New Pokémon Go feature makes exercise enticing

Playing Pokémon GO requires you to get off the couch and explore the world. The game now takes that idea and runs with it (pun intended) by rewarding you for exercising even when not hunting virtual monsters.

Developer Niantic announced today “Adventure Sync can record your walking distances even when Pokémon GO isn’t launched, working in the background to tally your distance, earn Candy, and hatch Eggs!”

The software now communicates with Apple Health or Google Fit. These services, built into iPhone or Android respectively, track distances travelled in the background.

Pokémon GO as a fitness tool

Niantic’s statement doesn’t make any kind of health claims. But players who boost the amount of walking they do to get in-game Candy should see benefits.

Pokémon GO always rewarded players for moving around: pocket monsters are scattered across the real world, and the only way to catch the little augment reality critters is to go to them. But the addition of  Adventure Sync adds a new dimension, encouraging players to get more exercise all the time.

The 2016 craze around the game has calmed, but Niantic still continues to improve it. Trading, gifting and friends lists have been added, and player-vs.-player battles are expected soon.