The Pokémon GO phenomenon might be on a decline now compared to its peak in mid-July, but that doesn't mean the game isn't still very popular. Just yesterday, it passed 500 Million downloads on Android and iOS, a feat that usually takes years for any other app, even those that came from Facebook and Google. And if that isn't enough to show how popular the game is, you only have to see the new "Catching Pokémon" activity type in Google Maps that sits at the same level as running, walking, driving, and so on.
Niantic has a couple of interesting additions to keep as many players interested in the game. There's the upcoming Buddy update in terms of software, and on the hardware side, there's the Pokémon GO Plus wrist accessory. The bracelet-like device was first said to be coming in late July, but Niantic had to delay it until September. Now we have an official date: September 16.
With the Plus on your wrist, you'll get vibrations and lights when you're near a Pokéstop and you can click it to collect items without having to take out your phone. The same applies to nearby Pokémon, with the Plus alerting you and a click being all you need to catch them. It might seem like it takes away from the charm of the virtual reality experience, but catchers will surely consider it a plus and not a replacement to playing the actual game, a way to keep going even during those times when they can't have their eyes on a phone's screen.
Niantic says the Pokémon GO Plus will be available September 16 "in most countries" and then makes the distinction of "later in the year in a few South American territories." Tough luck if you live there.