Pokemon Go: A complete beginner’s guide

Pokemon Go: A complete beginner's guide

Pokemon Go: A complete beginner’s guide

Pokémon Go has taken the world by storm and all you need to play it is a smartphone and a willingness to get outside, but just what is it? And why should you care?

If you don’t know a Bulbasaur from a Butterfree this is the guide for you, covering the basics of Pokémon and the key things you need to know about Pokémon Go.

What is Pokémon?

Unless you’ve spent the last 20 years under a rock, in a cave, or at the bottom of the sea, you’ve probably come across Pokémon before now, but it can seem odd and even impenetrable if you’ve never played one of the games.

The series spans video games, TV shows, films, a trading card game and more, but at its core it’s about exploring a world and collecting wild animals known as Pokémon.

Players capture them by using their own team of Pokémon to battle them, then, once weakened, throwing a ‘Poké Ball’ which they become trapped inside. But unlike the real world, where you’d end up with an angry, terrified creature, capturing a Pokémon bonds it to you.

Pokemon

Over the years more and more Pokémon have been added, with the number now totalling 751 and these range from critters that are much like real world creatures, such as Pidgey, which is essentially a vicious pigeon, to complete fantasy, like Mewtwo, which is a psychic creature that resembles an alien.

As well as collecting new Pokémon you must also train and level up your existing ones, to make them stronger and unlock new abilities for them. This is also usually done through battles, giving the games an RPG edge.

What is Pokémon Go?

Pokémon Go takes the Pokémon concept out into the real world. Players are still Pokémon trainers, but rather than exploring a virtual world you have to physically walk around.

Pokémon Go shows you a map of the real world with your location on it and as you wander you’ll come across Pokémon, which you can then capture by throwing a Poké Ball.

Pokemon Go

Aside from having to go outside to play it properly there are a few other differences between Pokémon Go and other Pokémon games.

For one thing it’s free and available for iOS and Android phones. This is in part why it’s proving so popular, as previous Pokémon games have been exclusive to Nintendo hardware and usually cost money, putting up a significant barrier to entry.

The other obvious difference is that Pokémon Go is an augmented reality game, as when you find a Pokémon you view it through your phone’s camera overlaid on the real world.

Picking your first Pokémon

Like many other Pokémon games, you get to choose your first Pokémon in Pokémon Go, however you’re limited to three options. There’s Squirtle, a water-type Pokémon that resembles a turtle, Charmander, which looks a bit like a dinosaur crossed with a dragon, and Bulbasaur, which is basically a plant with legs.

Squirtle

There’s no right or wrong answer when choosing, as they all have the same amount of potential, so you’re safe to go with whichever one you like the look of most.

Pokémon types

As well as all looking different, Pokémon each have different strengths and weaknesses, dictated mainly by what ‘type’ they are. There are a wide range of types, including normal, fighting, flying, poison, ground, rock, bug, ghost, steel, fire, water, grass, electric, psychic, ice, dragon, dark and fairy.

Pokemon types

Each of these is particularly strong or weak against specific other types, a bit like a really convoluted game of rock paper scissors. Memorizing all the strengths and weaknesses can be a headache, but some are quite obvious, for example water types do a lot of damage to fire types, while fire is effective against grass.

Pokémon Go will tell you if you’re using a type that’s ineffective against whatever you’re battling too, so it’s something you’ll learn over time.

Power and evolutions

In Pokémon Go your Pokémon don’t gain levels, but you can power them up with a combination of ‘stardust’, which is collected by capturing any Pokémon, and ‘candy’ specific to that creature, which is collected by capturing more Pokémon of the same species.

Evolution

You can also evolve your critters using candy, which turns them into a different, stronger Pokémon. Most can evolve at least once, but some have multiple evolutions. Charmander for example first evolves into Charmeleon, which looks like a bigger, angrier version of its initial form, and then into Charizard, which is a winged, dragon-like creature.

Building a team

The main joy of Pokémon Go is finding new and exotic creatures to add to your collection and to have the best chance at this you’ll want to head beyond your back garden, as different Pokémon are found in different places and their locations often relate to their types. For example, you’re likely to find water type Pokémon near rivers and oceans.

To have an effective team you’ll want at least a few different powerful Pokémon of different types, so don’t just focus on strengthening one. Taking down the toughest gyms will require a varied line-up.

Battling

Battles play a smaller role in Pokémon Go than the main series of games, as you don’t need to battle Pokémon to catch them, instead you just throw a Poké Ball as soon as you spot them.

Poke Ball

But there are still gym battles and in these you’ll fight against other player’s creatures, so expect a challenge.

Fights play out a bit differently too, as where in most Pokémon games they’re a turn-based affair, here Pokémon attack in real time. Tap on an enemy to use your basic attack or tap and hold to use a more powerful one and swipe left or right to avoid being hit.

What are gyms?

In most Pokémon games gyms house tough trainers, which are a bit like bosses. In Pokémon Go they’re defended by other player’s Pokémon.

These are in real world locations, often around landmarks and points of interest, but they’re easy to find as they’re the largest icons on the in-game map.

