Latest PokémonGo News, Halloween Bonuses, Tips & Resources October 28, 2016

Pikachu Photo credit: JD Hancock via

Pikachu Photo credit: JD Hancock via

The Wildly Popular PokémonGo Game Continues to Thrive Putting Naysayers in Their Place

Most Compelling Reasons Why PokémonGo Continues to Remain SO Popular

A recent article in the Wall Street Journal probably sheds the most light upon this question.  The article contains both a video taped interview and a longer print interview with Tsunekazu Ishihara, Pokémon Co.’s chief executive, who stated that PokémonGo’s success far exceeded their expectations.  He stated that the game was at least 10% if not 100% more successful than they’d expected.  By week 2 the game had exceeded 40 million downloads and by September 20th, over 500 million.

In part PokémonGo’s success has been directly due to the fact that it’s been able to attract a high number of video game ‘first timers.  I happen to be one of them. Never in my wildest dreams would I have predicted that I’d end up playing, much less loving a video game!  Because I raised 2 ‘gamer’ sons who, despite my most apocalyptic warnings never once gave my opinion any weight at all, much less the weight it deserved!  Of course now they are both secretly gloating about the fact that they were right and I wasn’t!  But who could have foreseen a video game that would get players out doors and exercising their muscles in addition to their minds?  I’m digressing a bit, but my point is that if I’m a fan, Niantics the game’s developer and Nintendo, the parent to subsidiary Pokémon Co. must be doing a lot of things right!

And they are doing them right by design. Tsunekazu Ishihara said they are carefully considering how to update the game in terms of how their choices will impact players at all levels. They are slowly releasing new features to keep both high level players and those who are just casual players interested and engaged.

The First Concrete Evidence Showing that PokémonGo is Making a Positive Impact on Players’ Healthy Lifestyles Has Been Published

On October 12th, in an article entitled ‘PokémonGo’s Immediate Impact on Public Health:  144 Billion Steps and Counting,’  Healthcare IT News reports:

“Researchers at Microsoft, however, conducted a study by using large-scale wearable sensor data collected from Microsoft Band users and search engine logs.

Pokémon Go players increased their physical activity by 26 percent in the 30-day period measured and, what’s more, the most engaged players took an average of 1,473 additional steps daily. Those same highly engaged users, in fact, were three times more likely to meet the official guideline of 8,000 steps per day.

In total, Pokémon Go led to 144 billion more steps than would have otherwise been taken in the U.S. alone, Microsoft researchers Ryen White and Eric Horvitz along with Stanford University student and Microsoft intern Tim Althoff estimated in their research report.”

They go on to state that PokémonGo has been able to reach a difficult demographic, one they call ‘low activity’ populations.  They predict that if current activity levels remain constant “PokémonGo could add 2,825 million more years to users in the U.S.”


PokémonGo Helps an Autistic Teen Overcome His Anxiety to Leave His Family’s Home

In August the BBC released this heartwarming news story about Adam, a 17 year old boy who’d been housebound for the last 5 years due to severe anxiety. But he’s overcome that fear and his life has transformed all because of playing PokémonGo.  Here’s a link to the video news coverage.


The September 16th Release of the New PokémonGo Plus Wearable Device

PokemonGo Plus is a new wearable device that features a button that allows players to catch Pokémon, earn buddy candy, hatch eggs and collect Pokestop items without even needing to get out their cellphones!  Players had been excitedly awaiting its release, which ended up being months later than promised. They finally became available in mid-September, but only on a very limited basis.

In the US GameStop appears to be the most reliable source to get one locally. But they can’t be ordered online from GameStop. In addition many GameStops only received a few of them which had all been promised to preorders. So many people are still trying to find these wherever they can. Currently, Amazon has them for sale through several 3rd party sellers. Many of Amazon’s sellers are from China or the U.K., and price scalping was a problem initially. But as new shipments are beginning to catch up with demand most 3rd party sellers on Amazon are now are offering the Plus for prices that are substantially lower than the stated retail price of $34.

