The Onix Truth: Pokémon Go is Great But Flawed

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Since its release on July 6, Pokémon Go has become very popular with gamers, nerds and those who loved watching the TV show throughout their childhoods. According to the app research company SensorTower, it has already been downloaded 75 million times.

The reason behind its popularity may lie in the app’s ability to bring virtual Pokémon to the real world.

To find Pokémon, players must get out of the house and walk around. They must also walk a certain distance (two km, five km and 10 km) to hatch Pokémon eggs. This gives them a great excuse to exercise.

The app also is a great way to meet new people and hang out with friends.

While Pokémon Go is a great game, it also has many problems. The app often freezes or stops working. People can’t play when the servers go down for system updates, which happens often.

With the newest update, Niantic, the company that owns the app, has fixed some of the bugs, but now there are new glitches that must be looked into. Niantic has also gotten rid of the leaf footprints that players previously used to track Pokémon.

The game drains a phone’s battery life while it is in augmented reality (AR) mode, which is the function that uses the camera to show Pokémon in real life. Some phones can’t use AR mode because they don’t have a Gyro sensor, which is used to tell which way a phone is pointed.

The app also doesn’t work with some smartphones. It is only available on iPhones with iOS 8.0 or higher and Androids more recent than the Android 4.4.

There have been problems with players being injured and even killed while playing the game. The game warns players as it loads to be aware of their surroundings while playing. But people are so caught up in the game that they don’t pay attention to where they are walking, resulting in injury.

If players are to play this game, they must be vigilant and watch where they are walking. Also, playing while driving a vehicle is dangerous and should not be attempted.

The app requires Wi-Fi and users must often use data to play. Because of the large amount of time on the app, users are going over their data limits, resulting in fees on their phone bills.

There is also concern about security. After being hacked in mid-July, there is reason to be concerned about how secure the app is, especially since users must share their birthdate and location information with them.

Niantic can also release your information to third parties. They share a user’s information to third parties if there are problems with the app that the user has reported, to profile demographics, and if law enforcement or government officials need information about a user.

According to Pokémon Go’s Privacy Policy, Niantic has access to the information from users’ web searches prior to using the app. The company says this is to “improve, customize, and enhance our Services by expanding [the app’s]features and functionality and tailoring the to [the user’s]needs.”  It’s similar to how Google shows ads that are tailored to the user based on his web searches.

This would be a reason for concern if every other phone app in the world didn’t already sell our information to third party companies.

In all, it’s a great app to play, but the bugs and security risks are a big downside. Hopefully Niantic will fix the glitches in its system soon.

image via techtimes.com

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