Pokemon Go for Apple Watch still coming despite reports to contrary

Posted:
in iPhone edited December 2016
After reports surfaced claiming that the "port" of Pok?mon Go to the Apple Watch was cancelled due to a lack of interest, developer Niantic has refuted the claims, saying that the functionality is still coming soon.




Early on Saturday, rumors claimed that the Apple Watch interface for Pok?mon Go had been cancelled. The reports were based on an email published by a Reddit user, allegedly from a Niantic developer saying that the version shown in the Apple Keynote was an "unfinished port" and that development would continue if demand increased.

Shortly thereafter, some venues "confirmed" the report with internal sources. However, not long after the "confirmations" were published, the official Pok?mon Go Twitter account shot down the speculation.

Pok?mon Go for Apple Watch is coming soon. Stay tuned.

-- Pok?mon GO (@PokemonGoApp)
Company representatives reaffirmed the tweet in a statement to Recode, adding, "Pok?mon Go is still under development and has not been canceled."

From what little information is available, it seems Pok?mon Go for Apple Watch is being designed to offer players similar functionality to the Pok?mon Go Plus wristband that launched over the summer, allowing users to maintain awareness on their surroundings, rather than staring at an iPhone screen.

For now, the app features a threadbare complication on the Apple Watch, showing how far a user needs to walk to hatch an egg. Users can also collect items from PokeStops directly on the Apple Watch, without breaking out a phone.

Pok?mon Go for the Apple Watch was originally slated to launch before the end of the year, but Niantic has not provided any updates to the estimated launch of the interface.

Pok?mon Go is available for free from the iOS App Store.

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 5
    The watch app is a classic example of how to NOT manage a software product. Based on what they showed on stage in September, they clearly bit off way more than they could chew by trying to cram too many of the phone features in to the watch app. Version 1.0 should have been merely a notifier that tells you something popped up (so pull out your phone to play), and a step counter. That should have been released during the summer. 3 months after their demo they still have nothing on the market. I could have started from scratch in September and finished a 1.0 product by now. What will finally be released for the 10% of former players who haven't abandoned the game will be a half-ass, buggy, slow monstrosity. This is based on how they have ruined the phone app, which in most cases takes 30-40 seconds just to start up.
  • Reply 2 of 5
    I am guessing this game will not be released before an Android Wear version. And, this is due to Google blocking the release for Apple Watch. Having the game exclusively on Apple Watch even for a short period of time would send a message to the world that Niantic, a Google spinoff company, considers the iOS platform more strategic than Android Wear platform.
  • Reply 3 of 5
    wigbywigby Posts: 688member
    I am guessing this game will not be released before an Android Wear version. And, this is due to Google blocking the release for Apple Watch. Having the game exclusively on Apple Watch even for a short period of time would send a message to the world that Niantic, a Google spinoff company, considers the iOS platform more strategic than Android Wear platform.
    There are many Google apps released to iOS before android. This will be just one more example. Google will stop caring about android now that they have Pixel.
  • Reply 4 of 5
    wigbywigby Posts: 688member

    The watch app is a classic example of how to NOT manage a software product. Based on what they showed on stage in September, they clearly bit off way more than they could chew by trying to cram too many of the phone features in to the watch app. Version 1.0 should have been merely a notifier that tells you something popped up (so pull out your phone to play), and a step counter. That should have been released during the summer. 3 months after their demo they still have nothing on the market. I could have started from scratch in September and finished a 1.0 product by now. What will finally be released for the 10% of former players who haven't abandoned the game will be a half-ass, buggy, slow monstrosity. This is based on how they have ruined the phone app, which in most cases takes 30-40 seconds just to start up.
    Not going to totally disagree with you on Niantic's role in messing up Pokémon app but you're underestimating the work involved. This Watch app must tie into Apple's entire activity and health app ecosystems. Plus they must upgrade regular Pokémon phone app with new features, artwork and other data while keeping the Watch battery from exploding under the load. Sure they could've released a dumb indicator for 1.0 but I'm glad they shit for something more ambitious just like I'm glad Apple shot for something more than a Fitbit. As a result, the wearable market is still in question with many companies leaving the fold to figure out what to do next. Apple and Fitbit are the only ones currently standing. Most  of that is simply because Apple Watch requires an iPhone.
  • Reply 5 of 5
    wigby said:

    The watch app is a classic example of how to NOT manage a software product. Based on what they showed on stage in September, they clearly bit off way more than they could chew by trying to cram too many of the phone features in to the watch app. Version 1.0 should have been merely a notifier that tells you something popped up (so pull out your phone to play), and a step counter. That should have been released during the summer. 3 months after their demo they still have nothing on the market. I could have started from scratch in September and finished a 1.0 product by now. What will finally be released for the 10% of former players who haven't abandoned the game will be a half-ass, buggy, slow monstrosity. This is based on how they have ruined the phone app, which in most cases takes 30-40 seconds just to start up.
    Not going to totally disagree with you on Niantic's role in messing up Pokémon app but you're underestimating the work involved. This Watch app must tie into Apple's entire activity and health app ecosystems. Plus they must upgrade regular Pokémon phone app with new features, artwork and other data while keeping the Watch battery from exploding under the load. Sure they could've released a dumb indicator for 1.0 but I'm glad they shit for something more ambitious just like I'm glad Apple shot for something more than a Fitbit. As a result, the wearable market is still in question with many companies leaving the fold to figure out what to do next. Apple and Fitbit are the only ones currently standing. Most  of that is simply because Apple Watch requires an iPhone.
    The difference between an Apple Watch vs Fitbit analogy and this one is hardware vs software. Apple can't release a "fitbit" watch and then upgrade it to a full blown smart watch 6 months later. Once the hardware is released, it's out there and the base platform is set and customers need to be supported.

    Software is a different story. Because it can be so easily upgraded, the best practice for software development is to release a solid but basic version 1.0, and follow that up with rapid updates. This is even more true for an "accessory" software product like the Pokemon Go watch app. The primary game is on the phone, and there is no way to duplicate full functionality on a tiny watch screen. Therefore the best approach would have been to play to the watch's strength, which is being a great notifier of what is going on, to bring attention to the phone app.

    For games, you often have just one shot to attract the attention of new players, so the first version out the door must be great. However, a watch app is just an accessory to the main app (or should be in this case), so you are not as likely to disappoint with a basic watch app. Since we all agree that Niantic lost millions of players in the last few months, anything to make the game more convenient to Apple Watch users like myself would have slowed that mass departure.

    It's utterly ridiculous to walk around with your phone in your hand and wait for it to buzz so you can look at the screen, while wearing an Apple Watch which can show me text, messages, phone calls, emails, etc. 

    I know exactly how much effort is involved to tie in to the activity and health ecosystems. There is an SDK available to do that, hundreds of companies big and small have done it including me, and it should take a single competent programmer only a few days to accomplish that part.
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