialized apps. Version 9 of the beta, while laggy, is working for me, and I have no doubt they will deliver a solid Pebble app soon. In the meantime, I appreciate their candor in sharing the reasons for the necessary delay in releasing the app.
  • I gave the beta a shot, and while I didn't encounter many bugs, I did notice that the app's battery usage was off-the-charts terrible on my Nexus 4. I used it to update my Pebble to firmware 2.0, and promptly uninstalled it and reverted to the official version on the Play Store. Everything still works as it did before, other than the occasional reminder from my Pebble to update my phone app.
  • Android devs needed...yet they claimed "very very soon" hahahaha WOW. Should have just be open about it from the beginning. Poor poor business here. Posted via Android Central App
  • That is the excuse they're going with? This isn't their first android app, so they should know what it takes. And even if there were hiccups, which do happen, don't proudly say that the app will come by the end off the month if you know it's not. And especially don't wait a week and a half to say "Man, android is hard and we were totally unprepared guys. Sorry we lied again." I love my pebble and I know this isn't new coming from the pebble team, but this is ridiculous. Posted via Android Central App
  • There goes Android Central, apologizing for a company yet again. Posted via Android Central App
  • What would you have them do? Pull out the torches and scream "Death to Pebble?" If you're not a developer, then of course you're going to be ignorant to the processes required to develop an app. Posted from my "Gift from God" Note 3, my "God-Given" iPad Mini 2, or my "Risen" Samsung Chromebook.
  • +1
  • Truth is that most pebble owners are on iOS. Look and compare the download numbers. Android users really are less affluent and buy less other consumer electronics. Posted via Android Central App
  • Hahaha, literally very funny. The reason there may be more iOS users is because they don't have as many choices for a smart watch as an Android user. Personally I prefer my Sony Smartwatch 2. Posted via Android Central App
  • At least they are giving a progress update. A little patience and I'm sure we will all be happy with the outcome Posted via Android Central App
  • +1 Posted from my "Gift from God" Note 3, my "God-Given" iPad Mini 2, or my "Risen" Samsung Chromebook.
  • Maybe Google could buy Pebble. Lol. Just joking. At least they had the decency to let us know what was happening. Keep up the good work Pebble Posted via Android Central App
  • they should have put these resources into play months ago. i didnt give them my money to develop an ios app first. had they stated this up front myself and im sure many others would have gears or sw2s right now.
  • I sure would. -Shawn
    Noting the world one S-Pen at a time
  • In other words, "Developing for Android is next to impossible because it's a fragmented mess!" Saying that something runs "Android", means almost next to nothing nowadays. Pity.
  • I am running the 2.0 beta on my original Pebble & my Nexus 5 working great for me, Thanks to Mr. Hildenbrand's instructions process was easy & loving it , even made a watch face with my dog and working flawless. Love my Pebble, just waiting for my black Pebble steel I hope I get by March 01
  • Any further word on the upgrade to 2.0 and the Pebble App Store for Android? Or has this fallen off everyone's radar due to the announcements at MWC this week?