Sep 17 2016, 5:11 PM PDT
After weeks of mixed messages, Nintendo have finally clarified that the Pokémon Go Plus wearable does track distance traveled even while the user's phone is locked or the app is in the background, allowing players to hatch Pokémon eggs and accumulate candies through the game's new "Buddy Pokémon" feature.
As of its initial release announcement, there was much confusion over whether using the device would allow players to rack up credit for kilometers walked without having to keep their phone on and the screen constantly unlocked. Once users started receiving and using the product, it was widely reported that it did do just that; however, the product's packaging and marketing seemed to suggest otherwise. In particular, the launch announcement on the Nintendo Australia website stated outright: "Pokémon GO does not track distance walked when running in the background." This discrepancy had many prospective buyers confused and a few worried, as developer Niantic, Inc. had already demonstrated that they weren't above cutting out existing functionality, as in the infamous case of the disappearing tracker feature.
However, it seems that the matter has now been settled once and for all. Yesterday, Nintendo amended its statement with a correction: "Even while Pokémon GO is operating in the background, distance walked is applied towards hatching eggs and Candy earned for Buddy Pokémon."