Pebble smartwatch gets closer to letting developers create apps by announcing SDK

Pebble Smartwatch CES Press Conference

Developers hungry to start creating apps for the Pebble smartwatch will be both excited and dismayed come the second week of April. The company announced today that it is releasing its software developer kit at that time, but it will only include tools that let developers create “watch faces.”

Eric Migicovsky, the creator of the Pebble watch, uploaded a video to his Kickstarter campaign — which has made over $10 million — today, updating backers as to the company’s progress and the upcoming SDK. He explained that the this is a “work in progress,” and also promised that 99 percent of the application programming interfaces (APIs) within the SDK will change at some point in the future as they build out support for developers.

“It’s an important step for us to get something out there and really show you, potential developers, that we’re shifting our focus from the initial getting-started period of Pebble to supporting developers as the write applications for Pebble,” said Migicovsky in the video.

The SDK focuses on “watch faces,” or the interactive home screens that, well, tell time. It’s mostly buttons-oriented, which means developers could be clever and create games based on those button interactions. Migicovsky showed off some of the creations from the company’s beta test of the SDK, which included a dragon that winks on the minute, a Mario who gets a coin every minute, and a “Snake ala Nokia” game that is just like it sounds.

Pebble is otherwise equipped to handle multiple running apps on the watch, but will likely release support for that in future iterations of the SDK.

Migicovsky went on to say that Pebble thus far has been really focused on simply delivering the goods — getting the smartwatches into the public’s hands. Because of that, Pebble has not been as communicative as it would like with developers and hopes that the launch of this SDK will change that relationship.

Update 34 – Pebble Watchface SDK in April from Pebble Technology on Vimeo.

hat tip Slash Gear; Pebble image via Devindra Hardawar/VentureBeat