Now that Pokemon Go is officially available in Canada, hundreds more Pokemon trainers will be running around Toronto, Vancouver, and cities across the country to try and catch them all.
The virtual reality game has continued to captivate smartphone users around the world since its release earlier this month. A New Zealand man made headlines after quitting his job to spend the next two months playing the game full time.
But all that Pokemon fun could come at a cost – despite the app being free.
The game uses your smartphone’s GPS to track and transmit your location in order to find Pokemon, which means the game could be eating up your smartphone’s data plan.
Just how much data could you be spending on Pokemon go?
According to analysis provided to the Wall Street Journal, the Pokemon Go app only consumes about 5 to 10 megabytes of data per hour, depending on the type of gameplay you are engaged in.
In comparison, streaming an hour of standard definition video on Netflix uses up about one gigabyte of data (1,000 megabytes is equal to one gigabyte).
Now, according to data from app intelligence firm Sensor Tower, the average iPhone user spent 33 minutes playing Pokemon Go last week.
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That means if Pokemon Go used 10 megabytes of data per hour, you would have to play the game for about seven hours a day for 30 days to use up two gigabytes of data.
But between Pokemon Go, social networking apps, video and music streaming and instant messaging, data usage can add up quickly. Families that share their data on family smartphone plans could also run into data overage issues – especially if there is more than one child on the account.
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Here are some tips to avoid burning through your data plan:
Use Wi-Fi hotspots to your advantage
If you are playing Pokemon Go around your city or town, keep an eye out for places that offer free Wi-Fi – like the public library, a nearby Starbucks, or any other public space with a connection.
Many Pokestops – a place where people can collect supplies, with which they can capture Pokemon – are located at prominent public spaces, so you’ll likely find a way to play without using your data.
Turn off push notifications
You can also turn off push notifications for other apps and services while you are out playing Pokemon Go to crack down on data usage. This will stop your phone from automatically pushing to a server to check for new emails, or social media notifications.
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Bonus: This will also save you a bit of battery life.
Download your local city map data ahead of time
Thanks to some savvy Reddit users, many Pokemon Go fanatics have figured out that you can download your local city map before heading out on your Pokemon quest to save on data and battery life.
To download your local map data from the Google Maps app:
Open Google Maps on your smartphoneTap the menu buttonNavigate to the Settings menuTap on “Offline areas”Tap on the recommended “Home” region or use the “+” button in the bottom right-hand corner to select a specific area of the map.