Tag Archives: Pokémon Go

Top 5 Google Searches of 2016


It’s been a long year, with many unexpected incidents – be it good or bad ones. One thing remains a constant though: People are still using Google to search for … yes, for what? Google was nice enough to put together a list with the top searches of 2016 – and since it’s fun to […]

The post Top 5 Google Searches of 2016 appeared first on Avira Blog.

Finding too much in your Pokémon app?

Are you addicted to the augmented reality of Pokémon Go yet? If so, then you are not alone and if not, beware of playing the game because you might be.


But be careful, whether you are an existing or new player as with any craze as popular as this then cyber-criminals see an opportunity to make some cash.

In the last week several security researchers have released details of threats ranging from fraudulent social media accounts to malware infected apps available in the Google Play store.

The malware infected app found by security researchers this week was available in the Google Play Store and is reported to have been downloaded over 500,000 times. The apps malicious payload is capable of taking root access rights on a user’s phone. The app masqueraded as a ‘Guide for Pokémon Go’, leveraging the huge success of the game to dupe people into downloading an app that could then uninstall/install apps or display unwanted adverts.

The research on social media accounts found 543 accounts related to Pokémon Go across Facebook, Twitter and Tumblr with over 30% (167) of them delivering fraudulent content to their visitors. With a mix of downloadable game guides, imposter accounts and free giveaways affecting both desktop platforms and mobile devices delivering adware, malware or software not related to the content advertised.

With cyber-criminals motivated to cash in on the phenomena we strongly recommend that vigilance is needed when downloading or researching details about the game and the best way to play.

If you think you may have clicked a bad link or downloaded a rogue app then download AVG AntiVirus for Android, it’s free and detects malicious app downloads in real-time. AVG detects the threat from the malicious app mentioned above and our researchers work 24×7 to ensure that we bring you protection to threats as they happen.

PIL filed in Court to Ban ‘Pokémon Go’ in India for Hurting Religious Sentiments

Pokémon GO has yet not been officially launched in India, but the location-based augmented reality game has already fueled a privacy debate and request for Ban.

Isn’t that weird?

A Gujarat resident, Alay Anil Dave has recently filed a Public Interest Litigation (PIL) in the Gujarat High Court against Niantic, developers of Pokémon Go, over allegations that the game is hurting religious

Iran Bans Pokémon GO — It's My Way or the Highway!

Pokémon GO has become the world’s most popular mobile game since its launch in July, but not everyone loves it.

Pokémon GO has officially been banned in Iran.

The Iranian High Council of Virtual Spaces – the country’s official body that oversees online activity – has prohibited the use of the Pokémon GO app within the country due to unspecified “security concerns,” BBC reports.
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One Hardcore Gamer’s Take on Pokemon Go

An inside look into how Nintendo’s popular mobile game is bridging generational gaps and keeping you outside through the lens of one avid gamer. This piece originally appeared on GamesBeat.

All technical woes aside, Pokémon Go—which I’ve been playing nonstop since its release now—is a lot of fun. While it may not offer the complex gameplay, storytelling, or character development the past decade of Hollywood-standard video games has delivered, it’s engrossing — and its astronomic growth is a phenomenon.

Which got me thinking … what does account for the appeal? As a way to come up with an answer, I’ve made these four observations, which are as much about human nature as they are about gaming culture.

1. It’s just like that one Star Trek: The Next Generation episode

Pokémon Go has been compared to The Matrix, Ready Player One, and just about every other dystopia where technology controls humans. But while Pokémon Go arguably is an addictive worldwide phenomenon whose ultimate reach is yet to be determined … wait, am I talking myself out of my own conclusion that it’s not actually dangerous to society? OK, it’s not, seriously. It does, however, remind me to an eerie degree of “The Game” episode of the Star Trek: The Next Generation TV series. In “The Game,” the crew of the Enterprise became obsessed with an augmented reality game in which the object is to throw a flat plate (Pokéball, anyone?) into a cone (Do I hear Pokémon?) in order to score and move to the next level.

Apparently I’m in good company, because Wil Wheaton, who played Wesley Crusher in that episode and later saved the Enterprise, even Tweeted about it.

The verdict: While Pokémon Go doesn’t (yet) seem to psychologically manipulate people, it is, for better or worse, mesmerizing. And people love to be mesmerized.

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2. I want it to keep getting better

Nintendo was once known for stellar gameplay and mechanics, but it’s been struggling to keep up with Sony and Microsoft in the marketplace. Niantic’s Pokémon Go is the first hit associated with the Nintendo brand in quite a while. As someone who grew up with Nintendo games, I hope they can turn this into a comeback and that the excitement around Pokémon Go can catapult them back to their former glory. Nintendo needs to take Niantic’s start and increase the depth, interaction, and engagement. Right now it’s simple—catch, level, feed, fight, train. Lather, rinse, repeat. Even casual gamers need more.

