“Hey! This app is using up all my data!”
I was expecting to see a flood of tweets and comments with similar sentiments shortly after the “Pokémon GO” craze began a couple of weeks ago.
Instead, I was met with silence regarding anything about data usage.
Huge mobile data usage is often synonymous with insanely popular apps, like Snapchat and Facebook. Yet, “Pokémon Go” doesn’t seem to use up much data at all.
I did a little test to see how much data “Pokémon Go” uses in an eight-hour period using only cellular data. I walked around a little bit for the test, but I was admittedly mostly tied down to my desk at work for a large chunk of those eight hours.
In an eight-hour period, “Pokémon Go” had only consumed 25 megabytes, which is a little over 3 megabytes per hour. That was a surprising find consider other data hogs like Facebook and Snapchat use up way more data. According to Cisco’s online VNI Services Gauge Tool, one hour of browsing through social media can use up 90 megabytes.
“Pokémon GO’s” low data usage is a great thing considering the game is meant to be played outside where you’re less likely to connect to a WiFi connection.
After the shock of surprise dissolved, it began to make sense. “Pokémon GO” doesn’t do anything that uses up much data at all. It’s not downloading photos, it’s not pre-loading stories, and it’s not auto-playing videos, which are things that social media apps often do and are considered culprits of data overage fees.
Conversely, “Pokémon GO” is mostly using your GPS, which has a worse effect on your battery life than it does on your data limit. And the map you see when you’re walking around in the game doesn’t demand much data at all. The AR aspect, if you have it turned on, only uses your camera, too. No downloading here.
Still, that doesn’t mean you now have licence to play “Pokémon GO” all day every day. For one, you probably have important things to take care of. Go do them.
Secondly, if you played “Pokémon GO” for eight hours a day for 31 days straight (a month), you’d consume just under 20 GB. That’s more than the average 2-4 GB data plan.