They’re controlled by one of three different teams- red, blue or yellow. Once your trainer reaches level 5 (a process which happens through collecting Pokémon and doing other activities in the game) they can pick a team to join and fight for that team to claim gyms.

Pokemon Go gym

Winning fights at gyms gets you experience points to help you level up further and if you take control of an enemy gym you can leave one of your Pokémon there to help defend it. This is worth doing as for every 21 hours that you have a Pokémon there you’ll get Pokécoins to spend at the in-game shop, and stardust to power up your creatures.

You can also fight Pokémon at gyms owned by your team, and this is considered training and both helps you and the gym, as friendly battles add to its ‘prestige’, eventually allowing additional Pokémon to be housed there to help defend it.

What next?

There’s no end game to Pokémon Go, for now all you can really do is collect more Pokémon and take control of local gyms, but the game is likely to develop over time. With so many players already Niantic would be crazy not to capitalize on it and add more content.

Even with what’s here now this could easily be your next addiction, so make sure to check out our battery saving guide too, so your phone doesn’t die just as you’re catching a Gyarados.

Announcing TechCrunch’s AI and VR/AR Pavilions at Disrupt SF — Apply now for free exhibit space

Disrupt VR/AI At TechCrunch’s upcoming Disrupt SF (Sept. 12-14), artificial intelligence (AI) and virtual/augmented reality (AR/VR) will be a big subject on the main stage as well as a featured presence on the exhibit floor, where TechCrunch will host a startup pavilion for each category. Because there are lots of very early stage startups in AI and VR/AR, we are offering five companies in each… Read More

Review: updated: Hyundai Tucson

Review: updated: Hyundai Tucson

Design, interior and infotainment

Update: Review and score updated to reflect the recent software update that adds Android Auto and Apple CarPlay to the Tucson with navigation.

Station wagons, or estates and touring’s for those on the eastern side of the Atlantic, were once a staple for the American car buyer. It was the ultimate family vehicle that was comfortable with tons of space. Americans ditched the station wagon for the minivan and later the sport utility vehicle (SUV). The last decade paved way for a new type of vehicle: the crossover utility vehicle (CUV).

While it has a fancy new name, the CUV is the result of car buyers circling back to the station wagon, regardless of whether they’d admit it. Theoretically, the CUV combines the tall seating position of a sport utility vehicle (SUV) with the comfort, drivability and fuel economy of a car. In reality, it’s a hatchback or station wagon with extra ground clearance.

Regardless of what you call it, Hyundai has an all-new Tucson compact CUV that looks simple but quite upscale. Hyundai sent me a gorgeous Caribbean blue 2016 Tucson Limited AWD, loaded with the Ultimate Package that retails for $34,945 (£30,930 for the similarly-equipped Tucson Premium SE 1.6 T-GDI Petrol 4WD DCT automatic or AU$43,490 for the Tucson Highlander 1.6 T-GDI petrol AWD) to test for a week.

Hyundai Tucson

I dig the Tucson’s new look: the front-end has a mean grin to it, though it’s not too aggressive. The car has an understated look that is more typical of luxury cars than the mainstream ones it competes with. Hyundai also reserved the use of chrome to some parts of the grille and door handles, which I appreciate deeply – I despise chrome accents on cars.

Interior

Step inside the new Tuscon, and you’re treated to soft-touch materials all over that give the car a feel of luxury. The heavily-insulated doors open and close with a heavy “thunk” that’s typically associated with premium cars. Grab the leather-wrapped steering wheel, and your hands feel at home with the integrated thumb grips.

Hyundai Tucson

Look forward, and you’re treated to a pair of analog gauges for the tachometer, engine coolant temperature, speedometer and fuel. Sandwiched between the gauges is a 4.2-inch, multi-function LCD that displays your trip, fuel economy, driver assist, turn-by-turn navigation and music information. Hyundai provides access to settings for driver assists and vehicle conveniences, like how long the lights stay on after you get out of the car, sensitivity of the automatic headlamps, enable or disable the smart trunk and more, via the small LCD.

Everything looks and feels good initially, but then you reach down for the shifter and notice the lower center console is made of hard, cheap plastics with fake stitching that doesn’t look premium at all.

You move your knee around a little and notice there’s a padded vinyl cover for your right knee. Most of the interior of the Tucson looks luxe – until you reach for the center console. It’s understandable to use cheaper plastics on the lower parts of the dash, but the transition from a nicely-appointed, padded knee rest to the cheapest plastic of the interior doesn’t match well in my eyes.

I’d rather Hyundai forgo the padded knee rests for a higher-quality center console that matches the rest of the interior, but I could be nitpicking. The Tucson as tested is not a cheap car, and the padded knee rest feels like slapping a Band-Aid to cover up bigger problems.

Nevertheless, the Tucson has a well-laid out, driver-focused interior. The center stack, where the infotainment display and climate controls reside, has a slight tilt towards the driver. There’s a large, powered panoramic sunroof that occupies most of the roof and brightens up the all-black interior. If you find the sunlight annoying, there’s a powered sunshade that covers the entire glass panel.

