Pokemon GO is a phenomenon that seems to be here to stay, however, as many players are finding out, Pokemon GO isn’t all fun and games – since it requires you to always have the screen on, along with the GPS tracking and data enabled, it ends up being a huge drain on your battery, to the point where you can go from a full charge to an empty battery after only a few hours of gameplay. But what if there was a better way? Well, that’s what we’ll be looking at today – saving battery and adding functionality to Pokemon GO!
Due to the overwhelming popularity of the game, right away some of the players took notice of the battery drain caused by the application, both on Android and iOS. Thankfully, for Android users, third-party developers have already started to tackle the problem and there are now various tools to help you save battery and enhance the game, some of which we’ll mention today. Let’s start with GO Extender, which you can download, free of charge, by using this Play Store link. The purpose of this app, as the name indicates, is to extend the features of the game, so let’s take a look at some of the options:
As you can see, it’s a simple app. All of the options are laid out in the main screen when you start the app, and right away you’ll notice that most of them relate to the screen. That is because the screen is, by far, the biggest consumer of battery on your device. However, by using this app, you can make it so that the screen automatically turns off while you’re playing the game, based on your proximity sensor:
The game will still run with the screen off, and you will hear all of the sound effects and music, in addition to the vibration, whenever a Pokemon is near. The only difference is that you can now put your device in your pocket and just walk around with no worries (the app also disables touches) using close to no battery with the screen off, and then, whenever a Pokemon is near, the device will vibrate, just as usual, and you can get back to playing the game. In addition to turning off the screen completely, the app allows you to dim it to minimum brightness, instead. This is a feature available only in the full version, but the black screen overlay works just as well:
Some readers may know that the Pokemon GO app actually comes with a built-in battery saver mode, though. What this does is, whenever the device is turned upside down, the screen will turn off. Unfortunately, this feature is broken for most devices, and requires a gyroscope to work. Even for devices where the function does work, it’s been known to stop working a short time after launching the app, so GO Extender is a great workaround that is much more compatible and works much more reliably:
In addition to saving battery, you can now also add features to the game. One of those features is notifications for nearby Pokemon, which you can get for yourself by heading over to this Play Store link to download the app. This is, again, a very simple app, as you can see from the main screen:
To enable notifications, press the toggle in the screen, and you should see this dialog pop up:
It’s advised to have a rooted device, as that is the simplest method of enabling notifications:
However, even non-rooted devices can enable it by following the instructions in the dialog:
Once you enable the feature, you can press the button below to create a shortcut and launch the app with notifications enabled, and then, once the app is running, you should get a notification letting you know when Pokemon are nearby:
That’s about it for today’s Pokemon GO tools. While the game has definitely captured the imagination of millions of people virtually overnight, it’s fair to say that the game is still pretty rough around the edges and lacks important features at this time. That, coupled with the server instability, has definitely left a bad taste on a few of the players, but hopefully these tools can alleviate the situation a little bit. Any questions or doubts? Feel free to let us know in the comment section below!