Pokemon Go Plus Pedometer Functionality Suspected

Posted: Sep 20 2016, 1:03am CDT | by , Updated: Sep 21 2016, 12:15am CDT, in News | Technology News


Pokemon Go Plus Pedometer Mystery
Credit: iFixit

Trainers report more accurate distance tracking using Pokemon Go Plus. Is there a pedometer in the Pokemon Go Plus?

Pokemon Go Plus launched on September 16. The Bluetooth bracelet notifies trainers about encounters of Pokemon and PokeStops. You can leave your smartphone in locked mode in your pocket and the Pokemon Go app still tracks distance for egg hatching and your Buddy Pokemon. This feature has not been pre announced and was a big surprise. It is still not clear how it works.

Don't Miss: Win a Free Pokemon Go Plus at I4U News

Now we have spotted reports from Pokemon Go Plus users that distance tracking is more accurate with Pokemon Go Plus than without. Some get a longer distance credited for their regular route with Go Plus Reports are still anecdotal. The A recent Pokemon Go Teardown over at iFixit has not brought any light into the question if there is a Pedometer inside the Pokemon Go Plus or not.

Pedometer sensor functionality for wearable is a basic capability that chip makers offer to manufacturers in their evaluation boards. I have recently tested the STEVAL-WESU1 sensor kit from ST and a Pedometer function comes out of the box with it. Not only as hardware, but also completely implemented as smartphone app.

There is no technical barrier for Nintendo to add a pedometer in the Pokemon Go Plus. The wearable has to be connected to the smartphone to be able to record the steps. This is true for other fitness tracker like a Fitbit. It is mysterious why the Pokemon Go app is not tracking distance while in locked mode.

The new changes in distance tracking some trainers experience could also be related to changes in the latest Pokemon Go app updates. Further lab grade testing needs to be done to find out if the Pokemon Go Plus has a pedometer or not. 

Update: There is more evidence that using Pokemon Go Plus gets you more distance than you actually walk. A trainer on The Silphroad found out that he receives 1.6x more distance than the actual distance. This is looking like a bug. 1.6 also is a suspicious number. It could be as simple as Niantic makeing the mistake of tracking miles and recoding that as kilometer. It is still not known if a Pedometer is inside the Pokemon Go Plus.

Nintendo announced to have new Pokemon Go Plus stock in late October. Walmart's online store has spotty availability of Pokemon Go Plus. Walmart had the $34.99 Pokemon Go Plus in stock on Monday, September 19. To get a Pokemon Go Plus end of this month you can try you chances in our Pokemon Go Plus Giveaway.

The Pokemon Go Plus device turned out more useful than believed. When connected, the Pokemon Go app continues to track distance even when the smartphone is in locked mode. This saves considerable battery life. Pokemon Go Plus uses flashing colors and vibrations to notify you about PokeStops and encounters of wild Pokemon.

Pokemon Go Plus works with the latest Pokemon Go app updates 0.37.1 (Android) and 1.7.1 (iOS). Raiding PokeStop is extremely convenient with the Go Plus. After getting notified of the presence of a PokeStop, you just press the button and you collect all items. This works also great for lucky trainers that work or live next to a PokeStop. They can just every 5 minutes.

The Pokemon Go Plus wristband is also notifying you when there is a wild Pokemon. You can try to catch it by pushing the button to throw a ball. This is though less of a powerful feature. There is no guarantee that you catch the Pokemon. On top of that you do not know which Pokemon it is. You need to pull out your smartphone to check. If it is a rare Pokemon, you then can decide to use a more powerful ball.

If you catch a Pokemon with the Pokemon Go Plus you receive XP, stardust and candy as you would catch with the app. 

The Pokemon Go Plus is compatible with iPhone 5, 5c,  5s,  SE, 6, 6s, 6 Plus, 6s Plus, iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus devices with iOS 8 or later installed.

The Pokemon Go accessory is compatible with Android devices that have 2GB RAM or more with Android Ver. 4.4–6.0 installed. Bluetooth Smart (Bluetooth Ver. 4.0 or higher) is required to use Pokemon Go Plus on Android.

Niantic updated the Pokemon Go app to versions 0.37.1 (Android) and 1.7.1 (iOS) to support the Pokemon Go Plus device. Niantic will release smartwatch apps for Pokemon Go later this year for Apple Watch and Android Wear smartwatches. On the Pokemon Go Apple Watch app you see the wild Pokemon on your wrist. What is strangely missing is the option to catch the Pokemon from your smartwatch. This is possible on the Pokemon Go Plus and there is no reason why that would not be enabled on the smartwatch.

There is hope that Niantic will change its mind about this. The full capabilities of the Pokemon Go Plus have been not known until after the release.

More Pokemon Go News. Read also the latest about the Pokemon Go in-app Pokemon Tracker. Niantic's CEO John Hanke talks about the future of Pokemon Go in a new podcast.

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The Author

<a href="/latest_stories/all/all/2" rel="author">Luigi Lugmayr</a>
Luigi Lugmayr () is the founding chief Editor of I4U News and brings over 15 years experience in the technology field to the ever evolving and exciting world of gadgets. He started I4U News back in 2000 and evolved it into vibrant technology magazine.
Luigi can be contacted directly at ml@i4u.com.




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