Will Apple Allow Pebble’s ‘Watch Appstore’ Into The iTunes App Store?

Will Apple Allow Pebble’s ‘Watch Appstore’ Into The iTunes App Store?


There’s a question currently on the minds of some backers who have already put up a pledge to support the mass-manufacture of the Pebble Watch.

Currently sitting at $3,137,097 Million in crowd-sourced funding – (a figure which is certain to have blown away the six originally behind the project) – the Pebble watch would appear to be on track to pass at least $5 Million in pledges before its 32-day kickstarter run is over.

While there are no exact figures available as to the split of both iPhone and Android users who have already pledged for the watch, we’re pretty confident that – (given this appears to be the only “smartwatch” which claims to connect to the iPhone) – that number is pretty high.

With that thought in mind, a comment made by one particular backer caught our eye today. The question, (or rather, thought-provoking statement), centered around the possibility of Apple flat-out rejecting Pebble’s shown ‘Watch App Store’ as a result of its strict developer guidelines which govern which apps are allowed to sit in its App Store – and the ones which are not.

The concern is that Pebble’s iOS application shown in the original promotional video detailing the product, appears to show a fully-functional, working in-app store, from which users can then choose to wirelessly install certain different applications via the use of Bluetooth. The store is shown as wirelessly installing and allowing the said applications to run on the watch – (executable code).

The backer writes:

I’m more concerned about the software and possibility to have a watchapp store within an iPhone app, as I understand it will work. Apple have been very restrictive in regards to stores running inside apps and not even a link to a remote store is allowed, hence a full store inside the app will simply not happen.

Looking forward to that the Pebble guys will shed some light on how you expect to be able to put this into reality.

What is unclear at this point is if this may break Apple’s developer guidelines. In response, one backer writes that he believes the potential issue lies not in the fact that Pebble wants to put a store within an app, but rather that the company looks to want to allow users to download and run executable code:

If there’s going to be a problem, it’s not going to be about having a store inside the app. In-App Purchase is there for a reason; thousands of games are using it to buy stuff to use in the app from inside the app.

What *could* become a problem is that Apple doesn’t allow apps to download executable code, as running downloaded code on the device would compromise their curated environment. That’s not really relevant, seeing as the apps will run on the Pebble, not on the iPhone, but I don’t think this issue has come up before, so who knows what their policy on that is. Apple can’t know whether the code’s going to be executed on the iPhone or on the Pebble, so they could very well refuse the Pebble app from the App Store. Hmm…

As a backer of this project myself, this is something I’m also very interested in getting some confirmation on. I’ll be sure to update here if (or when) I receive any further information from the guys at Pebble Technology (Alerta).