If you’re a Pokémon Go player, you’re probably one of the millions who use (and love) PokéVision, the website that lets you see which Pokémon are spawning nearby. But what if you don’t want to spend time combing through a website?
That’s where a new (free!) Android app called PokeNotify comes in.
The app is the handiwork of developer Joe Levy, who shared a download link on Reddit, asking Pokémon Go players to test it out and offer feedback. (Update: The app was recently removed from the Google Play store — but Levy told INSIDER in an email that he’s working to bring it back. Plus, the app can still be installed on Android devices via a process called sideloading. In the meantime, you can sign up for email updates about the app’s status right here. Levy also said he plans to release an iOS version of the app within the next month.)
What makes PokeNotify special? It searches your surroundings for only the Pokémon that you want to find. It also delivers push notifications when one of those Pokémon pops up nearby. That means you don’t have to actively navigate to a website like PokéVision (or run around like a maniac outside) to find your favourites — you can just sit back and wait. Even better: Unlike Pokémon Go, this app won’t kill your phone’s battery.
“Between jobs, I had a bunch of free time and decided to use that time in a productive way,” Levy said. “Since my girlfriend is absolutely obsessed with Pokémon Go, and her phone keeps dying because of it, I thought it might be fun to try to build something to help players like her continue to play the game, but without the battery strain.”
Want to try it out? Here’s how to use it:
First, you open the app to find a list of all 151 Pokémon available in the game. You check off which ones you want to search for, then press “Enable Pokémon Notifications.”
Every minute, the app searches up to 1 kilometer away from your location, looking for the Pokémon you selected. If one is found, you get a push notification that says how far away the Pokémon is, in meters, and when it will disappear (they only stay around about 15 minutes).
When you press the notification, Google Maps launches, and you’ll find a pin dropped at the Pokémon’s exact location. (I’ve had my eye on a Tangela recently, and I found one just a short walk away from the office.)
Sure enough, when you arrive at the location, the Pokémon is waiting.
But there are a few catches.
First, I often got notifications for Pokémon that were 700 or 800 meters away, but scheduled to disappear in mere minutes. There wasn’t enough time to reach them unless I took off at a full sprint, so the notification felt useless. And, for now, there’s no way to alter the range in which the app searches.
It seems there are a few bugs, too: Sometimes, when I pressed a notification, Google Maps failed to launch and I was directed to the app’s home screen instead. I got a few duplicate notifications, too.
ome Reddit commenters worried that the app may violate Pokémon Go’s terms of service and could get users banned from the game. But Levy said that this is very unlikely.”PokeNotify does not use your personal Pokémon Go account in any way, so its not possible for Niantic [the makers of Pokémon Go] to tie use of PokeNotify to your Pokémon Go account,” he wrote on the app’s FAQ page. He also told INSIDER that he plans to add new features in future versions of the app that will further protect users from potential bans.
So far, about 50,000 people have downloaded Levy’s app in just about 24 hours, and it’s earned some rave reviews online. If you can get it, it’s a highly useful aid for catching ’em all.
This article has been updated based on information provided after the original publication.
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