Pokémon GO: collecting pocket monsters and problems

The Pokémon GO app has gone absolutely viral, and is now the biggest mobile game in US history. As of writing this article, the app tops the charts in downloads in both the App Store, and Google Play, and that’s with just the United States, Australia and New Zealand marketplaces. Not only has the app seen success in downloads, but Nintendo’s stock price also rose 25% the first week. The kid in me loves the app, but as an employee at a technology solutions company, I realize some of the app’s problems can no longer be solved by simply blowing air into a game cartridge like previous Pokémon games.

With all this rampant success and demand for the game, it only makes sense that some issues will arise. One particularly frustrating error was inability to access the game itself due to server connectivity issues. Niantic, the company which developed the app, released the following statement regarding the issue:

“Due to the incredible number of Pokémon GO downloads, some Trainers are experiencing server connectivity issues. Don’t worry, our team is on it!”

A possible solution to this highly demanded server? According to a Network World article, the answer may just lie in cloud technology. Specifically an IaaS cloud computing platform which is ideal for viral workloads with spikes in traffic could be the solution to the server woes.

Whether IaaS is the solution to the server issues remains to be seen, what is very apparent however, is that these issues will need to be improved if they want continued success. Simply, it will be quite impossible to “catch ‘em all,” if you can’t connect at all.

Even more concerning than server problems however, are the privacy issues that have been brought to public view. iPhone users playing with a Google account were unknowingly agreeing to grant Niantic full account access. While the app couldn’t change passwords, delete accounts, or make Google Wallet payments, it was able to see the contents of Gmail, Google Docs, Google Drive and Google Calendar. An update was released to resolve this issue, but the damage has perhaps already been done.

Besides these main problems, there have also been complaints of distorted audio, heavy battery usage and temporary resets. The pressure is certainly on Niantic to resolve these issues.

While there have certainly been issues, the Pokemon fan base patiently waits for improvements to the app that brings their beloved Pocket monsters to life. As for this trainer, I need to go, I think I see a Nidoran. “Gotta Catch em all.”

 

Sites referenced:

Apple Insider

Niantic Labs

Network World

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