Assuming you have hung on this long, Niantic is now rolling updates with new ways to play Pokémon Go. They have added a “buddy system” to the game. Trainers can now select a pokémon via the trainer menu and make it your buddy. Similar to the egg hatching system, the game will track your movements and give you a candy for your buddy pokémon every milestone. You can collect candy for Pokémon who are harder to find this way, but you are going to have to walk a long way to evolve that Gyarados.
A few things to keep in mind with the buddy system. First you can change your buddy pokémon at any time, but you will lose any distance you have accumulated with it. You may want to stick to one pokémon until that candy drops. When it does you’ll receive an easy to miss notification: “Your Magikarp has found a candy”. But it is easy to track your progress, either in the buddy screen (found under your Trainer menu) or on the new Buddy icon that appears next to your avatar on the bottom on the screen. The icon will fill up as you complete the necessary distance. Lastly, rarer pokémon will have to be walked further in order to earn candy; 1 KM, 3 KM for uncommon, or 5 KM for harder to find pokémon.
The update also comes with a few general performance and graphical improvements. Specifically noted are minor text fixes, fixes to glitches with egg hatching animations, and making it easier for players to interact with small pokémon. Everyone with big fingers can rejoice. Niantic has also rolled out support for Pokémon Go Plus, available September 16th.