Infotainment system

Hyundai announced their Display Audio infotainment system nearly a year ago for its first public demo at CES 2015. The 2016 Tucson is the first Hyundai to integrate the new system.

Gone from Display Audio is the CD player, finally. I haven’t purchased a CD since the early days of in-car iPod connectivity, with the Alpine KCA-420i, so I won’t lose any sleep over it.

Hyundai Tucson Display Audio

Mounted at the top of the center stack is an 8-inch LCD with a resolution of 800 x 480. It’s not high-DPI, like your smartphone, but you’re not spending a long amount of time staring at the screen from a few inches away, either. Mounted directly below the display are clearly-labeled buttons that provide direct access to frequently used functions and knobs, like volume and radio tuning or music file navigation.

As someone that prefers tactile feedback while driving, I appreciate the buttons. It might not look as sleek as a completely black panel of capacitive touch buttons, or as simple as touchscreen-only designs, but function is always more important than form to me.

Steering wheel controls are available for your basic volume, next/previous track or preset, voice command, audio source and phone functions as well. I found myself using the steering wheel controls most of the time in the car.

The entire user interface is familiar and identical to other Hyundai and Kia vehicles, including the Optima. There’s a split home screen that shows navigation and audio functions side-by-side. I found myself using the SiriusXM interface most of the time.

Display Audio features HD Radio, SiriusXM, USB audio, Pandora connectivity and iPhone or iPod support. The SiriusXM tuner supports time-shifting for stations set to the first preset, so you can start over or replay Taylor Swift tracks over and over again to your heart’s content.

There’s one USB port in the center console with a large cubby that fits phablets, like my Nexus 6, with room to spare. The USB port can be used for standard flash drives with MP3s on it or your phone. I measured power output on the USB port using a Drok USB power meter at 0.8-amps with my Nexus 6 plugged in and 0.5-amps with my iPhone 6S, so there’s plenty of power to charge your devices, but it won’t charge nearly as fast as a dedicated 2.1-amp or QuickCharge-compatible chargers.

Navigating flash drives is straightforward. You can navigate by track information, like artist, album, song or song title, but I prefer to select my music by folder. Display Audio maintains the folder structure of your flash drive, so if you’re particular about how you organize your music folders, there won’t be any annoying surprises here.

Hyundai Tucson Pandora

Pandora connectivity is available for Android and iPhones. Android relies on Bluetooth audio streaming, while iOS requires a wired USB connection. Shockingly, Pandora via Bluetooth with my Nexus 6 sounded just as rich as the iPhone 6S’s wired connection, and a significant quality upgrade compared to the AVN 4.0-based system in the Kia Optima and Hyundai Sonata, which had audible compression artifacts and muddy bass.

Hyundai has not confirmed what changed with Display Audio to drastically improve the audio quality. I predict Hyundai upgraded the Bluetooth stack used in Display Audio to support the AAC audio codec. Your typical advanced audio distribution profile (A2DP) audio implementation only requires support for low complexity subband coding (SBC), which focuses on bandwidth efficiency and not sound quality.

A2DP supports additional codecs, like MP3 and AAC, but infotainment systems don’t typically support receiving the optional codecs. Theoretically, if the receiver supports MP3 or AAC decoding, then there’s virtually no audio quality difference between wired and wireless connections. Pandora streams are encoded in AAC at bitrates up to 192kbps (Pandora One), so if it can pass the raw AAC signal to the car and let the infotainment system decode it, audio quality is limited to the digital-analog-converters (DAC) in the car.

The typical Bluetooth audio streaming that relies on SBC requires the audio source to be decoded, re-encoded to SBC, sent to the receiver, then decoded again, which results in awful sound quality that rivals SiriusXM for poor compression and low bit rates.

Navigation in the Tucson works without any surprises. You can input addresses or search POIs. The maps aren’t as fancy and 3D as luxury vehicles, but it all does the job. I will commend Hyundai for not employing safety lockouts that prevent using the navigation functions when the car is moving. There’s a disclaimer that pops up every time the car starts that asks you to agree, but it goes away after a short amount of time.

SiriusXM NavTraffic is supported in the US and requires a $3.99 per month fee, while International versions of the car use radio data via the traffic message channel (TNC). I’m not fond of SiriusXM NavTraffic at all. The subscription is too much to pay for something that’s offered for free on my smartphone that’s always with me. There’s also the issue in which I can spot road traffic and SiriusXM will not report anything.

Bluetooth is available for smartphone pairing. I didn’t encounter any issues with my Nexus 6 or iPhone 6S when trying to pair. Both devices paired, downloaded contacts and call history without any issues. There isn’t support for in-car text messaging, but you’re better off using Siri or Google voice recognition for hands-free text replies.

Voice commands are available, but the system is slow to comprehend, inaccurate and doesn’t work very well, like most offline, automotive voice recognition systems. I’ve yet to experience in-car voice recognition that can rival Siri or Google Now, but the Tucson doesn’t support Apple CarPlay or Android Auto yet.

Siri Eyes-Free is available when paired with a compatible iPhone. With Eyes-Free, Siri can be triggered by holding down the voice recognition button on the steering wheel. I found myself defaulting to using my iPhone in the Tucson, because of Siri’s inherent in-car speech recognition abilities.

