Pokémon Go – the new app craze that is taking the world by storm – is unfortunately, despite recent efforts, continued to be plagued by a freezing and crashing app to much frustration of Pokémon trainers worldwide.
The latest augmented reality craze that we covered recently has had numerous problems since launch including logins failing (particularly through the Pokémon Trainer Club) and the app being extremely unreliable.
Despite much fixing going on behind the scenes at developer Niantic, unfortunately the dreaded freezing app issue still remains. What’s causing it? Let’s take a look.
The app freezes – seemingly randomly. But rather than crashing (i.e. the apps doing nothing or quits unexpectedly), most of the time the app continues to ‘play on’ but no longer responds to user input (i.e. touching the screen, attempting to open the menu or catch a Pokémon).
What’s Causing It?
Well, we can likely rule out a few things here.
Firstly, it’s unlikely to be demand on the servers. By now, almost a month after the UK launch, we expect that Niantic have finally managed to boost capacity on their servers to cope with the numbers of players. Also, as with any new craze or fad, things have likely died down a little recently, many people downloading and playing the app but who have since given up.
Secondly, Internet connectivity. It’s unlikely to be the source of the problem as internet connectivity issues across so many different devices and so many different internet connections are unlikely to be coincidentally dropping out at the point the app freezes. Furthermore, when the app ‘freezes’ it seems to continue to be fully operational apart from the fact that it no longer responds to user input (which, I admit, makes the app pretty useless – unless all you’re doing is walking to hatch your currently incubated eggs, in which case you should be OK). Having tested this out, although the app does have a tenancy to stop responding and/or crash when your internet connection drops or you are switching from one connection to another (i.e. your home wifi to 3G/4G when you leave your home), the app also has a tendency to freeze when there’s no connection drop or switching of connection – so whilst this is a possibility (and more likely than the first reason), it’s still down there on the list of possible causes.
So… what’s likely to be causing it?
I’m putting my money on a bug in the application. Yes, I know they’ve been working on it – but a developers work is never done! And with the tendency to throw an app out there and then fix the bugs, it wouldn’t surprise us if this was the case. Even once you are aware of the effect of a bug, the cause is not always evident or easy to track down.
To be honest, this bug has probably been bottom of the pile (hopefully, until now) because of the much more severe problems that Niantic have had to be busy fixing – namely people not being able to play the app at all, rather than it crashing during use (albeit fairly frequently).
What Can I Do (How Do I Fix This)?
This depends on the way you’re asking the question.
How do you fix this – as in, how do you resolve the problem / bug that is causing this to happen? The answer is, you can’t. We’ll have to leave this one in the hands of the developers at Niantic I’m afraid.
But fear not – there’s a relatively pain free solution as a temporary workaround – and it’s quite easy.
If (when) the Pokémon Go app stops responding to your inputs (i.e. when you touch the screen), simply quit the app and restart. When the app starts again, you’ll notice that it is once again responding to your inputs and you can play normally again. Please note: if you are walking at the time of doing this, you may lose a few fractions of a kilometer whilst the app restarts. Sorry, there’s little way to avoid this, unless you stop walking when you quit the app and don’t start again until the apps reloaded. However, the impact of this is going to be negligible – particularly when you consider the dodgy straight line GPS tracking that Pokémon Go employs!
To quit the app on an iPhone, double tap the home button and then swipe the Pokémon Go app upwards. Then start the app again as normal.
For Android phones, go to the Application Manager (in Settings), click the name of the app, and then select ‘Force Quit’. Start the app again as normal.
It’s pretty annoying – I’ll admit being totally frustrated with this myself. We’ve got to sit tight and pray Niantic answer our calls. Until then, use the fix above and Pokémon Go should just be a mildly frustrating yet addictive app to play, rather than a totally unplayable one!