Why Pokemon GO is the perfect fit for the Apple Watch

By , on September 9, 2016

Apple recently announced the new Apple Watch Series 2, and alongside it imminent support for Pokemon GO - pretty much the biggest mobile game ever. There may be some doubters out there, but we reckon it's a perfect fit for the smartwatch form factor.

But wait - gaming on an Apple Watch? That's a bit of a bad idea, isn't it? If you're talking about traditional concepts of gaming - and even smartphone gaming - then we wouldn't argue with you.

The Apple Watch Series 2 is going to be pretty much identical to the first Apple Watch externally, which means it has the same tiny 1.65-inch display. The CPU is an improvement - it's dual-core and 50 percent faster - but still can't offer anything like the kind of performance you get from a modern smartphone.

But you see, Pokemon GO on the Apple Watch isn't a stand-alone version of the game. Rather, it's more like a complementary function of the full iPhone game.

Complimentary complications

Pokemon GO Apple Watch

This reflects the core function of the Apple Watch itself. It isn't really a stand-alone device at all. Indeed, it's greatly diminished when it's used as such. Rather, it's meant to compliment your iPhone, shuttling notifications and fitness data back and forth.

From what Niantic has revealed at Apple's September 7 event, Pokemon GO on Apple Watch will serve a similar function to the parent game. It looks like you'll be able put those steps into hatching your eggs using the watch, without having to keep the app running on your phone. A complication will show you how many steps are needed to hatch your currently selected egg.

Your Apple Watch will also send you wrist notifications when a new Pokemon appears, at which point you'll need to take our your iPhone and complete the capture. You'll also be able to view nearby Pokemon at a glance from your Apple Watch, and it will buzz when you're within range of a Pokestop. Claiming your Pokestop loot can also be done on the Watch.

Fit for purpose

Pokemon GO Apple Watch

In both occasions, you'll no longer need to wander around with your phone planted in front of your face, as many avid Pokemon GO users find themselves doing at present.

Pokemon GO on the Apple Watch will also push the health and fitness side of the game, which has always been there in the background, but hasn't felt very well fleshed out. You'll be able to implement your Pokemon tracking into your fitness regime, and you'll also be able to see the calories you're burning as you head for that Pokestop.

All in all, Pokemon GO on Apple Watch looks to be one of the smartest uses of the Apple Watch by a game yet. We hope more developers follow its example of extending the original iPhone game's functionality rather than attempting to replicate it.