Android Auto & Apple CarPlay

When Hyundai announced Display Audio and demonstrated development boxes at CES, there was a focus on Android Auto and CarPlay connectivity. The 2016 Tucson received Android Auto and Apple CarPlay support via software update in May.

The implementation in the Tucson is the same as the 2017 Elantra and works just as well, just plug in your iOS or Android smartphone and follow the prompts. Hyundai lets you use the native navigation and Android Auto or Apple CarPlay seamlessly, so you can choose whichever interface you prefer.

Audio, driver assists and BlueLink

Hyundai doesn’t offer a branded audio system upgrade in the Tucson. Exclusive to the Limited trim levels is an eight-speaker sound system with external amplifier, while the lower trim levels sport a six-speaker system. While there are a total of eight speakers, there are only six discrete audio channels, because Hyundai counts each individual driver as a speaker.

The Tucson has six discrete audio channels: front, rear, center and subwoofer channels. The front doors each have a woofer, tweeter and count as two speakers. Hyundai installs the subwoofer on the side of the cargo area.

The subwoofer and mid-bass is a little muddy, while the tweeters could offer more clarity. I’d say sound quality is adequate for your daily commute, but not as impressive as the premium-branded Infinity or Lexicon systems in the Sonata and Genesis sedans. It’s definitely not an audiophile-level system, but I expect more from the range-topping Limited trim.

Driver assists

Hyundai’s suite of driver assists includes a blind-spot monitor (BSM) system, backup camera that’s standard on Sport and Limited trims, and downhill brake control (DBC) that’s standard on all trims. Check the box for the Ultimate Package, and you get lane departure warning (LDW) and automatic emergency braking with pedestrian detection (AEB).

The radar-based BSM aids in lane changes by detecting other cars in the blind spot and provides audible and visual alerts accordingly. Hyundai integrates a flashing indicator into the side mirrors that flashes once if it detects a car in the blind spot.

Hyundai Tucson blind spot

When you use the turn signal and it detects a car in the blind spot or a car that’s approaching at a faster rate of speed in the adjacent lane, the indicator flashes rapidly and the car beeps to notify you. If the car is in reverse, the same sensors are used for rear cross-traffic detection, which is extremely helpful in parking lots with limited visibility while you’re backing out.

A backup camera is standard on all Tucson trim levels, which provides a good enough view of what’s behind the car. Hyundai provides an overlay with active guidelines that gives you an approximate idea of where the car will end up depending on your steering wheel input.

Hyundai Tucson backup camera

DBC is a neat little feature that helps getting the Tucson down steep hills, ideally where there’s ice, snow or other slippery surfaces. Simply press the button located below the shifter and the car automatically controls the brake and throttle to get the car down the incline at 5 mph. I tested this feature going down a steep hill in the rain, where the technology isn’t necessarily needed, but it was the only place I could test it.

I found DBC to be a lot easier to use than attempting to work the brakes to maintain a slower speed going down a steep incline. This feature can be a lifesaver for those who live atop a steep hill where it snows or freezes over a lot, and makes life easier for more experienced drivers.

LDW is a purely passive affair. It’s only active when the LDW indicator in the gauge cluster is green, which is at speeds above 40 mph, like most other cars. The system alerts you if you’re about to depart the lane with a visual display in the gauge cluster, plus a series of annoying beeps if you leave the lane.

Hyundai Tucson LDW

I find passive LDW systems more of an annoyance, but I don’t have trouble staying within the lane markers or need a reminder otherwise. Fortunately, Hyundai makes it easy to disable the system with a button on the dashboard, to the left of the steering wheel.

AEB is a feature that should work in theory, but not something I can safely test outside of a controlled environment. Nevertheless, AEB can detect imminent collision and apply full braking capabilities, the equivalent of slamming on the brakes, at speeds of 5 to 50 mph. It can also detect pedestrians and brake immediately when traveling from 5 to 43 mph, in case someone decides to jaywalk when you’re not paying attention.

Hyundai lets you set the sensitivity of the AEB system via the gauge cluster LCD, so you can adjust it to suit your level of driving attentiveness. While AEB, when it’s working, can help deter accidents, it’s not a substitute for being alert and attentive while driving, but should only serve as an aid for worse-case scenarios.

Missing from the suite of driver assists is adaptive cruise control (ACC), unfortunately. The car is designed to accommodate the feature, but Hyundai chose not to offer it yet – for an undisclosed reason. Hyundai plans on offering ACC on the recently unveiled Elantra, which shares a platform with the Tucson.

Hyundai Tucson

Nevertheless, my chats with Hyundai representatives reveal the Tucson can accommodate ACC if the company chooses to include it. There’s a spot in the center console for the electronic parking brake that would replace the ’80s truck-like foot-operated parking brake, if Hyundai were to offer its excellent full-speed range smart cruise control system.

Blue Link

Exclusive to the range-topping Limited trim is Hyundai’s Blue Link telematics system that provides a smartphone app to remotely control vehicle features and roadside assistance. The Blue Link mobile app is available for Android and iOS devices, including a companion app for Android Wear and the Apple Watch.

