Saturday 24 February 2018

How to get Pokemon Go in Ireland- and why the international release date has been 'paused'

Pokemon Go. Picture: MarieCPalot/Instagram
Pokemon Go. Picture: MarieCPalot/Instagram

Cara McGoogan

Pokémon Go has proved so popular that the UK release date for the augmented reality game has been postponed after an unexpectedly high volume of downloads in the US and Australia caused it to crash.

The international release of the mobile game that lets users catch Pokémon in real life has been "paused" as the number of users has caused servers to crash.

Niantic, a Google startup that became independent in 2015 and created Pokémon Go with Nintendo, is attempting to bolster its server's capacity. At peak times, some users have received an error message saying "Our servers are experiencing issues. Please come back later", when they tried opening the game.

For now, the international release has been "paused until we're comfortable", John Hanke, the Niantic chief executive, told Business Insider. It is unclear how long it will be before a UK version of the app is available.

As of Wednesday, a total of about 1,300 Pokemon Go users had reported problems accessing the game in Australia over the last two days, according to website, which tracks digital service disruptions.

How to get Pokémon Go in Ireland

Released last week, the game is currently only available in the US, Australia and New Zealand. But people in Ireland keen to get their hands on a copy of the game, which is free to download and has some paid-for features, can still do so.

On an iOS device you can download the app by altering the region settings on your device. First log out of your Apple ID account by opening the App Store app, scrolling down to the bottom, selecting your Apple ID and choosing "Sign Out". Then go to Settings -> General -> Language and Region -> change Region to US, Australia or New Zealand.

You'll need to create a new Apple ID for the region that you've selected. So that you don't have to enter credit card details it's best to do this on a computer. Go to Create Your Apple ID on a browser to set up a second account. You will have to have a separate email address for the new ID.

Once you've entered your details hit "Continue" and follow the steps to verify the account. Then go back to the App Store on your device, scroll down and select "Sign In".  It will ask you to review the new account and suggest you add card details, but you can select "None".

You should now be able to search for Pokémon Go in the App Store and download it, then sign out of the new Apple ID account and back into your old address.

If you have an Apple Music account you'll need to follow one more step to retrieve your music, which will probably be wiped when you sign out of your Apple ID. Log back in to your old Apple ID and then go to Settings -> Music -> turn "iCloud Music Library" on and select "Merge". Your songs and playlists should now automatically download again.

It's a bit more complicated to get the app on an Android device, but still possible. First enable your phone to download apps from outside of the Google Play store by going to Settings -> Security -> give your phone permission to download "Unknown Sources".  

You'll then need to download the Pokémon Go APK file, from an APK download site such as APK Mirror or APK Pure. APK stands for Android Application Package and is the file format Android uses for mobile apps. After hitting download you'll have to say "OK" to the warning message.

Once it has downloaded swipe down from the top of the screen and select "Install" on the Pokémon Go file in the notification centre. There have been reports of malicious software appearing in Pokémon Go APK files so make sure to check reviews before downloading or, to avoid hackers having access to your phone, wait until the app is officially released in the UK.

The Proofpoint security researchers who discovered the tampered-with version of the app warned: "This is an extremely risky practice and can easily lead users to installing malicious apps on their own mobile devices."

"Downloading available applications from legitimate app stores is the best way to avoid compromising your device and the networks it accesses," they continued. "Just because you can get the latest software on your device does not mean that you should."

Pokémon Go is already wildly popular and the thousands of downloads of the game have sent Nintendo's shares soaring. However, there have been some unintended consequences of the success of the game that encourages users to walk around their area collecting Pokémon.

Four savvy armed robbers in the US lured unsuspecting players to a remote car park to rob them, while in another incident a US player stumbled across a dead body. Australian police also felt the need to warn users to make sure they look up from their phones when playing to cross roads.

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