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My brother and I went on a walk together to try and hatch eggs we'd been working on. However, at the end of the walk, he had registered significantly more distance towards hatching his egg than I had. We both had the app open and our phones unlocked for pretty much the entire walk, but my brother did seem to be having better luck with data reception/getting the servers to respond than I was.

I theorized that because my phone was not communicating as readily with the game servers, stretches of the walk where my phone failed to report distance traveled to the game servers also didn't count towards hatching my egg. Is there evidence that distance traveled has to be reported to the server to count towards hatching an egg (as opposed to distance towards hatching an egg being tracked primarily by my phone, without server involvement)?

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    I believe it queries your GPS data periodically, and calculates a straight line between the last point and current point to get distance walked. If you are turning corners or backtracking, the distance between the two points might not give you an accurate read of distance traveled. Personally whenever I turn a corner or decide to turn around, I pull up my app manager and select the game again to force it to reload gps data. Seems to be working better at tracking my time walked now. – Rachel Jul 29 '16 at 19:56
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You are quite right, the app has to be open and communicating with the servers in order to register distance traveled. Therefore, if your phone is having difficulty or is loading data (symbolized by the spinning pokeball in the upper left corner) you should stop and stand still for a moment. The game provides a 'grace distance' that you can move while it's loading and still count the distance, but if you move too far (such as you might while driving or moving at high speed) then the game will not count the distance you cover. Also, all the distance covered is counted by the GPS, so if you're not moving far enough for the GPS to realize you've changed positions, you will not get any distance.

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