The Verdict: I guarantee I’m not alone in hoping Pokémon Go sticks around and gets more challenging, which just shows that people love a success story, especially when whoever’s being successful is somewhat of an underdog.

3. It bridges generation gaps

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I never expected that playing Pokémon Go would bring me closer to generations I must admit I barely knew—or thought I could know.

Pokémon Go has connected me with people—while grocery shopping, going for my morning run, or just walking down the street. Within the first three days I was stopped by kids less than half my age and a couple more than twice my age.

On day 2, I noticed several tweens in the grocery store pointing at me, whispering, “Look at him. …” I turned to them, held up my phone, and asked, “Pokémon?” Nods, and big smiles. Nearly 30 minutes later, while hanging out at the cheese counter where they’d caught a monster, we’d talked about smartphones, gaming, school, grades, friends, sports … and I got an all-too-rare glimpse into what it’s like to be a kid in 2016.

Day 3 brought me face-to-face with an elderly couple who wondered, as they saw me stop and hold up my phone during a run through the forest, what I was taking a photo of. I told them what I was up to, and they were in awe of today’s technology. This, too, became a conversation about how maybe they needed phones, about where they’d grown up, their family, their work, their life.

All the scary stories about people being injured or lured to harm by strangers while playing Pokémon Go, while true, likely don’t happen nearly as often as the sort of positive experiences I had with people in my own community—people I probably never would have talked to, were it not for Pokémon Go.

The verdict: People want to connect, and it’s amazing how the shared experience of a cultural phenomenon like a game—or a movie, or a book, or a TV show—can forge common ground among people who otherwise couldn’t be more different. And the more we have these experiences, the more open we are to recreating them.

4. It makes you go outside

Truth be told, this aspect of Pokémon Go does make me feel a bit uneasy: while the game’s become mainstream in a very short time and is all over the news, you can’t expect every last person on earth to know what it is or how it’s played. Which could explain the suspicious looks I’ve gotten while wandering around my quiet family neighborhood. While nothing bad came of any neighbors’ quizzical looks, I’m sure there were moments of confused uneasiness, and if you’re going to play, you’re wise to consider your surroundings and be conscious of people’s  privacy. And if you get “those” looks, explain it (or invite them to play, it could turn out well!—see observation 3).

But you can’t discount the really wonderful opportunity to explore areas near your home, work, or school that you may never have seen. I took it on my morning run (which usually follows the same route) and ended up going down beautiful forests paths I’d never seen and through neighborhoods I’d never been to. You’re essentially combining exercise, exploration, and gaming—which until now never really went together that well.

The verdict: While I am a bit torn about the overall benefits of Pokémon Go’s ability to bring you together with new people and new aspects of your everyday world (see: potentially freaking out the neighbors), there’s no doubt that its forcing players to go beyond routine is a big part of its appeal. People love adventure.

My verdict

Pokémon Go promotes exercise and getting outdoors … but it makes you look at your phone even more than you probably already do. And some of the things that account for its appeal—the fact that it’s somewhat mesmerizing—also have a flip side, in this case overly repetitive gameplay. You should play it, too, see for yourself, see if the appeal is well-founded, see if its current cult status is likely to last.

While I’ve noticed my interest waning (I spent hours on end in week 1 catching dozens of Pokémons and now use it only 15-30 minutes a day in week 2), I’m not sure yet if I’m getting tired of it overall, or if there’s going to be a “second wave” of excitement.

What’s your verdict?

The Top 5 Pokémon Go Woes … and How to Defeat Them

Are you in danger of not reaching your full monster-snaring potential because of technical glitches? Never fear, fair gamer. I’ve battled the worst problems for you and bring you solutions.


While Pokémon Go is clearly a huge (and well deserved) success for Nintendo (and app maker Niantic), with well-thought-out gameplay mechanics, the experience isn’t as smooth as it is with many other Nintendo titles. Users have been complaining of outages, crashes, and frozen screens.

But never fear—you’re not alone. I, too, have encountered Pokémon Woes, and here’s how I fixed them.

1 – “No internet connectivity.”


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You can’t play if you’re not connected. Simple as that. So what’s happening when you get this message? Chances are, Niantic’s servers are at that moment literally being overrun by the millions of users worldwide. With the game’s daily use starting to exceed Tinder’s and Twitter’s (in the US … so far!), no wonder Niantic’s struggling to meet these monstrous traffic demands.

