how can you enjoy Pokemon Go – without having to upgrade your data plan and a nasty bill that makes you weep tears of regret over your iPhone?
Here are six tips.
1. Networking is key
Whether you are wandering through a Starbucks franchise or an airport or a municipal park with Wifi access, make sure your smartphone’s settings are automatically logging on to known networks, suggests Chuck Hamby, Verizon’s executive director of corporate communications. The less time you play via a cellular connection, the better.
2. Close down unused apps
To be fair, it may not just be Pokemon Go to blame for rampant data usage. If you have a handful of other apps open at the same time, those vampires may also be sucking greedily at your data plan.
Notes Hamby: “Many open apps, especially those that provide location services, will continue sending and receiving data even when your phone or tablet is locked.”
3. Moderation, moderation, moderation
According to the Pokemon Go Database (www.pokemongodb.net), users might expect to churn through 2 MB-8MB or more of data per hour, depending on the different types of play involved. Get too swept up, and that is when you could see the extra charges piling up.
“If Pokemon Go is played for more than six hours per day, an upgraded data plan may be needed,” according to the site.
4. Beware of in-app purchases
Data usage is one thing, but in-app purchases can make it a pricey double whammy.
“If you are playing Po-Go instead of going to see a movie or paying for some other type of entertainment, it may be an even swap,” says Barrett. “But keep track of what you’re spending in real money on PokeCoins. It can add up quickly.”
U.S. players are already spending a reported $1.6 million a day on in-app transactions in Po-Go.
5. Disable notifications
A secret culprit gobbling up data usage: Email and push notifications from various apps, which you probably do not pay attention to anyways.
Automatic app updates are not helping, either. Dig into your smartphone’s settings and turn them off.
6. Make the kids pay
One sure way to make sure your kids have some skin in the game: Charge them for any data overages related to their Pokemon Go obsession. Otherwise, they do not have much incentive to curtail their gameplaying.
That is Shama Diegnan’s plan, as her family bumps up against data limits. “Believe me, if we go over, he is paying for it.”
For a primer on how to play Pokemon Go, see this video(here).
(Editing by Lauren Young, Beth Pinsker and Andrew Hay)