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One Week with Pokemon GO

I've been playing Pokemon GO quite intensively since its release in Japan last Friday. I play on the way to and from work, going around town, and last Monday, during a 20 km hike over four mountains with some friends.

Yeah, I know... We should have been bonding with nature instead of looking at our phones.

As of last night, my character has reached Level 15, I have 50 unique Pokemon, and I've already filled up my backpack (for items) and Pokemon storage, which meant that I've had to throw stuff away to make room. The backpack has a limit of 350 items while the Pokemon box holds a maximum of 250 Pokemon. I started hitting these limits at around Level 12.

Here are some updates/discoveries that might be of interest to you:

Data usage 

7 days of playing has used up 241mb of my data. Not bad. That comes out to about 34mb a day.

More bugs

Since a couple of days ago, the in-game map has gotten corrupted. Roads are not where they're supposed to be, so it has become increasingly difficult to figure out how to get to Pokestops and Gyms in the distance.

Previously reported bugs still exist

Random crashes, loading screens that never end, they still happen now and then but not too often to be game breaking. I've read somewhere that Niantic seems to be focusing on adding a Pokemon trading function at the moment, which is probably why these bugs haven't been fixed yet.

Almost no server problems

There was only one occasion when I was not able to login due to overloaded servers, and that was actually just last night. However, I wasn't locked out for long. I got in 5 minutes later.

Battery consumption

This will vary per phone, but on my Sony Xperia Z2, I seem to get to 0% just before I get home at the end of my day. The Xperia Z series though is known for having very good battery saving technology (mine can last almost two days with light use), so I expect iPhone users to have some trouble getting through half the day playing Pokemon GO heavily. Unless you have an iPhone 6S Plus, maybe.

Battery saver mode

This function was a bit of a mystery at first. It's an option in the settings that didn't appear to do anything, but by activating it and flipping your phone upside down, it turns your screen black without actually putting the app in the background, thus saving battery life even with Pokemon GO running. 

[post_ad]This is most useful for hatching Pokemon eggs. Eggs hatch after walking a certain number of kilometers, and you'll need to have the app running on screen for it to record distance. Of course, having the screen on all the time will gobble up battery life, so this function helps cut down on the battery consumption of your phone's display.

After putting the app in this mode, you can then put your phone in your pocket and go for a walk (or a run). It will continue to record distance traveled. Also, the app will let you know if there is a Pokemon in the area by vibrating.

Riding cars/public transportation doesn't help hatch eggs

If you go beyond the speed limit set in the app, it stops tracking distance traveled. So you can't hatch a 10 km egg just by driving around town... unless you drive about 20 km/h or less the whole time. Which leads me to think that driving in traffic will probably record movement. I'm sure this would be the only time you'd be happy to be in traffic!

Rural areas have tons of Pokemon

Contrary to what I've heard in reviews, rural areas actually have a lot of Pokemon, and I'd say there's just as much as there are in the city. As I mentioned in this post, I went hiking with some friends earlier this week and we found a lot of Pokemon on the trail. However, what seems to be few and far between are PokeStops and Gyms.

PokeStops give you XP even if your backpack is full

Aside from giving you items, PokeStops also give you 50 XP (though randomly I've noticed it give me 150 XP - not sure why). If your backpack is full and you visit a PokeStop, you will get a message saying that you can't receive any more items. Nevertheless, after exiting the PokeStop you will still receive XP. 

So even if your backpack is completely full and you don't want to get rid of any of your items to make room for more, it's still worth visiting the PokeStops you come across.

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