Pokemon Go has taken the world by storm. Since the summer of 2016, the game has generated almost half a billion in sales. And with this growth comes opportunity. That is why Apple is now looking to expand the game into other markets.
One such market is the Apple Watch, a product that has sold over 10 million units in its first year. At their annual event in San Francisco, Apple went on to release more details about the Apple Watch II, their latest model.
More interestingly, they’ve also released details about the integration of Pokemon Go with the new Apple Watch. While players can expect some cool features — such as the ability to sync your Apple iPhone with the Apple Watch, there are also some limitations, too.
Users of Pokemon Go will be able to retain some but not all features. For example, users cannot catch Pokemon with the new Apple Watch. They can, though, track when their eggs are likely to hatch as well as discovering where the nearest PokeStop can be found.
The Apple Watch 2 is, in other words, a useful additional device to monitor progress. It is designed to be used alongside the Apple iPhone, rather than as a replacement for it. More features are likely to become more available should the Apple Watch 2 prove successful.
Unveiling Apple Watch 2
Fans of Pokemon Go are now turning their attention to the new Apple Watch. Given that there have been 500 million downloads of Pokemon Go and only over 10 million Apple Watch purchases in its first year, there is still a long way to go.
However, Apple is hoping to capitalize on the mobile gaming market. Other significant players, such as Sony, are also now turning their attention to this now lucrative market. The fusion of mobile gaming and exercise has proved extraordinarily successful.
And the Apple Watch 2 takes things to the next level.
As the CEO of Niantic (the founders of Pokemon Go), John Hanke, has said, “We’re really excited to bring you this new way to experience Pokemon Go, and to give you a little more motivation to get outside, get some exercise, and have fun with your friends”.
The question is, though, will the new Apple Watch 2 prove attractive for current Pokemon Go users? It’s a difficult question to answer, not least because many of the features now available on the Apple Watch 2 are already available for the iPhone version.
The Apple Watch 2 is more of a monitoring device, rather than a device that has any intrinsic, additional benefit. The central purpose of Pokemon Go, that of catching Pokemon, still relies on users taking out their iPhone.
This move by Apple is also a great marketing tool, as it combines a new product — the Apple Watch 2 — with the enormous popularity of the newly released Pokemon Go. Whether Apple can actually capitalize on this marketing strategy is yet to be seen.
But what does the new Apple Watch 2 offer its users? Why should Pokemon Go players turn their attention to this new device? At their launch in San Francisco, the manufacturers of the Apple Watch 2 were quick to unveil its many advantages:
- Water resistant down to 50 meters.
- Twice as fast.
- Considerably brighter interface.
- Built-in GPS system.
- Available in a multitude of colors.
And, of course, the opportunity to download the Pokemon Go app.
The watch has a modern and snazzy appeal, a design that certainly appeals to younger buyers (the target market for much of Pokemon Go). Starting at around $400 though, the Apple Watch 2 may prove a little too expensive for many members of that target market.
So what does the Pokemon Go app actually offer its users? It’s to that question that we now turn our attention.
Pokemon Go for the Apple Watch 2
Users of Pokemon Go have limited functions with the Apple Watch 2. It should be considered more of an accessory, rather than a device from which you can access novel functions unavailable on your iPhone.
These features include:
- Hatching eggs
- Finding PokeStops
- Tracking nearby Pokemon
In many ways, the Apple Watch 2 is similar to the Pokemon Go Plus device, though this latter device reveals less information than the former. Nonetheless, the Apple Watch 2 offers users many useful functions at a moment’s glance.
Users need first sync their iPhone data with the Apple Watch 2. The syncing process allows the Apple Watch 2 to access current Pokemon Go data on your iPhone. Syncing is a necessary step in order to avail of the functions outlined above.
The Apple Watch 2 is also able to display hatched Pokemon. It’s not as if users receive a non-pictorial alert of some kind. Users will be able to look at their screen to discover what Pokemon has hatched and when other Pokemon are likely to hatch.
There is also an accessibility advantage with the Apple Watch 2. Given that it’s safe for use in water for up to 50 meters, Pokemon Go users can go about the hatching process while swimming in their local pool — something you absolutely cannot do with your iPhone.
Tracking nearby Pokemon is useful, too. There are many times when using your iPhone can become awkward or inconvenient. Simply turning to your watch app can alleviate much of this awkwardness. It’s a simple, effective means to discover what Pokemon are nearby.
If there are any Pokemon that interest you, then the iPhone can be taken out. After all, the Apple Watch 2 cannot be used to catch Pokemon. In this way, the Apple Watch 2 offers convenience as much as accessibility and functionality.
Unlike its predecessor, the Apple Watch 2 comes with a sophisticated, in-built GPS system — meaning users can be sure that it accurately reflects their surroundings. This is particularly important for yet another function of the app — finding PokeStops.
In all, the Apple Watch 2 is a welcome addition to the Pokemon Go marketplace. It offers some great functions, with many more functions bound to be added should the watch prove successful.
It’s up to Pokemon trainers, now, to cast their verdict when the watch becomes available later this year. Whatever the verdict, the Apple Watch 2 is an important step-up from its predecessor in terms of sophistication, quality, and design.