Advantages of PokemonGo Plus Wearable Device

Perhaps the biggest advantage of using the Plus device is that it lessens the drain on your cellphone battery.  I wasn’t surprised to discover that use of the Plus has also brought back players who’d lapsed in their game play. Probably because the Plus requires less ‘hands on’ interaction and allows players to be more discreet while playing. Many reviewers at Amazon also said that using the Plus allowed them to be more productive with the game while driving. There were a couple of issues with the Plus in the beginning but later updates solved those as well as added new enhancements making using the Plus even better. The most frequently stated negative of the Plus is that it’s use squanders lots of red Pokeballs. But an oft repeated advantage has been improved accuracy finding wild Pokémon….especially since the app’s built in sightings mechanism has been broken for months.


Now that the price of PokémonGo Plus has come down substantially I expect that a lot of people will end up getting them…although remember that Niantics will soon be releasing an app for both Apple Watch and Android Watch which should do almost everything the Plus does.  It appears that the one difference between those wearable’s and the Plus will be the ability to catch Pokémon…since it’s been reported that neither app will include a ‘catching’ feature.


PokémonGo and Halloween Treats

The month of October has been a busy one for Niantics. They’ve released several new updates which continue to improve the game play experience and help players of all levels understand the strategies behind the seemingly simple game. To perform really well in the game requires a certain amount of focus, some math skills and some determination to get outside and remain active. Some of the newer features include buddies, which allows players to pick one Pokémon to be at their side continually…while earning additional candy that’s needed for later evolutions, and Pokémon appraisals which can help players decide which buddy to choose as well as which Pokémon to ‘trade in’ for more candy for evolutions too.

On October 26th Niantics announced that special Halloween bonuses were in effect until November 1st. Buddy’s will earn 4 times as much candy for walking and players will earn double candy for catching, hatching and transferring Pokémon.  There will be a lot more spooky Pokémon than normal too…which affords players’ chances to build up a lot of experience points catching Pokémon they might never see otherwise.

PokemonGo Halloween Bonuses

The Extra Candy Bonus Means that NOW May Be the Perfect Time to Learn About Pidgey Spamming

What’s Pidgey Spamming?  Well, it’s a little complicated…but here’s my interpretation. There are a few Pokémon that don’t require very much candy to evolve.  These include Pidgey, Caterpie and Weedle.  It only takes 12 candies to evolve one of these types.  When you evolve a Pokémon you gain experience points. When you do so after first setting a Lucky Egg into motion, your XP points are doubled. Far more advanced players than myself seem to agree that it doesn’t make sense for players to evolve Pokémon until they’ve reached Level 20. The main reason is because you won’t’ have acquired very many high CP valued Pokémon until then. But players tend to accumulate a lot of lower CP valued Pokémon like the 3 aforementioned types.

Using a Lucky Egg to evolve lots of lower valued Pokémon seems to be the one exception to the rule for players who really want to evolve Pokémon. This can benefit a player greatly by improving their XP thereby catapulting them into higher levels more rapidly.

Photo credit: ansik via

Photo credit: ansik via

So, before you evolve a lot of low level Pokémon you should thin out their numbers.  This is where the math comes in.  You need to determine how many Pokémon you can evolve with your given candy.  Then transfer the remaining ones to earn additional candy.  Usually you’ll only earn 1 piece of candy per transfer…but right now, with the Halloween bonus you’ll earn 2.  So go through your Pokémon list and transfer all the Pidgey’s, Weedles and Caterpies that you can…obviously making sure to transfer the lowest valued ones first. Keep only as many as you can evolve…meaning keep 12 candies per Pokémon that you intend to evolve…and discard the rest via transfers.

The 2nd part of this strategy involves taking one of your Lucky Eggs and activating it and then in rapid succession evolving all of the remaining Pokémon of those types.  If you can do this near a few very active Pokestops all the better. Activating Incense, a device used to lure more wild Pokémon to you, prior to the evolutions will help to bump up your XP even more. Apparently so will laying down a lure at the busy Pokestop you’ve selected. You’ll want to do this at a time that you have enough evolutions to occupy most of the 30 minutes that the Incense and Lucky Egg will stay active for. If you’re unsure of whether or not you have enough low level Pokémon to make this a worthwhile endeavor, you can try out this Pidgey calculator first.

