Triangulate: an Apple Watch app to track down Pokemon

Just added an Apple Watch target to the GoTypeChart app (in the upcoming v1.3.6), called Triangulate.


In the past, I pretty much gave up on finding anything because of the 3-step glitch.

Now with the new Sightings menu, and with the help of Triangulate, I run out the front door whenever I see a Squirtle.

These screenshots are taken from catching a Snorlax the morning I submitted the update to the app store.

watch-screenshot IMG_1671

Why do I need this?

Niantic has made it easier for anyone to catch rare Pokemon using in-game features:

  • Increased the frequency of rare Pokemon, without having to drive to a nest.
  • The Sightings menu is a lot more reliable.

When a rare Pokemon shows up in the Sightings menu, it can be anywhere within a 200 meter circle. This is actually a lot of ground to cover.

Hopefully, the Apple Watch app Triangulate can help you hunt more effectively.

How it works

When you see Pikachu on your Sightings menu, open Triangulate on your Apple Watch. Force-touch the screen, and tap Add. The app will drop a blue circle on the screen, with a white ball in the center.

Walk in a certain direction. If Pikachu is still in range, hit Add again.

Pikachu’s whereabouts are limited to the overlapping region of the circles. The white balls represent where you’ve been — think of them as “misses” in the game of Battleship.

Using Triangulate, you can systematically narrow down the probable location of a rare Pokemon.

Don’t have an Apple Watch?

If you don’t own an Apple Watch, I highly recommend downloading PokeCircle on iOS. It’s the only other Pokemon Go companion app that I use regularly. The developer Mitsuhiro Hashimoto did a great job. (Mitsuhiro, if you’re reading this, let me know and I can give you access to my code if you want.)

With PokeCircle, drop circles whenever you’re at the borderline of where Pikachu dis/appears. You can drop up to three circles. In theory, Pikachu is located exactly where the circles overlap.

I thought this was a great start, and wanted to iterate with a few of my own requirements:

  • Pokemon Go must be open at all times, just in case Pikachu appears as I walk. Also, I don’t want to waste all those km’s. An Apple Watch app is one approach to this problem.
  • I prefer overlapping areas rather than circumference intersections. This gives me a bit more flexibility, depending on natural barriers like fences and roads.

What I hope to achieve with an Apple Watch app

I received an Apple Watch as a generous birthday gift from my brother when the watch first came out in Summer 2015. The hardware is amazing, but it’s tough to come up with a “killer app” on a tiny screen during a two second interaction.

The hardware is pricey, so I’ve been trying to make the best use of my Apple Watch. Here are my favorite features so far:

  • Quickly skimming text messages and notifications as they come in
  • Taptic feedback for driving directions
  • Fitness rings
  • Using it as a remote when taking a group photo

I’ve been brainstorming how the Apple Watch could best fit in with the Pokemon Go ecosystem. I’ve considered things like pidgey calculators or looking up type counters. But data entry on the watch is a major UX hurdle.

Time will tell, but I’m hoping Triangulate will:

  • Get Apple Watch owners excited about their watch again.
  • Give people hope of actually catching that Snorlax in the Sightings menu

Triangulate: an Apple Watch app to track down Pokemon

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