Lessons from Pokémon Go—Part I - WebINTENSIVE Software
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Aug 04, 2016 Lessons from Pokémon Go—Part I

Pokémon Go’s phenomenal success offers a rich array of field lessons for businesses seeking to launch consumer-facing apps. These lessons apply to apps with a wide range of target audiences and business strategies. Here is one lesson. Check back for more.

Lesson: Think about Batteries

During the weeks when the Pokémon Go user base started blowing up, an issue was noticed. The app drains battery life quicker than Yveltal saps its victims’ life forces.

This is expected. The AR app’s interactions with camera and GPS features of course put a big demand on device batteries. The app’s sponsors sought to mitigate the problem by including a battery saver mode: it automatically dims a phone’s display when a player puts the phone into their pocket upside down. Unfortunately, this feature was so buggy in iOS that the app’s makers had to completely disable it for that platform. This caused no little consternation among many hunters.

Though the battery saver is slated to soon return to iOS, the issue could possibly have been avoided with more rigorous testing and gathering of user feedback.

Another point that may not have made a crucial difference for Pokémon Go’s but is vital to keep in mind: certain architectural approaches do extend battery life. For example, an app can be configured to cache location data so it needs to update itself less frequently and so cuts down on power drain. This also can reduce data usage, by the way.