At the Apple Special Event today, game developer Niantic Labs took the stage to announce a brand new companion app for Pokemon GO exclusively on the Apple Watch.
There are always more than a few surprises for tech aficionados who watch the Apple Special Events every September, but rarely are these revelations directed at gamers. Not one, but two gaming announcements were sprung on those who tuned in today. The first was Nintendo's Super Mario Run, which was introduced by Shigeru Miyamoto himself. Shortly after, Niantic Labs had the floor and announced a Pokemon GO app for the Apple Watch that will work as a companion to the main app.
Niantic first spoke on the company's desire to help make playing Pokemon GO easier; specifically how people can play the game without always having to hold their phone. It's why the company designed the Pokemon GO plus accessory, after all. Niantic took a moment to say the accessory would be available later this month, which should be a relief to those who have been waiting for its release. Of course, it's not hard to imagine pre-orders are being cancelled now that there is another – likely more reliable – option out there. After that was out of the way the presentation moved on to the Apple Watch app, which looks to be as helpful as it's being promoted to be.
It's obvious that the big question on everyone's mind is "what does the app do?" but it's probably more important to know what it doesn't do. It doesn't replace the main Pokemon GO app on the phone. The new companion app's most important function is to simply help users go about their day without having to always monitor their phones. The app does a lot of little things that can add up to big things for those who still actively play the game and want to save time.
Those who download the Apple Watch Pokemon GO app will get taps on their wrist when they encounter a Pokemon. Users also get taps when they reach a Pokestop and they can swipe the watch to get their loot. Medals that are awarded will pop up on the watch's screen and eggs can be hatched without having to bring out a phone. The best part is users can always see what Pokemon are nearby with just a quick glance at their wrist.
The Apple Watch Pokemon GO app can do pretty much everything except catch a Pokemon; the phone is still required for that, but it would be difficult to throw Pokeballs on a small screen anyway. Hopefully they'll add new features as time goes on. This app would be perfect for the new buddy system coming to the game.
Check out our Pokemon GO guides:
- How to Use the New Sightings Tool
- How to Win Battles
- How to Become a Gym Leader
- How to Get Pokecoins
- How to Catch Pikachu as a Starter
- How to Use and Hatch Eggs
- How to Catch Rare Pokemon
- How to Use Pokestops
- How to Control Eevee’s Evolution
- Trainer Rewards at Every Level
- How to Hold Gyms Longer
- Where to Find Specific Pokemon
- How to Trigger Pokemon Spawns
- Every Type’s Strengths and Weaknesses
- Catching Region Exclusive Pokemon
Pokemon GO is available now for iOS and Android mobile devices. The Apple Watch companion app will release sometime later this year.