I tested the Blue Link app on my Motorola Nexus 6 and Asus ZenWatch and found the app to be simple and functional. You can lock, unlock, remote start, trigger the horn and lights, send navigation locations directly to the car, and check vehicle status using the Blue Link app. The smartwatch companion app has most of the same functions as the smartphone app.

Hyundai Tucson Bluelink

I find the novelty of remote starting my car from my smartwatch entertaining, but it’s not something I can see myself using regularly. If you live in the snow belt, remote start is a huge nicety to have for cold mornings, but there’s one caveat to Blue Link: subscription costs.

A one-year trial period comes with every new Blue Link-equipped Hyundai vehicle for the peace of mind services in the Connected Care Package, but the Remote Package that enables the smartphone apps has a reduced, three-month trial period. However, the subscription cost is $99 (Blue Link is not available in the UK or AUS) a year, which works out to $8.25 a month, for the Remote Package.

The price for Hyundai’s remote features sounds reasonable – no more than a Google Music or Netflix subscription – but you also need the $99-a-year Connected Care Assurance Package to even consider the Remote Package. For a grand total of $200 a year, or about $17 a month, you can remotely control your car from a smartphone app.

I personally wouldn’t pay for any of the Blue Link services. I’m carrying on just fine with an “old fashioned” remote start button on the key fob, since that doesn’t require a subscription to use.

Performance and living with it

Hyundai equips the Tucson Eco, Sport and Limited with a 1.6-liter turbocharged four-cylinder motor matched to a 7-speed dual-clutch transmission (DCT), with your choice of front or all-wheel drive (AWD). The model I drove has AWD. The turbocharged powertrain and DCT is rated for 175 horsepower (hp) with 195 pound-per-foot (lb-ft) of torque.

Hyundai Tucson

To verify the rated power numbers, I took the car down to Drift-Office, a local tuning shop owned by a good friend of mine in Auburn, Wash., to put it on a vehicle dynamometer (dyno) and measure how much horsepower the car generates. It was a chilly and wet Washington day, with an average temperature 55 degrees Fahrenheit and an average humidity of 92% at 69 feet above sea level on the day of my visit. The car was strapped down and ran four times.

Hyundai Tucson dyno

The numbers the Tucson puts down at the wheels is truly impressive, with 172 hp and 196 lb-ft. There’s virtually no power loss through the drivetrain, so either Hyundai’s DCT is very efficient or the engine is highly underrated. To put things into perspective, typical AWD cars lose 25% to 30% of its engine power through the transmission. I was expecting the Tucson to make around 130hp at the wheels, but it surpassed my expectations.

You might be curious about the run with a max power of 156 hp depicted above, which did happen. However, it was the third run where the car suffered some heat soak from being stressed with nothing but a giant blower fan as its source of cool air. This is not something you typically experience on the road.

Driving the Tucson around town reveals that the car is quite refined, with smooth power delivery and quick shifts from the DCT. The car never feels starved for power and performs well getting up to highway merging speeds.

Hyundai Tucson engine

Due to the design of DCTs, which more closely resembles a manual than a traditional automatic transmission, early units would shudder at low speeds where you’re inching forward in-traffic, like a manual transmission. Fortunately, the DCT in the Tucson doesn’t exhibit this behavior very often, and the typical driver won’t notice it.

Since the Tucson isn’t a high-performance vehicle of any sort, steering wheel-mounted paddle shifters are absent. Hyundai provides a manual mode that lets you select the gear, but the selections are more of a suggestion than anything. If you reach the engine redline or drop below a certain amount of revolutions per minute, or rpm, the transmission will automatically upshift or downshift for you, so you don’t have full control over the transmission gearing. I find this annoying but it’s not something I’ll mark the car down for, since it’s not a performance vehicle.

Hyundai did a remarkable job on the suspension tuning. The car handles twisty roads well, with minimal body roll while the struts smoothly absorb bumps in the road, resulting in a smooth and comfortable ride. Steering, on the other hand, could be better. Hyundai employs its drive select mode, which lets you choose between Normal, Eco and Sport driving modes. Your selection alters the throttle response, transmission shift points and steering feel.

Since the Tucson features an electric-power steering motor mounted on the steering column, it suffers the same fate as other systems. There’s very little road feel, and it doesn’t have a “just right” drive mode (i.e. one that feels natural), unlike the larger Sonata 2.0t Sport and Kia Optima SX, which have the power steering motors mounted on the steering rack.

The normal drive mode has the right amount of precision but feels too light, while the sport mode doesn’t feel as precise: it applies too much force and feels artificial, but has the right amount of weight that I like for steering. Ultimately, I left the car in normal most of the time and got used to the lighter feel of this mode. Steering feel might not be something that you’re shopping for, but if it doesn’t bug you, the Tucson is a fine car to drive.

