It's been a busy year for Pebble Technology, the company behind Pebble, a watch-like device that syncs up with a user's smartphone and alerts him or her of incoming messages and calls.
Last year, Pebble debuted its first smartwatch at the 2014 International CES. This year, it's back with a premium version: Pebble Steel has the same features as the original Pebble watch (ePaper display, weeklong batter life, waterproof design), but it comes in a smaller, thinner package with a subtler finish (brushed stainless or black matte). At $249, it's a substantial price jump from Pebble's original smartwatch, which retails for $150. The watch is available for preorder today (units start shipping Jan. 28).
The company also announced plans to launch a Pebble appstore, which will live within the existing Pebble app on iOS or Android devices. "By the end of January, the Pebble appstore will offer a centralized location for users to discover, manage, and install apps and watchfaces," the company said in a blog post.
Finally, Pebble revealed that ESPN, Mercedes-Benz and Pandora have all created Pebble apps, which will be demoed at this year's CES in Las Vegas.