Pokemon GO: What Creative App Development students can learn

Tue 1 Dec 2020

Creating Easily Accessible Apps with your Online Masters in Creative App Development
Leverage Unique Mobile Technology with a Masters Degree in Creative App Development

The biggest technology sensation of the summer was undoubtedly Pokémon GO, which almost instantly became the most popular mobile game in history. Following its release in early July, the app quickly went viral, overtaking mobile giants like Twitter and Spotify in daily active users and generating millions of dollars in revenue each day.

It became such a cultural phenomenon by creatively integrating mobile features like augmented reality and geolocation, fundamentally changing perceptions of how mobile app development can interact with real-life environments. Huge successes like Pokémon GO catch the attention of students pursuing an MA in Creative App Development, who are well aware of how fast the industry reacts to technological advances.

Here are some key lessons that can be learned from the popular app.

Creating Easily Accessible Apps with your Online Masters in Creative App Development

While most app developers won't have the budget or built-in brand awareness contributing to the nostalgia factor that made Pokemon GO such an immediate smash, there are certain aspects of Pokemon GO's launch that can be replicated. Pokemon certainly leveraged the success of its initial animated series, video games, and numerous spin-off products twenty years ago.

Creating Easily Accessible Apps

The app's accessibility makes it easy for everyone to get started

People who grew up with the Nintendo Game Boy version may not have kept up with the latest video game consoles, but they all have smartphones. Pokemon GO is available for free on both iOS and Android mobile platforms, making it easily accessible for virtually everyone. The simple original idea of catching Pokemon (short for "pocket dragons"), which are all around us, is brought to life by current mobile technology that gets people out of their houses in order to find them.

Users experience the feeling of catching their first Pokemon from the first session, with no additional complexity introduced until they are already hooked. It can get progressively more complex for gamers that want to go deeper (with a social component and in-app purchase functionality) but also works as a satisfying, simple experience for casual players. Students pursuing their online masters in creative app development can similarly aim to make their apps intuitively accessible, fulfilling expectations engagingly so that it feels like winning.

Leverage Unique Mobile Technology with a Masters Degree in Creative App Development   

Pokemon GO has been so fascinating to players because they have to find the virtual targets in the real world, using their mobile device's GPS to track their location and camera to superimpose the franchise's characters onto the real surroundings shown on the screen. Even the type of Pokemon pursued depends on the player's natural environment around them. Augmented Reality technology enables this interaction between virtual characters and real places, layering new elements over our existing world.

What Students Pursuing their Online

The app uses augmented reality, GPS and other features to bring virtual gaming into the real world

The app also cleverly leverages Google Maps, geolocation and geofencing, and taptic vibration (to make your phone buzz when new Pokemon are near). All of these features already existed but hadn't previously been used in this way, turning an ordinary walk into part of the game. Future mobile apps will seek to expand on this popularization of augmented reality, which has actually been available on smartphones since 2010, and other emerging technologies.

It is an exciting time to launch your career with a Masters degree in creative app development. Pokemon GO has demonstrated how apps can influence behaviour, creating a customizable and immersive experience that is truly mobile. To meet rising expectations of what is possible, app developers can strive to integrate engaging gamification and interactive social elements, limited only by their own creativity. Besides mobile games, MA students in Falmouth Flexible’s Creative App Development program can apply the principles and lessons learned from Pokemon GO's success to all types of app development projects across a range of platforms.

Would you like to create the next app phenomenon by earning your online masters degree in creative app development?

Discover how Falmouth Flexible's MA in Creative App Development can accelerate your career.

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