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2252 posts

Uber Geek

# 214830 30-May-2017 17:38
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 {I didn't know where to put this, and my explanation of what I am trying to say will suck}


I play the game Pokemon Go, and the basic premise is that in order to play and it to record how far you have walked etc, you need to keep the app on screen/in foreground for anything to work. Using another app, or locking the screen means nothing works. 


Then they introduced this simple Bluetooth accessory called the Pokemon Go Plus (from now on just Plus) which connects to the game via Bluetooth and allows you to interact with the game while having the screen off. The accessory vibrates and shows different colours depending on the action in game. 


I purchased the Bluetooth accessory early on and it change how I played the game and if I am honest, is why I am still playing the game.


Back in March 2017, an app update "broke" the Plus - when the screen on the phone was locked, the device would vibrate and show red (indicating general failure) and would not allow interaction with the game. When the screen was unlocked, things generally worked at the expense of battery life . If you wanted to have the screen locked, rolling back to an earlier version restored functionality until the app update was forced.


As frustration grew at the lack of any fixes for this issue, I tried something. I grabbed another phone, installed Pokemon Go on the phone and connected the Plus. I then connected this second phone to the first via mobile hotspot and ... the Plus worked .. it just worked as it had for all the months leading up to March. As a result of this success, I determined that the Plus issues must be due to Android 7 as the second phone was running Android 6 ... 


Until today... the Android 7 phone died, so I moved the SIM card from it over to the Android 6 phone and tried Pokemon Go and the Plus on it. Almost immediately all the the issues I had on Android 7 were there - random red light vibrations and failure to interact with the game world while the screen was locked (worked with screen on). So, I grabbed another Android 6 phone, put my SIM card in that new phone and turned on mobile hotspot and connected the Pokemon Go phone to this WiFi connection and took it out for a test. Everything just worked, just like it had when used with my Android 7 phone over WiFi.


WiFi connected to another phone that has data from a mobile provider - works
Directed connected to data from a mobile provider - does not work


Can anyone explain to me if there are any settings that time out mobile data quicker than WiFi data?
Or is it Bluetooth related?
Or is it "bad coding" in the game?


Cheers for reading everyone!

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588 posts

Ultimate Geek
Inactive user

  # 1791960 30-May-2017 19:26
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So to summarize?:


  • Pokemon Go app works fine over both mobile & Wifi when screen is on.
  • Pokemon Go app only works over Wifi when screen is off.

Try playing around with power saving modes on your device; some of these will disable background sync, mobile data etc when screen is off. This will be dependent upon your device make/model/ROM and any third-party management apps you may use.


Either way sounds likely to be an app bug.

2252 posts

Uber Geek

  # 1792188 31-May-2017 10:17
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^Good summary


When app version 0.57.4 was still available to use (Niantic eventually block old versions of the app), you could use app version 0.57.4 without any issues (Mobile Data, Screen Off, PoGo Plus works) and then install app version 0.59.1 and everything broke (Mobile Data, Screen Off, PoGo Plus fails). Without then doing any rebooting/resetting of the device I could reinstall app version 0.57.4 again and everything works.


It definitely feels like an app problem


With the Nexus 5X currently away for repair, I can't look at its configuration, but I have gone through the Samsung J5 Prime and made sure background data is always on and there are no random power settings blocking it (though not being familiar with the UI, I may have missed something)






2252 posts

Uber Geek

  # 1792472 31-May-2017 17:24
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After doing some reading online (mostly dated articles) about mobile data disconnecting while screen was locked I decided to try something.


Turned off WiFi on my phone (Samsung J5 Prime) and locked the screen.
Almost immediately the GoPlus vibrated red and for the next half an hour did not pick up anything from the PokeStops that are around work (GPS drift allows me to get to more than the one I "sit" on). As soon as I unlocked the screen I was able to collect again.


At work our mobile phone plan is through Vodafone and I had a brain wave - I checked on a data only SIM I had sitting on my desk and then did a SIM swap so that I could use the connection in the Samsung J5 Prime. I rebooted the phone, took out my personal SIM card (2Degrees) and put in this work data only SIM. Turned on the phone, confirmed connectivity to the internet and opened PoGo. Connected the GoPlus and locked the screen.


After a minute I got a blue light and vibration - for PokeStop. I collected and waited.. For the next hour there was only one red light vibration on the GoPlus.


