Pokémon Go players who have the Apple Watch as part of their Pokémon hunting arsenal should rethink their strategy, as Niantic Labs said that the smartwatch will no longer be able to connect to the mobile game after July 1.
Niantic Labs rolled out Apple Watch support for Pokémon Go in December 2016, connecting the smartwatch’s fitness tracking features with the step requirements in the mobile game. Players also started receiving push notifications on their watchOS devices when they were in the vicinity of Pokémon to catch or PokéStops, when their eggs hatched, or when they received medals. However, in order for players to catch Pokémon, they still needed to launch the Pokémon Go app on their iPhone.
Starting July 1, the push notifications will no longer be available, with the connection cut off due to the presence of Adventure Sync. The feature, which was rolled out in November, integrates with Apple Health and Google Fit activity data from iOS and Android smartphones to allow the distance that players have traveled in the real world to contribute to hatching eggs and collecting candy. Apple Health will receive part of its data from the Apple Watch so the wearable device will still help, but just in a more seamless manner.
In most ways Adventure Sync replicates the functionality of the Pokémon Go app for the Apple Watch, rendering it redundant. “We want to focus on building Adventure Sync so that Trainers will no longer have to split their gameplay between 2 devices,” Niantic Labs said.
While Pokémon Go remains popular, fans of the franchise have a few more titles to look forward to. Pokémon Sword and Shield, the next major RPG in the series, is set to release in late 2019 for the Nintendo Switch, likely in mid-November. Other planned games include a sequel to Detective Pikachu from the Nintendo 3DS for the Nintendo Switch, sleep-tracking game Pokémon Sleep that will be released sometime in 2020, and Pokémon Masters, a mobile game that will feature all of the past and present Pokémon trainers from other games.
Pokémon Home, a cloud-based service that will allow players to transfer Pokémon from Pokémon Go and Pokémon Let’s Go to Pokémon Sword and Shield, is also set to launch next year.
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