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Apple Watch  header logo

Pokemon GO Apple Watch review - Better late than never?

For: Apple Watch   Also on: Android, iPhone, iPad

Not the reason to buy an Apple Watch

Product: Pokemon GO | Developer: Niantic | Publisher: The Pokemon Company | Format: Apple Watch | Genre: Action | Players: 1 | Version: Europe
Pokemon GO Apple Watch, thumbnail 1
Make no mistake - Pokemon GO would have stood the test of time had Niantic been more timely with its updates.

But sadly, the damage seems to have been done. The second generation launched last week - almost six months after launch - and has so far completely failed to arrest the decline.

So what chance does the latest update have when all it offers is Apple Watch support? Very little.

Not only does no one actually own an Apple Watch, but the implementation of it leaves a lot to be desired.

How does it work?

Pokemon GO on Apple Watch functions like any other fitness app. You tell the app you're about to go for a walk and it keeps track of your steps, distance covered, time taken, and calories lost.

Then there's the Pokemon stuff. You can keep track of how long eggs will take to hatch, receive notifications when you're near Pokestops or Pokemon, and, well, that's it.

But a lack of features isn't really the issue. After all, you'll only be opting for the Watch when you want to perform a quick action while in a hurry.

Is it more convenient?

The problem is, you can't really do anything aside from activate a Pokepoint - which, in fairness, works nicely on your wrist.

Sure, you'll get an alert when a Pokemon is near but you'll still have to pull your phone out of your pocket to catch the damned thing.

That's actually less convenient than holding your phone in your hand, which completely defeats the object of the Apple Watch.

You also can't use items, chuck eggs in an incubator, battle other Pokemon, or capture locations.

But the worst part is, it's fundamentally broken. So far it's crashed every single time I've used it, which prevents it from recording any progress you've made since. That's unforgivable.

So you don't recommend it?

It's tough to recommend the Apple Watch version in its current state. Not only is it less convenient than carrying your phone about, but it's also completely broken.

An update can fix the latter issue - and likely will have by the time you've read this. But until Niantic allows you to actually play the game on your wrist, Pokemon GO will remain a completely pointless addition to the Apple Watch line-up.
Pokemon GO Apple Watch review - Better late than never?
Reviewer photo
Chris James | 23 December 2016
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