At home time I left the Vodafone SIM in the phone and walked the 1.2km back to the car, and I was able to spin PokeStops and collect Pokemon with ease and there was only one red light vibration the entire journey (which happened just outside work).


So is my issue based on weak connection to 2Degrees network?
And if so, how do I fix this?

2252 posts

Uber Geek

  # 1792542 31-May-2017 19:31
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Thanks mods for moving this here.


As I asked in the locked thread, it would seem that the mobile data signal I get on a phone with a 2D SIM card in it is "weaker" than the same phone with a Vodafone SIM card.


I have really do not want to move away from 2D (and it seems silly for me to do for a game), but does anyone have any ideas what I could do in order to make sure that when the screen is locked, the mobile data signal does not jump all over the place causing the GoPlus device to stop working with the game.


I have gone through every configuration settings I can (4G, 3G, 2G Auto), (3G, 2G Auto), (3G Only) and (2G Only) to see if that provided a stable connection - none of those worked
I have cleared the APN settings


Purchasing another SIM card was put down in the locked thread

3885 posts

Uber Geek


  # 1792568 31-May-2017 20:08

Wild guess but are you in an area that has 2deg native reception, or an area where your phone roams to Vodafone? Maybe there is an Android bug that doesn't allow apps to use background data while data roaming.

A good way to test would be to find someone who has a car head unit with built in Pandora support. As those head units can skip tracks etc in Pandora directly from the head unit. Meaning you can lock the phone and check that it still has full data and bluetooth connectivity. This will tell you if the problem is something specific to Pokemon or not.

I will be upgrading my phone soon, so the same bug could easily affect me. Assuming it is an Android bug.

2252 posts

Uber Geek

  # 1792876 1-Jun-2017 08:43
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According to the coverage map, Dunedin's CBD which is where I mostly play Pokemon Go (the GoPlus allows me to press the button at work, and I go for lunch walks and walks to/from the car) is a 4G area (as well as 3G Boosted (whatever that is), 3G and 2G.


Home (Mosgiel) is 3G Boosted, 3G and 2G


I have the same issue in both locations.


I was made aware before purchasing the Nexus 5X that it only supported the Spark side of Band 28 for 4G, but when I used the phone it always said 4G in the CBD.
I don't know the technical band specifications of the Samsung J5 Prime I am using at the moment




Last night I factory reset my Nexus 4 and put the Vodafone SIM card in it and did a walk around Mosgiel with the GoPlus - worked
Installed my 2Degrees SIM and tested again - worked
This morning walking to work and playing the game with 2D SIM - worked (though phone struggled with dense Pokemon areas)
- this phone only supports 3G and 2G (too old for 4G support)


Does this mean that the problem is 4G on 4G phones, or that the game just needs a very strong/consistent network connection when the screen is locked and 4G isn't?

2252 posts

Uber Geek

  # 1792880 1-Jun-2017 08:47
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Anyone know of any apps that allow you to check what connection you are actually getting from the cellphone towers?


I don't think a Speedtest is what I am looking for - maybe something that says "You are connected to 4G, 2 bars out of 5 on band 3 (700MHZ)"


EDIT: Found one called Open Signal




Downloaded on the Samsung J5 Prime and compared


Vodafone - 5/5 signal strength, 4G connection 3/3 67ms Latency, -87dBm (73%) Speed Test 80Mbit Down, 24Mbit Up


2Degrees - 2/5 signal strength, 4G connection 3/3 75ms Latency, -81dBm (76%) Speed Test 23Mbit Down, 20Mbit Up
(Next test had 5/5 signal strength)


According to the map I am way closer to the 2D tower I was connecting to for the tests (with another one close by) than the Vodafone tower, which is situated up the hill




2252 posts

Uber Geek

  # 1793150 1-Jun-2017 14:45
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Went to the 2Degrees store and explained the situation to a gentleman who allowed me to do a SIM swap.


Came back to work to do some testing on the Samsung J5 Prime (4G phone) and as soon as the screen was locked with the game running I had the same problems


So, as I was told, the SIM swap did nothing.


Sitting here with the phone screen on, there are no issues




At this stage I am confused about why a 4G capable phone has issues when the screen is locked, while a 3G phone doesn't (and why forcing the 4G phone to 3G doesn't help)
Nor can I understand why this has only just become an issue (since April 2017)


It is very silly to want to change mobile providers because of issues that are probably caused by a game .. but I don't know if the game will ever fix this issue.