The US Environmental Protection Agency rates the Tucson with the 1.6-liter turbo motor at 24 miles per gallon (mpg) in the city, 28 on the highway and 26 combined mpg, which is comparable to gasoline competitors. It falls short on the highway fuel economy when compared to the Honda CR-V and Mazda CX-5, but the torquey turbo motor is worth the lower fuel economy for me.

During my time with the Hyundai Tucson, my fuel economy hovered around 22 to 23 mpg, according to the vehicle’s trip computer. Drivers that are much easier on the gas pedal than me – I have a lead foot – should experience slightly better fuel economy.

Living with the car

Crossovers are the default car most families look at when kids get introduced into the mix. We partnered up with Diono, a car seat manufacturer, to test-fit three car seats in the back of the Tucson. Diono’s USA headquarters is in Puyallup, Wash., where I conduct vehicle testing and a convenient place to stop by and test-fit car seats. With the help of Diono, we attempted to install three Radian RXT convertible car seats in the back of the Tucson.

The Tucson has two pairs of lower LATCH anchors for the outboard seats while the middle seat requires the use of the three-point seat belt. All three seats have top LATCH anchors available. The car seats were installed using the vehicle seat belts and not LATCH anchors.

Hyundai Tucson Diono car seats

Unfortunately, the Tucson failed this test. Three car seats could not be installed safely in the back, regardless of whether they were front or rear-facing. The placement of the belt buckles makes it impossible to do so in the middle and driver side rear-seat. It’s a shame, because there appears to be enough physical space to fit three car seats. If Hyundai updates the buckle design, I’ll gladly revisit this and update the review accordingly.

Junk in the trunk

Hyundai employs the same hands-free smart trunk feature as the Kia Optima in the Tucson. It works the same way: walk up to the locked car with the key fob in your pocket and it automatically opens for you. The Tucson implementation works a lot better, with the inclusion of a powered trunk that opens without your intervention.

So, in the ideal scenario, you walk up to the Tucson with your hands full of Star Wars toys, wait a few seconds and the trunk opens for you. You load up all the toys, press a button to close the trunk and hop in the car and drive off. I did not experience this ideal scenario exactly, but the hands-free smart trunk worked every time.

The Tucson has a cargo area of 31 cubic feet, which is plenty of space to accommodate luggage for a family road trip. I keep a Sumo Gigantor and Omni from Sumo Lounge around for trunk space testing. The Gigantor is a little too big to carry in and out of my house, so I stick to using the Omni for most cars. It’s a fun way I devised to show exactly how big a trunk is.

Hyundai Tucson sumo sack

I dragged the Sumo Omni outside to put in the Tucson and got it half-way in – fortunately, none of my neighbors were around to question what I was doing. The 60 x 60 x 38-inch bean bag got halfway into the trunk with the back seats up, but can easily fit with the seats down.

If you need to haul tall or oddly shaped items, the Tucson should be able to accommodate them without any problems.

Verdict

Hyundai leaves me very conflicted with its 2016 Tucson. I’m a big fan of the styling: it has an elegant but understated look that’s humble. I’m absolutely in love with the Caribbean Blue color of the car I tested too.

However, for the $34,945 (£30,930 for the similarly equipped Tucson Premium SE 1.6 T-GDI Petrol 4WD DCT automatic or AU$43,490 for the Tucson Highlander 1.6 T-GDI petrol AWD) that Hyundai asks for the top-of-the-line Tucson Limited AWD with Ultimate Package, I expect more.

Hyundai Tucson

We liked

I like Hyundai’s Display Audio infotainment system, even without Android Auto or Apple CarPlay. It’s very intuitive to use, with a combination of touchscreen and physical buttons. Removing the CD player is a nice touch, as it promotes a clean dashboard without a random slot that most drivers never use.

The Pandora connectivity works well on Android and iOS, and I was surprised by the sound quality of Pandora via Bluetooth with my Nexus 6. For once, the sound quality matched the wired connection of iOS.

The Tucson’s 1.6-liter, turbocharged four cylinder and dual-clutch transmission delivers impressive performance numbers that translate well into everyday driving. It has the right amount of power and low-end torque to keep you happy – and even lead-foot drivers like myself – and never feels under powered. If anything, the turbo motor leaves me wondering how much more power I could get out of it with some aftermarket goodies, but Hyundai probably frowns upon modifying its review samples.

Blue Link is well-executed on all Hyundai models, including the Tucson. Having the ability to control your car remotely with a smartphone app or smartwatch is a nice convenience, especially for those that are forgetful or OCD about making sure their car is locked. I, for one, know I am sometimes paranoid and wonder whether I forgot to lock my car, but sometimes too lazy to walk back outside to make sure.

The hands-free smart trunk is a useful convenience for those that hand-carry groceries, or have two kids to carry. I’ve yet to experience it failing, unlike the systems from competing makers, such as Volkswagen, that require silly karate leg-sweeping motions to trigger the trunk release. It doesn’t get much easier than walking up to the trunk of your car and waiting for it to open.

We disliked

While Hyundai promises Android Auto and Apple CarPlay are coming soon, it’s unacceptable to not at least have one ready at this time. The last time Hyundai promised Android Auto was coming to the Sonata, it took a year before the update was rolled out, and it still doesn’t have CarPlay either – that’s still promised for a later date. With Volkswagen, General Motors and Honda supporting both smartphone connectivity standards, Hyundai has no excuse for the delays.

