by Jared Massey/ August 5, 2016
If you haven’t heard of Pokémon Go, people will start wondering if you have been living under a Snorlax. It’s the most viral app ever built, with over 15 million downloads in the first week it was available. As someone who not only uses, but also builds apps, I would even argue that this game is the most creative app yet released to the app stores. It is a brilliant marriage of pop culture and smartphones, and few apps have been able to do what it has done. Because of it’s insane popularity, many organizations have attempted to capitalize on this by offering promotions and advertising directly related to the game.
From a technical standpoint, there are always good things and bad things about any app released. Let’s take a look at a few within the Pokémon Go app. For reference sake, these are from the perspective of a father, children’s pastor, and app builder.
Pro 1: Clean Code
As with any app, you will experience glitches from time to time, but overall, this app plays very well. Considering all that is happening under the hood, it’s actually a rather impressive feat that the game works as well as it does at launch. Honestly, I’ve had more problems with my Facebook app than I have while playing the game.
Pro 2: Replay
At launch, Pokémon Go features the ability to collect (most of) the original 151 Pokémon. Rumor is that the second generation will be released in December, but there are seven generations for them to pull from, each with around 100 Pokémon. If the Game Boy games have taught us anything, there will always be people who can’t wait to catch them all, which means that at each new launch, expect an upswing in use.
Additionally, there are rumors of additional features (like in game trading) to be added in the future. Each time new features are added, there will be a natural excitement boost.
Pro 3: The Go Factor
This game requires you to play in real life. The entire point of the game is to get people moving out and about. This, actually, is one of the most brilliant pieces of the technology. Not only is the gameplay based on getting out and about, but it actually favors places where people are congregated and playing. Simply, if more people are playing in the area you are, you are more likely to see rare Pokémon, so it pushes for social interaction.
Con 1: Battery Life
If you or your kids have spent any time playing Pokémon Go, you’ve already experienced this. Because the game requires the screen to be on and also uses your GPS function, it will rapidly drain even the strongest of phone batteries. You can minimize this by lowering your screen brightness, using a portable charger, and using the battery saver function in the game, but still expect to see a big drop in your battery life while playing.
Con 2: Server Issues
The game has experienced some server issues. These often happen when it is released to a new market/region. While these have certainly improved since launch day, you can still expect the occasional problem logging in to the game because of the servers. Overall, though, this is really just an issue of the game being a victim of its own success.
Con 3: Rural Use
The game heavily favors urban areas, so those in rural areas will find it tougher to get the full experience. Also, since the game relies on use of your phone’s data, you’ll need a strong enough signal, which is sometimes hard to find in rural areas.
What are some pros and cons you’ve experienced while playing the game? I’d love to hear from you!