Usually when you get the above message, you just have to wait it out. But you may also have luck with closing and reopening the app. It worked for me many times (I’m not known for my patience). Easy as that.

And if you’re having connection problems while catching a Pokémon, try turning WiFi (or 3G/4G/LTE) off and on again—also worked for me, more than once.


2 – “Lost GPS connectivity.”

I literally see this message every hour I play. Again, closing and reopening the app or turning GPS off and on again works wonders. In some cases, a little waiting helps, too, as the GPS problem may disappear on its own.



The game has frozen on me several times, in particular right after I’ve caught a monster. This is especially troubling, since my first thought was, “Wait, did I not actually catch that Pokémon???” But not to worry. Simply restart the app and check your journal. In every case where the game froze on me, once I restarted, I found that the game’s state was successfully saved. Whew!

4 – “Server unavailable. Please try again later.”

If you get this message when your connection is 100% working, then turn off your phone’s GPS, and then try logging in to Pokémon Go. After the game has loaded, turn GPS back on, which should fix the issue.


  1. Android: Swipe down from the top to get quick actions and notification bar. Tap on Location to turn it off (and later on again).
  2. iOS: Go to Settings, Privacy, Location Services and switch to Off.

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5 – Missing or incorrect map data

If your avatar is constantly in the middle of nowhere, or streets are displaying as … streets, then you should either delete the app or its cache.


  1. Open AVG Cleaner for Android (no worries, it’s free!) and go to Cache.
  2. Tap the CLEAR ALL CACHE
  3. Restart the app!

If that doesn’t work, or if you’re on iOS, uninstall the app, then download it again from Google Play or the App Store to get rid of all leftover (and potentially corrupt) data.

What’s your worst app issue? How’d you fix it? Let us know in the comments!

Want to More than Double Your Battery Life for Playing Pokémon Go?

Pokémon GO is killing smartphones in less than 3 hours. Check out our in-depth app analysis of the phenomenon and 7 battery-boosting secrets to keep on hunting on the go.

Even compared to social or streaming apps like Facebook and Spotify, games are the real phone battery vampires (see our latest “AVG App Performance and Trends Report” for the top 10 ‘resource hogs’). And an augmented reality (AR) game like Pokémon Go makes even other game apps seem downright generous, as it constantly and simultaneously requires your phone to

  • Share location via GPS
  • Keep the screen fully lit
  • Operate the camera
  • Play sounds through the speakers, and
  • Render 3D graphics.

Whew. The result? When I played Pokémon Go on my morning run, my battery went from 100% to 50% in less than 90 minutes.

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“This has got to be the single most battery-hungry app I’ve ever used,” I thought. Being a data-driven guy, as well as a hardcore gamer (PC and console gaming more than mobile, though—more about that in a future post!), I immediately tested my theory and discovered that, if you’re nonstop seeking, catching, and levelling Pokémon, then your …

  • iPhone 6S Plus battery will go from from 100% to 0% in 2 hours and 10 minutes.
  • Samsung Galaxy S6 will survive Pokémon Go fever only an additional half-hour, lasting 2 hours and 40 Minutes before the screen goes dark.

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Enough! I refused to let battery issues get in the way of my mastering the game (full disclosure, I’m so far only at level 15 with about 200 Pokémons collected, but I am full-on obsessed). I proceeded to systematically try every battery-saving technique I know (plus a battery-saving Android app), and turns out the effort was worth it.

AND THE RESULT? The following tweaks made my phone battery last more than 5 hours during gameplay. That’s a 123% increase. Which could mean … 123% more Pokémons. 

(And so you know my outcomes weren’t a fluke, I repeated each test 3 times and averaged the results, for accurate data. I’m nothing if not thorough.)

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1 – Use built-in Pokémon Go battery saver instead of reducing screen brightness (Android + iOS)

There’s no lack of quick online tips for boosting battery life when playing Pokémon Go, and most involve reducing screen brightness. Sure, it allows you to play longer, do you really think this is an enjoyable way to play?


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Reducing brightness increases reflections, particularly in direct sunlight (and, um, a whole lot of the fun of Pokémon Go involves running around outside—notice they didn’t release the game in the middle of winter). Sure, this might be tolerable at night or indoors, but to really enjoy such a fun, colorful game, you’ll want to keep the brightness above 75%.

So instead of dimming, activate Pokémon Go’s built-in battery saver and keep the brightness near maximum. When you put your phone in your pocket or hold it upside down, the built-in battery saver will automatically make the screen go dark.

