If you’re looking for something other than reading to do with your smartphone, another option is almost here. The Verge reports that Pokémon Go, the geolocation game based on Nintendo’s hit Pokémon property which I mentioned a few months ago and touched on again last month, is in the process of rolling out to Android and iOS devices everywhere. Gameplay involves going out to specific places in the real world to capture digital monsters, then taking them to “gyms” at other places in the real world to fight.
But the key word here is “in the process.” Even though The Verge provides both Google Play Store and iTunes App Store links, the Play Store link currently shows up as incompatible with all devices (including my Nexus 6 and a friend’s Moto X Pure) because it can’t be installed in the US yet, and the iTunes link currently only works for the Australian store. But presumably all that will get straightened out over the next day or so.
I’m looking forward to seeing what effect this has on smartphone gamers being willing to get outside and play. Ingress is fun enough, but it’s not an IP most people have heard of. Pokémon has a huge fandom already baked in, which could mean the potential for a lot more players.
Now, if there was just some way to get these players reading more ebooks, too…
Update: Ars Technica points out that Android users can download the Pokémon Go app from APK Mirror, as long as their device accepts sideloaded applications. On my Nexus 6, I just got the Niantic logo splash screen then blank grey that didn’t go away, but that may be because it’s not compatible with Android N yet.