After Niantic Labs said that Pokemon Go would be coming to the Apple Watch, I'm sure many people thought that they meant somewhere down the line, somewhere in the future. But no, Niantic Labs meant right now! However, it's not quite what you think, and you'll need to get the details before jumping for joy.
According to Variety, Pokemon Go is now available as a specialized app for the Apple Watch. It's not the full game, though. Instead, the app will allow you to receive notifications about Pokemon who are nearby your position, similar to the new Nearby feature that Niantic implemented into Pokemon Go. You'll also be able to receive alerts about items that can be acquired from PokeStops or Pokeballs that can be added to your stash. And yes, the Apple Watch app will allow you to pick up these items upon discovering them.
The Apple Watch version of Pokemon Go will also allow you to log your daily walks so that you can use those miles/kilometers traveled to hatch eggs in the full game. This is a cool way to hatch eggs if you don't have time to keep your phone open while you're traveling from one destination to the next.
If this sounds like a cool way to make use of your Apple Watch by playing Pokemon Go, you're in for one rude awakening regarding the functionality of the app: you can't catch Pokemon with it.
A lot of people will probably be royally peeved at the idea that they could download the app and use it on their Apple Watch but can't actually catch any Pokemon with it. It makes you question what the point is? This comes after months of waiting for Pokemon Go to actually launch on the Apple Watch.
Niantic had promised a while back that the game would be available on Apple's device, but kept silent about it all the way up until recently, when they acknowledged that the game was coming soon to the high-end smart device. What they didn't reveal was that the app would be crippled, and that you would not be able to use the Apple Watch to catch Pokemon, which is the whole point of a game all about catching Pokemon.
A lot of people had previously wondered exactly how Pokemon Go could be implemented onto the Apple Watch without disrupting the market valuation of the Pokemon Go Plus wrist accessory. For those of you who don't know, the Pokemon Go Plus is a physical device you wear on your wrist that can send you visual notifications when a Pokemon is nearby through blinking a specific color. Gamers can tap the device to capture items, as well as capture Pokemon, all without having to pull out your phone.
Many people thought that Pokemon Go on the Apple Watch would render the Pokemon Go Plus obsolete. However, Nintendo and Niantic found a way around that problem by limiting the use of the app on the Apple Watch. This way they can still make money on the highly popular Pokemon Go Plus wrist accessory, which has been a pretty big seller at retail outlets, according to Variety.
If you own an Apple Watch there's nothing lost by grabbing the Pokemon Go app, but just keep in mind that it won't allow you to do everything that the vanilla game on Androids and iPhones can do, nor will it be able to take the place of the Pokemon Go Plus.