The absence of adaptive cruise control is a puzzling choice, especially since it’s found within the Ford Escape, Mazda CX-5, Honda CR-V and Toyota RAV4, all of which are older models that predate the Tucson. Lacking a pivotal tech feature from a company that’s always delivered more tech features than its competitors is odd to me, especially since the car was designed to accommodate the feature already.

While I like the features Blue Link offers, I don’t like the subscription costs. Alone, the $99-a-year Blue Link Remote Package wouldn’t be too bad of a deal, since it provides control and access to the Tucson. But requiring the $99-a-year Connected Care Assurance Package before you can even think of the Remote Package tarnishes the offer. I’d love to have just the remote control features of Blue Link, but I couldn’t care less for peace-of-mind services that are only useful in case of a collision.

Final verdict

Hyundai’s latest Tucson is a stylish compact crossover with elegance inside and out. If it didn’t sport the Hyundai badge, it would be easy to mistake the Tuscon for a luxury crossover that would fit in with Audi and Lexus’s models. Beyond the tech inside, the powertrain delivers enough oomph to keep lead-foot drivers happy without sacrificing too much fuel economy.

Ultimately, if you don’t care about adaptive cruise control, steering feel doesn’t concern you and you are patient enough to wait for Android Auto and CarPlay, the Tucson is a solid compact crossover – just don’t go running to the dealership over it.

This is Microsoft’s vision of a holographic office

Microsoft made the biggest pitch to date for HoloLens as a business computing device on Monday during its Worldwide Partner Conference in Toronto, Canada.

When Arantxa Lasa Cid, a program director at the company, took the stage for a HoloLens demo, she pulled up a workspace that looked a lot like a massive, multimonitor desktop setup, complete with virtual monitors showing an Outlook calendar, email and two web browsers. 

It looked a lot like a traditional desktop setup, with one catch: Cid was standing in front of an empty table, wearing one of Microsoft’s augmented reality headsets. And then, with the tap of her finger, she pulled up a model of a jet engine. 

To read this article in full or to leave a comment, please click here

Updated: Pokemon Go tips and tricks guide

Updated: Pokemon Go tips and tricks guide

Pokemon Go guide

Pokemon Go tips and tricks guide

We’re still obsessed with Pokémon Go here, and we’ve been working (well, playing) hard to bring you the best tips and tricks to get the most out of this addictive mobile game. Even in the short amount of time Pokémon Go has been available, the game has seen many new updates which add (and also take away) features, so this Pokémon Go tips and tricks guide is constantly evolving.

Keep checking this guide as we add more tips and tricks while we continue to play Pokémon Go. We’ve already added loads of new Pokémon Go tips and tricks since the release of the game. We’ve also added a new video that compares some of the most popular smartphones to see how well their batteries last while playing Pokémon Go.

We’ve got 40 top Pokémon Go tips and tricks to transform your smartphone into a veritable Poké portal.

Completely new to the world of Pokémon? Then check out Pokemon Go: A complete beginner’s guide, which will show you how to get started.

If you encounter any problems while playing, head over to our how to fix Pokemon Go problems guide for information on how to solve them.

YouTube : http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JxzTRNwD6tU

1. Keep the app updated

Pokemon Go tips and tricks guide

As our how to fix Pokemon Go problems guide demonstrates, there are some problems with Pokémon Go that can result in a frustrating experience when playing.

Thankfully, the creators of Pokémon Go are constantly updating the app to add new features and improve the stability of the game. Therefore, our first Pokémon Go tip is a rather straightforward one – make sure the Pokémon Go app is updated to the latest version.

To do this you can go into the app store you downloaded it from, search for Pokémon Go, and if there’s an update waiting you should see a button to ‘Update’. You can also turn on automatic updates for your smartphone.

A new version has just been released which improves load times (making the Pokémon Go app faster), transfer speeds are improved and glitches have been addressed.

However, before you rush to download the latest update, do a bit of research about it first. One of the latest updates, version 0.31.0, has seen some people’s progress in Pokémon Go. So before you update, make sure no one is highlighting any problems or bugs with the update. If they are, then hold tight for another update which should fix those problems.

2. Get Pikachu as your starter Pokemon

Pikachu

Before you dive into the world of Pokémon Go, here’s a nifty tip to get the famous electric Pokémon, Pikachu, as your starter.

Sign up for a new Pokémon Go account and choose your player character. You’ll be asked by the Professor to catch a Pokémon – and this is where you usually get the chance to catch the classic stater Pokémon Charmander, Squirtle or Bulbasaur.

Instead, walk away from them (in real life), and continue to walk away from them until your phone vibrates. The three classic stater Pokémon will appear again. Walk away again, and repeat that 3 to 5 more times and Pikachu should appear – allowing you to capture him as your starter Pokémon.

3. Rustling leaves equal wild Pokemon

Pokemon Go tips and tricks guide

Pokémon Go utilises augmented reality, but that doesn’t mean you’ll constantly be gazing into the world through your smartphone’s camera. In fact, a great deal of the game is spent traversing a virtual map of the area you’re currently inhabiting.