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  1. Tap on the Pokéball icon
  2. Go to Settings
  3. Tap on Battery Saver

In battery saver mode, you remain logged in to the game and can hear sounds or feel vibration when Pokémons are nearby, without the massive power drain. While you’re at it, you can also turn off music or sound effects, which also has a slight effect on battery life. Just don’t turn off vibration, otherwise you won’t know when one of the pocket monsters is nearby, wanting to be caught!

2 – Turn off Bluetooth and WiFi (or 3G/4G)

The game requires a nonstop data connection and a GPS signal. So if you’re at home, don’t use your 4G/LTE connection, which is one of the heaviest resource drainers you’ve got.


  1. iOS: Go to Settings, Cellular and switch off Cellular Data
  2. Android: Swipe down to bring up the quick actions and notifications center, turn off Mobile Data

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If you absolutely need your mobile data connection (if you’re out and about), use a 3G connection, which often uses less battery than does 4G/LTE. The rule here is … there is no rule yet, you’ll need to test this a bit for yourself.

While 4G/LTE chips have become more efficient, in some rural areas with spotty connections you might end up draining the battery more quickly than when you’re using a solid 3G connection—or vice versa! Fortunately, Pokémon Go doesn’t drain a ton of data. During my 24 hours of nonstop testing, playing used only 4.2 MB on my iPhone and 5.9 MB on my Galaxy S6.

However, while this isn’t a lot of data, the game does transfer a lot of small data packets back and forth, preventing your 3G/4G/LTE chip from going to sleep, meaning it consumes more than it should.  If you’re on the go, you should also make sure that WiFi and Bluetooth are turned off, to give a little more edge to your battery life.


3 – Use iOS and Android’s battery saver

Both iOS and Android offer built-in battery savers that, for example, throttle your phone’s performance a bit, use a more energy-efficient display color temperature, and reduce background app activities to a bare minimum.


  1. iOS: Settings, Battery and Low Power Mode
  2. Android: Settings, Battery and Power saving mode (flip the switch)

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4 – Don’t use any unnecessary resource-eating apps

As our regular AVG App Performance and Trends  report has shown, background apps can kill your smartphone’s battery even if you’re not using them actively.

To prevent that from raining on your Pokémon Go parade, turn off background activities and notifications for all apps you don’t need (in addition to the power savers, which limit most, but not all background activities). By doing so, your phone will spend less battery life checking for and displaying app notifications.


  1. On both Android and iOS, you’ll find the notification settings under Settings and Notifications
  2. Flip the switch for all apps whose alerts you can do without

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5 – Use a dedicated battery booster (Android only)

To save even more battery life for Pokémon Go, I’ve also used our own AVG Cleaner for Android 3.3, which comes with dedicated battery profiles and even more settings to save battery life when you really need it (for example, when you’re trying to level up Pidgeotto).


  1. Download the free app, open it and tap on Battery.
  2. Now you have multiple choices
    1. Go to Choose Manual Settings and turn off battery-draining functionality like WiFi, Bluetooth, Brightness, Screen rotation and Auto sync data.
    2. Select Home profile when you’re playing at home and Car profile when you’re out and about. Quickly switching between them helps squeeze even more juice from your phone’s battery.
  3. Bonus tip: After you’ve used it for a day or two, AVG Cleaner for Android will automatically show you your phone’s top battery-drainers, so you know which apps to avoid, stop, or even uninstall when playing Pokémon Go.
    1. Open the app and tap on Analyze. Scroll down to the Battery-Hungry apps section and Force Stop or Uninstall what you don’t need. For a full list, go back to the main menu of AVG Cleaner and tap on Battery.

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6 – Don’t zoom, don’t rotate, use less AR

One of the biggest drains on your phone’s battery is the GPU (Graphic Processing Unit), which is responsible for all the nifty 3D rendering in games, websites, videos and, well, everything you see on your display. Since 3D animations cost a lot of cycles, keep the rotation and zooming on the Pokémon Go map to an absolute minimum.

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Also, when catching a Pokémon, turn off the AR (camera) feature if you’re running low on battery, by flipping the switch in the lower right corner. Instead of the camera picture (which drains more battery), you’ll see a static landscape that’s a bit more power-saving.

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7 – Or … give up and get a battery pack!

For my longer trips overseas I usually bring an external battery to keep my phones and laptops charged (not all airlines have gotten the message that people might appreciate a power plug on every seat). And while you don’t necessarily need a brick like this …

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… any battery pack that’ll charge up your phone at least twice should be good to satisfy your daily monster-catching needs.

Did it Work?

Let’s turn it over to you: Did our tips help you get through the day when playing Pokémon Go? Got more tips to share? Let us know in the comments!