Pretty early on in Apple’s September Special Event keynote, Tim Cook brought out Niantic Labs’ John Hanke on stage to reveal that Pokémon GO is coming to WatchOS.
It’s safe to say that as mobile games go, Pokémon GO has been an undeniable success, not to mention a cultural phenomenon, so the promise of transposing that experience to a wearable beyond the Pokémon GO Plus (coming later in September) will grab the attention of players all over the world.
Hanke dropped some stats surrounding GO’s impact so far, with a recorded 500 million downloads and a collective 4.6 billion kilometres walked, and the integration with Apple Watch brings many of the game’s key mechanics to your wrist.
During the live demo we saw the Niantic team spin the location token on a PokéStop to gather items, hatch an egg, receive an alert about a nearby Snorlax and it’s all wrapped up in the Apple Watch’s native activity tracking sessions. At the end of each session you get a report of how far you’ve walked, Pokémon you’ve caught and items you’ve picked up at PokéStops. Niantic has also brought a complication to WatchOS so you can quickly pin GO to your chosen watch face.
Hanke promised that Pokémon GO for WatchOS will arrive on the Apple Watch before the end of the year. Your move Android Wear.