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5 places where Pokemon GO is still number one

Posted by Nick Tylwalk on August 22nd, 2016
+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
Our rating: starstarhalfstarblankstarblankstar :: POCKET MONSTER :: Read Review »

In the U.S., the bloom is off the Pokemon Go rose ever so slightly. It's still doing great, sitting atop the top grossing chart as it has for some time, but it's no longer among the top 10 free apps in downloads, possibly because darn near everyone who wants it already has it.

But while it may no longer be the all encompassing phenomenon it was in July and early August in the United States, it's as big as ever in some other countries -- maybe even bigger, if that's possible. Let's take a quick look at five places where Pokemon GO is still the unquestioned number one mobile game.

How to avoid getting banned in Pokemon GO

Posted by Nick Tylwalk on August 15th, 2016
+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
Our rating: starstarhalfstarblankstarblankstar :: POCKET MONSTER :: Read Review »

You may have heard people talk about a mythical "fate worse than death" before, but here's something that definitely fits that bill: getting banned from playing Pokemon GO -- forever.

We're being tongue in cheek while saying that, but it's happening more and more often. As reported by various media outlets over the last few days, Niantic has been issuing permanent bans to some Pokemon GO players for what it says are violations of the game's terms of service. To be fair, most people never read the TOS for, well, anything, but some of the issues the developers have pointed out are clear.

Things like using bots are actions that only the most passionate believers that users should be able to do whatever they want with software tend to defend. Other violations pointed out by Niantic are less obvious and have already been the subject of some debate within the Pokemon GO community.

But the rules are the rules, and all we can do is roll with them. In the interest of keeping you in the game, here are three things you shouldn't do if you want to avoid the banhammer.

Pokemon GO update: Nearby feature returning soon?

Posted by Nick Tylwalk on August 8th, 2016
+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
Our rating: starstarhalfstarblankstarblankstar :: POCKET MONSTER :: Read Review »

It's hard to remember one aspect of a popular mobile game that's caused as much hand-wringing as the 'Nearby' tab in Pokemon GO. Just in case you're one of the (very) few people who hasn't played the game or followed its coverage, the tab was supposed to offer a way for players to have an easy reference for which Pokemon were nearby and approximately how far away they were.

The phrase "supposed to" is the key there. It never functioned as intended thanks to what gamers dubbed the "three-step glitch," causing all the Pokemon to appear as if they were an equal distance from the player. Instead of fixing it, Niantic deactivated the feature altogether in one of the game's first updates, causing a predictable overreaction from some of the more passionate Pokemon GO enthusiasts.

The thing is, they had a bit of a point, in the sense that when paired with Niantic cutting off support for third-party tracking apps, gamers were left without a way to even know which Pokemon were around, much less hunt them down. The latest Pokemon GO update doesn't offer a fix, but it does provide a roadmap for how the developers might proceed.

How does Go Radar stack up against other Pokemon GO tracker apps?

Posted by Nick Tylwalk on August 4th, 2016
+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad

If it seems like there's a new Pokemon GO app to help you track and locate Pokemon every day, that's because it's pretty close to the truth. Niantic and Nintendo may have carved themselves out a big chunk of the mobile gaming industry, but the cottage industry that has developed alongside it has been even more fascinating to watch.

Go Radar is the latest of these apps to surge up the App Store charts, using crowdsourced, real time info to help gamers locate Pokemon. How does it compare to previous apps of the same type? We gave it a spin while on our nightly Pokewalk (yes, we're pretty sure that will be an official word soon if it isn't already) to find out.

Did Pokemon GO make Pokemon harder to catch?

Posted by Nick Tylwalk on August 3rd, 2016
+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
Our rating: starstarhalfstarblankstarblankstar :: POCKET MONSTER :: Read Review »

There's been a lot of buzz going through the Pokemon GO community this week after the game received several small updates in the span of a few days. Most of the attention focused on the fact that Niantic removed the infamous three-step tracking feature that was supposed to tell players how close Pokemon were -- but didn't, as it never worked right.

While the debate over that change will likely continue to rage on, something else may have been slipped into the game without quite as many people noticing. Namely, it might now be harder to catch 'em all because it's harder to catch them at all.

Why crowdsourced Pokemon GO apps are now the way to go

Posted by Nick Tylwalk on August 2nd, 2016

Rest in peace, Pokemon GOunofficial companion map apps. And long live those same apps.

The run enjoyed by apps like GO Gear and services like Pokevision.com was a fun one. They worked by using Niantic's API for Pokemon GO, essentially peeking behind the curtain to determine exactly where different Pokemon would spawn and how long they'd stick around.

While some players decried them as cheats, there's no doubt that having the info they provided made the game a lot more purposeful than simply stumbling around and hoping to find pocket monsters you'd never encountered before. But as the saying goes, all good things come to an end, and with the game's most recent round of updates, Niantic more or less neutered those apps, explaining that the extra strain they added to the game's servers was hindering the experience of the masses.

Thus, Pokevision has gone from essential to useless just like that, and apps that worked in similar fashion have also been cut off at the source. What hope is there now for Pokemon location apps?

Pokemon GO update: 3 things you need to know

Posted by Nick Tylwalk on August 1st, 2016
+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
Our rating: starstarhalfstarblankstarblankstar :: POCKET MONSTER :: Read Review »

Forget big, splashy content additions for the time being. Pokemon GO received an update over the weekend, and it mostly came with a whimper instead of a bang.

