Over the summer, the mobile game Pokémon Go took the world by storm and quickly became one of the most successful apps in history. To date, it has generated more than $440 million in sales and is even inspiring Sony to jump into the realm of mobile gaming. Though Pokémon Go lost 22 percent of its U.S. players back in August, it remains immensely popular as the millions of users go on their quests to catch them all.
It's easy to forget that the app has only been around for a couple of months, meaning that developer Niantic is still looking for ways to perfect the Pokémon Go experience. At today's Apple event, the company took to the stage to illustrate how they're enhancing the interconnectivity between various Apple devices. In the near future, a Pokémon Go app will be available on the Apple Watch, allowing users with an iPhone to sync their account between the two.
As one would expect, Go on the Watch is not as extensive as it is on a smartphone, but it still comes equipped with a nice set of features. Players will be able to see how far they need to walk to hatch an egg, how many experience points are needed to reach the next level, when a Pokémon appears, and when a Pokéstop is in their vicinity. The intention is for the Watch app to be available later this year.
It shouldn't come as any surprise that Niantic is looking to expand and make use of the Apple Watch. During its first year on store shelves, the product sold between 12 and 13 million units, which is double what the iPhone managed when it initially came out. Granted, that's only a fraction of the 500 million downloads Pokémon Go has seen since its launch, but it stands reason to believe that a fair number of Apple Watch owners also play the game. This development may encourage those who haven't picked up a Watch yet to do so, since the app's features seem to maximize convenience for users. They obviously still need to use their smartphones to catch Pokémon, but can receive much vital information just by looking at their wrist.
John Hanke, chief executive of Niantic, expressed enthusiasm for the Watch app. At Apple's event he said, "We’re really excited to bring you this new way to experience Pokémon Go, and to give you a little more motivation to get outside, get some exercise, and have fun with your friends." It will be interesting to see how successful the Watch addition is when it's ready, but Niantic had to feel that it would be a worthwhile investment. As the Apple Watch continues to grow, developers are going to try to make the most of the technology, and it's safe to say Pokémon Go has the right idea.
Pokémon Go is now available for download. The Apple Watch app will be out later in 2016.