Fitbit has confirmed the company’s next smartwatch will come with a software development kit (SDK) for developers, and users will be able to download apps from a dedicated store.
Fitbit CEO, James Park, told The Verge that it would launch the smartwatch with a select few apps, before opening the SDK to all third-party developers. Custom-made apps can be shared for friends, family or created specifically for an organization.
Park has discussed third-party app support in past interviews, but this is the first time we’ve heard specifics of the SDK platform. To get on the app store, developers need to support iOS and Android devices, then Fitbit runs a light screening to see if the app is suitable.
Fitbit did not announce any of the launch partners for the next smartwatch, believed to be the Blaze 2. According to Yahoo News, Pandora will be one of the launch partners, although Fitbit originally tried to collaborate with Spotify.
A timeline in flux?
The smartwatch has been covered quite extensively, for a product that has no launch date. Most of the reports have been of delays, both hardware and software, alongside rumors of multiple changes to the launch timeline. Park has refuted the reports, saying that the smartwatch has not faced delays.
Even so, Fitbit is starting to feel the heat from all angles. The Apple Watch and Xiaomi’s cheap wearables surpassed the company’s lead in total wearable sales for the first quarter of 2017 and its share price has dropped by more than 50 percent.
Apart from Apple and Xiaomi, results in the wearable industry have been depressed, as customer demand fades and the expectations from Wall Street are trimmed. Fitbit is looking to defeat this with the new smartwatch, said to be waterproof, more accurate, smarter, and an aim to become the device for the health community.