One of the hassles of Pokemon Go is that players must always keep the app open if they hope to catch them all. Wouldn’t it be nice to receive some sort of a notification when something is nearby? Well, a new third-party app let’s you do exactly that.
PokeNotify will send notifications to your phone when there are Pokemon in your area. Not only that, but it actually lets you choose which species you want to receive notifications for. That way, your phone isn’t constantly vibrating to tell you there’s yet another Pidgey around (unless you want it to, of course).
In addition, the app lets you know exactly how much time you have to catch the Pokemon before it leaves, giving users a precise time limit to work with. This is all far more information than the game provides, although some players might consider it cheating.
PokeNotify is now available for Android devices, but unfortunately there is not currently an iOS version. If the app does well, hopefully an iPhone equivalent won’t be far behind.
Part of the reason the game does not already have a feature like this is probably because Nintendo wants players to buy Pokemon Go Plus. The draw of this wearable accessory is that it alerts gamers when Pokemon are near, and then all they have to do is press a button on the device in order to throw a Poke Ball. This way, it’s no longer necessary to have the app open 100% of the time. Pokemon Go Plus also vibrates when near a Poke Stop.
Strangely enough, Pokemon Go does actually ask players for permission to send push notifications when they first download the game, but so far it doesn’t appear that Niantic has made use of this. It’s unlikely that they would implement an official feature that sends alerts when Pokemon are nearby, but it’s possible they might eventually provide notifications about special events or updates. Some players have also suggested sending notifications when a team gym has been taken over.
Aside from not wanting to be staring at a phone all the time, one reason this notification feature is so highly desired is that players are looking for a way to save battery. Having the app open through an entire play session may be what Niantic wants, but that also leads to situations where players’ phones die in the middle of the experience. If you’re encountering that issue a lot, you could always make use of the game’s built-in battery-saver mode, which dims the screen when you have the phone in your pocket. Some have found that this feature currently causes the app to freeze and force players to restart, however.
You could also purchase an external battery pack, which allows you to charge your phone on the go: