Posted on June 5th, 2019 by Terry Kim
A look into reports of "Hatching Pokémon Go eggs and getting candies" without actual input.
The somewhat recent "Adventure sync" update allowed Pokémon Go players to tag their day-to-day, non-gaming walking mileage to hatch eggs and get buddy Pokémon candies. This allowed users that cannot game as much to gain some progress in the middle of their regular day, be it work, commute, or something else. This post, however, is about people's usage of an external device to manipulate Adventure sync, in order to gain Egg / Candy progress without actually having to do the work.
Before we begin, let's go over how Adventure Sync works. Adventure Sync functions by latching itself onto Google Fit / Apple Health. By receiving the data that Google Fit / Apple Health gathers, Pokémon Go can tag the user's progress without running in the background. These two fitness apps can function without GPS being active, so it's a lot of performance for very little power consumption. These applications, instead of using the GPS signal, offer the pedometer function through its gyroscope, detecting the swings and flips that the phone goes through. If the phone is in an arcing motion, the app knows the user is taking a walk.
Although seemingly harmless (and a very welcome addition to the game, undoubtedly), this brings to light a point that some players may have capitalized on. The idea is "As long as you have an arcing motion, your fitness app cannot differentiate between whether the phone is being held while walking, or simply being swung about by any other means or purpose". There are devices that perform this role, although not developed specifically for Pokémon Go. Usually involving a swing of sorts with a magnet attached and an electricity-powered mechanism to simulate a flicking magnetic force, these devices sustain perpetual motion. The phone, strapped onto the device, goes through a motion akin to that of the swings found in children's playgrounds, and perpetually repeats itself until the device is powered off.
An unnamed user posted online a picture of how much they were able to "walk" in a week recently - with a whopping number of 1400km, in a given week of February 2019. Everything aside, it definitely does seem to work.
However, I'd still like to point out that while an interesting concept, this activity is by no means guaranteed to be deemed acceptable by Niantic - if not a TOS violation. This post merely serves to bring to light the existence of such activity - not to encourage deviant behavior.
Please note that while any reports or suggestions on interesting phenomenon / activities are very welcome, but any questions similar to "how" to's will be ignored.