588 posts

Ultimate Geek
Inactive user

  # 1793178 1-Jun-2017 15:15
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So updated summary?:


  • Works on Vodafone 3G / 4G
  • Works only on 2degrees 3G

I concur with this:


Aredwood: Wild guess but are you in an area that has 2deg native reception, or an area where your phone roams to Vodafone? Maybe there is an Android bug that doesn't allow apps to use background data while data roaming.


Or 4G+ROM/App related bug?


As @Aredwood also mentioned; try replicate the issue using another app (on both devices / SIM's) - i.e. something that will verifiably consume data whilst the display is off.

2252 posts

Uber Geek

  # 1793200 1-Jun-2017 15:52
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Potentially better summary





  • 4G capable mobile, connected to 2Degrees - screen locked - PoGo Plus does not work
  • 3G only mobile, connected to 2Degrees - screen locked - PoGo works
  • 4G capable mobile, connected to Vodafone - screen locked - PoGo works 
  • 3G only mobile, connected to Vodafone - screen locked - PoGo works 
  • 4G capable mobile. connected to 2Degrees - screen unlocked - PoGo Plus works
  • 4G capable mobile, connected to WiFi being controlled by another mobile phone connected to 2Degrees - screen locked - PoGo Plus works






It will have to be tomorrow, but it looks like Google Play music will allow me to play the music while the screen is off (and at some point I have "purchased" some songs which I can confirm have not been downloaded to the phone)




Open Signal reports the cellphone tower ID, would anyone at 2D be able to advise if they have only just been put into service in the last 2-3 months?



2252 posts

Uber Geek

  # 1793285 1-Jun-2017 18:42
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I have concluded that 2Degrees and Vodafone are not the cause of the issue here, Niantic and their crappy app/development team are.


Came home to Mosgiel and took the dogs on a walk.


Pokemon Go was connected to a 4G capable mobile on the Vodafone network; 90% of the walk was interrupted by these red vibrations as soon as I was within range of a Pokemon or PokeStop.
After the first few vibrations I connected to Google Play Music and streamed a song from the internet with the screen locked. The music played without any issues, while the GoPlus continued to red vibrate.


Niantic almost had me changing over to Vodafone in some capacity, but now they are close to losing an active player. 

588 posts

Ultimate Geek
Inactive user

  # 1793288 1-Jun-2017 18:58
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So are we sure that the app is in fact losing WAN connection?

Are the symptoms the same whether it's just Bluetooth that's disconnecting?

Could possibly be an issue between BT and 4G; or merely coincidental as I've found BT can tend to suffer diminished range, interference etc outdoors.

2252 posts

Uber Geek

  # 1793440 2-Jun-2017 08:44
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Ok, back at work and I decided to do one more test


4G capable phone, connected to 2Degress - screen locked, while playing a song from Google Play Music - PoGo Plus continues to function
Turning off the music, gave me approx 3 minutes before the PoGo Plus fails again


Not sure why the test last night on Vodafone in Mosgiel failed to give the same result, and I wish I had my Nexus 5X and a few other mobile phones to do more concrete testing


I shudder to think just how much extra mobile data I will be using with Google Play Music on infinite repeat when out of WiFi range...

588 posts

Ultimate Geek
Inactive user

  # 1793461 2-Jun-2017 09:30
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Sooo.... your Pokemon App is failing to keep mobile connection active when display is off on your "4G" phone; however if another app (i.e. Google Music) is running which does keep the connection active the Poke app works fine.


This is suggesting a compatibility issue between your Android ROM (on your 4G device) and the Pokemon App, not necessarily 4G/3G hardware related - this is useful info you should feedback to the app developers to investigate.

2252 posts

Uber Geek

  # 1793551 2-Jun-2017 10:59
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My only issue on the Nexus 5X is that due to changes in memory management, Android Operating System + Pokemon Go = 1.8GB RAM, leaving nothing left.
Can't even use the AR function in game on that device as it crashes the app because there is no more RAM. Going to be a PITA to get resolved when the phone comes back from repair.
Based on this lack of RAM, can I even play Google Music + PoGo together to bypass this issue.




All this testing has brought up an interesting question about 2D - why is the 4G network considerably slower than the Vodafone network in the same location.


Is this "by design" due to differences in how [stuff and things], or is there no explanation?

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