Niantic Labs, the company behind Pokemon GO, has quietly revealed plans to end the game’s support for Apple’s wearable. The news was recently found in a support document on the Pokemon GO website, where Niantic says it will end the game’s Apple Watch support on July 1. As of that date, Pokemon GO players will no longer be able to connect the game to their smartwatch.
Niantic launched Apple Watch support for Pokemon GO back in December 2016, enabling smartwatch owners to combine the wearable’s fitness tracking abilities to the mobile game for use with its step requirements. As well, the Apple Watch can — until July 1, at least — show players when they’re near a PokeStop or Pokemon, when they’ve received a new medal, and when an egg has hatched.
Though reasonably convenient for individuals who already own an Apple Watch, players still need to open the game on their phone to catch Pokemon. With the addition of Adventure Sync to Pokemon GO, Apple Watch’s distance tracking ability has been made redundant — the game can now pull the activity data straight from Apple Health on iOS and Google Fit on Android.
Niantic explained this on its support website, where it says that a single mobile device can now earn the player Buddy Candy, track their steps, and hatch eggs. The company says, ‘We want to focus on building Adventure Sync so that Trainers will no longer have to split their gameplay between 2 devices.’
In order to use Adventure Sync, players need to sync their fitness app with the game. They must use a fitness app that is installed on the phone and doesn’t require a different tracking device like the Apple Watch. The feature is available for Trainer Levels 5 and higher, and is optional — users can turn it on by entering the game’s main menu, followed by Settings > Adventure Sync.