An Easy Method for Finding Local Gyms,

Pokestops, Nests and Spawn Sites

Pokestops and gyms map

Here’s a link to a great map tool that was created by two Scottish web developers and coders. If you enter your city name in the search tool, the map will quickly reorient to your locale.  We don’t have a ton of Pokestops near where I live so I’ve found this map to be indispensable.

The SilphRoad is another great site that has lots of PokemonGo resources for players. My favorite is this World Nest Atlas map.

7 PokémonGo Myths YouTube Video

The video is outdated (mid-July) but still interesting…especially for those just getting started with the game.  One interesting myth that I need to confirm:

When is the best time to hurl a Pokeball at a wild Pokémon?  

I’d believed from the start that as the colored rings grew smaller the capture rate went down. So, when the ring is at it’s largest you have the best chance for success.  The guy in this video says it’s the opposite…that your best chance for successful capture is when the colored ring is smallest!  

If anyone has definitive advice on this topic please leave a comment with any relevant  citations below in the Comments section.

How to Get the PokémonGo App on Amazon Fire Tablets


A few months ago during Amazon Prime days I got an Amazon Fire HD. It is perhaps the least expensive decent quality tablet on the market today.  I love my Fire but there’s been a definite learning curve.  One thing I discovered is that it’s not at all easy to load the Google Play Store App on it. Sadly, this rules out your ability to run a whole lot of apps. I was super excited to discover that there is an easy way to do this today. To make sure that the method worked I tried it out on mine…and it works!  Which means that now I can load the PokémonGo app onto my Kindle Fire HD too!  In addition to the step-by-step instructions in the link above here’s a YouTube video explaining the steps too.

As a new Amazon Associate I was thrilled to see that the Fire Tablet now comes in a kid’s style too. There appears to be some significant pluses and minuses to the kid’s versions. The major plus is that it comes with a great kid-proof case and a 2 year warranty against accidents. So it’s replaced by Amazon if it gets broken! The major minus appears to be the kids’ software that Amazon calls ‘Free Time’…apparently Free Time is awful. If you read through some of the reviews for the kids tablet I’ve linked to below you’ll see why.


  • Here’s a link to the kid’s tablet (7″ 16GB Kid’s Fire HD Tablet with case) which is $20 off through October 28th…sorry I just discovered this deal!

Shop Amazon Devices – Fire Kids Edition Tablet $20 Off

  • Here’s a link to the regular 8″ tablet (the Fire HD 8″ with 16 GB’s) which is on sale until December at $20 off…its roughly the same price that I paid for mine…except I got the 10″so it was a little more.

Shop Amazon Devices – All-New Fire HD 8

In both cases the link I included is for the table ‘with ads.’ That’s the one that I got and the ads are only on the lock screen which ends up being a nonissue…it’s the least expensive option.

Photo credit: Glenn Waters ぐれんin Japan. via

Well, that’s all of the latest news and tips that I can think of right now.  When I have another nice sized group of tips and news gathered together, I’ll write another new post.

About vsajewel

Hi...I'm the author of 2 main blogs on WordPress...vsatips...where I write tech tips for mobile devices...primarily ios...2nd is vsatrends...where I write less about tech things and more about everything else. I also host a YouTube channel which I use to better illustrate some of the 'how to's' in my posts. I love everything about technology. Currently, my main interests/platforms are ios, Windows and Amazon Echo. Recently I decided we were spending way too much money with our local cable provider. So I decided to cut the cord. There is a definite learning curve, especially the antennae part, but we successfully did that and are now saving a boatload of money, so I write some about that. I also am extremely conscientious about security because of an event my family endured , so I write a lot about that too. Two sub-categories of security I tend to focus on are the password manager Dashlane and Hardware Firewalls. Last, I take a lot of notes and have been a beta tester for Evernote for many years. I love Evernote! In recent years Apple has beefed up Apple Notes a it’s become a fairly serious note long as its OK if you lose or mess up all your Apple note data. I write about those 2 note platforms primarily.
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