That's not to say it wasn't welcome. The update, which hit both iOS and Android, fixed one of the more annoying things that didn't work with the game for most of its existence, made a key activity simultaneously easier and more difficult, and introduced some unintentional humour (we think) into the mix.

Is GO Gear the Pokemon GO map app you've been seeking?

Posted by Nick Tylwalk on July 29th, 2016
iPhone App - Designed for iPhone, compatible with iPad

Now that we've settled into something of a Pokemon GO status quo, the number one desire of most players can best be summed out by modifying a quote from Rod Tidwell of Jerry Maguire: "Show me the Pokemon!"

That's because we've reached the point where many people have gotten the basics down and are out to track down specific Pokemon for leveling purposes or simply to acquire some they haven't encountered to date. Wandering around aimlessly and visiting new places can help, but it's much better to have more information at your fingertips.

Unofficial Pokemon GO map apps have been proliferating to fill that need, and a new one has entered the fray from Celadon Software, the makers ofPokéBuilder. GO Gear is a paid (99 cents at the time of this article) map app that does what several free apps do, but also adds enough important features to make a potential purchase very interesting.

Why you should never power up Pokemon in Pokemon GO

Posted by Nick Tylwalk on July 28th, 2016
+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
Our rating: starstarhalfstarblankstarblankstar :: POCKET MONSTER :: Read Review »

There's no question that candy is dandy in Pokemon GO. You need big quantities of it to evolve your Pokemon, and when combined with stardust, it can be used to power up your favorite pocket monsters as well, making them more formidable for the gym battles that await you.

But the dilemma facing many players is which of those purposes is best suited for your candy. Since it only takes a single piece to power up any Pokemon, using it that way doesn't seem too wasteful.

As it turns out, the consensus from people who have been playing Pokemon GO nonstop since launch is that even a single piece of candy devoted to powering up Pokemon is probably a piece of candy wasted. Here are some compelling arguments for why you should rarely, if ever, power up your Pokemon.

What is PokéVision -- and why doesn't it have an app?

Posted by Nick Tylwalk on July 27th, 2016

The biggest thing that Pokemon GO players want to know is where to find the Pokemon they don't already have. The crux of the game is catching 'em all, so tracking down elusive pocket monsters is generally task number one any time someone fires up Nintendo and Niantic's smash hit.

A number of unofficial companion apps have popped up in the wake of Pokemon GO's release to serve as aids to locate specific Pokemon. We've covered a number of them here on 148apps, and while some of them are very promising, most share one common trait: They rely on players to provide the Pokemon location data to help you find the Pokemon you seek.

Win every gym battle in Pokemon GO

Posted by Nick Tylwalk on July 26th, 2016

Let me know if this scenario sounds familiar. You've got a Pokemon GO gym battle within easy walking distance, and you've visited it many times. Maybe you've even dropped one of your Pokemon there to help defend the place and reap the benefits.

Inevitably though, one of the other teams always comes and beats up your squad, flying its colors proudly. And since the Pokemon they leave there are impossibly tough, there's not a darn thing you can do about it.

Can PokeMatch help you find love with Pokemon Go players?

Posted by Nick Tylwalk on July 26th, 2016

The unofficial Pokemon GO companion app space has exploded almost as fast as the game itself over the last few weeks. Aspiring app developers, many of them working solo, have given us apps that locate Pokemon, keep track of the server status, and perhaps inevitably, have now cross-pollinated Pokemon GO and a dating app.

The result is called PokeMatch, and it's currently available for both iOS and Android phones and tablets. As its official write-up suggests, it "allows you to meet new people who are also interested in Pokemon Go." Of course, that could be just about anyone these days, even though Niantic and Nintendo's sensation has slipped ever so slightly from its top spot on the App Store download charts (it's still king of the top-grossing ranks, however).

So can PokeMatch actually help you make a love connection while playing your favorite augmented reality game? We took a look for you to get the lay of the land.

How to evolve Eevee in Pokemon GO

Posted by Nick Tylwalk on July 22nd, 2016

By now, almost everyone should be hip to how to evolve Pokemon in Pokemon GO (and if not, there's a guide for that). Just gather enough candy of the appropriate type, feed them all to the Pokemon, and evolution happens. It's a miracle that would astound Darwin.

For every rule, though, an exception lurks in the shadows. And when it comes to Pokemon evolution, that exception has a name: Eevee.

How to play Pokemon GO without killing your battery

Posted by Nick Tylwalk on July 13th, 2016

Just like Benjamin Franklin said the only two certainties in life were death and taxes, there are two equally unavoidable truths about Pokemon GO. The first is that it's a phenomenon on a scale which mobile gaming has yet to see, and the second is that it's an absolute terror for the battery life of your iPhone or iPad.

We're talking about play sessions that can be measured in minutes, not hours, if you attempt to go out for a Pokemon-catching stroll without your battery indicator at 100 percent. And even fully charged, Pokemon GO eats up juice at a dizzying rate.

How to evolve Pokemon in Pokemon GO

Posted by Nick Tylwalk on July 12th, 2016

Unless you're a complete newcomer to the world of Pokemon, you already know that one of the pleasures of playing any game from the franchise is to evolve your pocket monsters into more powerful forms. It's been one of the core concepts of the IP from the start, and it's a part of Pokemon GO as well.

That said, it's also one of the many aspects of the game that isn't explained to new players at all. Unless you already know where to look or simply stumble into the best way to evolve Pokemon, there's nothing leading you in the right direction.