Since the aim of Pokémon Go is to collect Pokémon and train them into new evolutions, you’ll need to hunt them down out in the wild. The best visual sign that one is nearby are plumes of leaves rustling on the map. Approach these random events to try and catch it. Remember this tip: different areas will house different types, so be sure to vary your location.

4. Master the art of capture

Pokemon Go tips and tricks guide

When you do decide to throw down with a wild Pokémon, there’s just the small matter of actually bagging said creature and adding it to your growing roster.

Rather than battling a wild one as you would in a regular Pokémon game, Pokémon Go instead uses a special ‘Capture’ mode. The virtual world is swapped for the real one as your camera jumps into AR.

Focus your camera on the Pokémon in question and the white ring you use as a pointer will change size and colour – the smaller the ring, the more likely you’ll be to capture the Pokémon.

Before you throw a Pokéball, check the colour the ring changes to – green equals easy, yellow equals moderate and red equals tough. Know these colours and you’ll be on your way to mastering Pokémon Go.

5. Catch Pokemon from further away

Pokemon Go tips and tricks

Many of the recent updates to Pokémon Go have been controversial, but there’s been one tweak that has made playing the game a bit more easier.

The circle around your character, which represents the area your character can detect wild Pokémon in, has been increased.

This means you can find and catch Pokémon from much further away than you previously could, with the new distance being around 200 metres, so if you’ve had trouble catching Pokémon in the past, load up Pokémon Go, update it, and get out there!

6. Catch Pokemon easily by dropping the AR

Pokemon Go tips and tricks guide

Augmented reality might make for some pretty hilarious screenshots, but did you know using that particular feat makes catching Pokémon in Pokémon Go noticeably harder?

For this Pokémon Go tips, if you want to increase your chances of those Pokéball throws paying off (and avoid paying for expensive Master Pokéballs), then hit the button on the top-right of your screen that says ‘AR’ during Capture mode.

This will switch off your camera and take you back into the virtual Pokeworld. It certainly doesn’t look as cool as seeing a Pokémon in your local park or on the beach, but it will improve catch rates.

7. Don’t be afraid to have doubles

Pokemon Go tips and tricks guide

Since the appearance of Pokémon is totally randomised in Pokémon Go (with factors such as time of day, location type and nearby landmarks all making a difference), there’s a good chance you’ll have the opportunity to catch more than one creature of the same type.

8. Transfer your Pokemon to help you evolve others

Pokemon Go tips and tricks guide

Naturally, you might be inclined to avoid wasting a Pokéball on a Pokémon you already have, but having duplicate Pokémon has its uses.

Extra Pokémon can be traded to Professor Willow for candy, which helps increase the stats of your best Pokémon and even helps them evolve. To do this, click the Pokéball icon, select ‘Pokémon’ and then tap on the menu icon (with three horizontal lines) in the bottom right-hand corner of the screen. Hit ‘Transfer’ and you’ll be given the option to trade the Pokémon with Professor Willow.

9. Go for Pokemon with better move sets

Pokemon Go tips and tricks

During your time with Pokémon Go, it’s likely that you’ll encounter more than one of the same Pokémon. If you do get a chance to capture a Pokémon you already have, take a look at the moves the wild Pokémon has (listed in the Pokémon’s information screen after you’ve captured it) – they may have a better move set than the one you already have.

If that’s the case, then remember this tip: capture the new Pokémon, then trade your existing Pokémon for an instantly-better fighter. It’s ruthless, but that’s the world of Pokémon Go.

10. Play at different times of the day

Pokemon Go tips and tricks guide

Different Pokémon appear at different times of the day, so if you’re stuck doing the same journey each day, or there’s an area you’re always in, try visiting at different times to see what new Pokémon you can find.

It’s also worth changing your routes to work or home every now and again to find new Pokémon while playing Pokémon Go – but be careful going to unknown places late at night. You may be addicted to Pokémon Go, but you still have to keep yourself safe!

11. Combine Razz Berries with better balls

Pokemon Go tips and tricks guide

If you encounter a rare (or just hard-to-catch) Pokémon while playing Pokémon Go, you don’t want it to escape.

One of the best tips for making your life easier when trying to catch these Pokémon is by using razz berries in conjunction with strong PokéBalls.

Razz berries are items that you can feed to Pokémon to slow them down, making them easier to capture. Once the Pokémon has eaten the razz berry, throw a Great Ball, or an Ultra Ball, to capture the Pokémon. It will greatly improve your chances.

To use a razz berry, tap on your Backpack, then select a razz berry from the list of items. This will send it to the wild Pokémon you’ve encountered.

12. Spend your Pokecoins on lures and incense

Pokemon Go tips and tricks guide

Pokémon Go being a free-to-play game means there are plenty of microtransactions in place to help you fill up on items with real world cash. And whether your increase your balance with actual dollar or the defence of gyms (more on that in the steps ahead), it’s how you spend that moolah that makes all the difference.

Your first thought might be to stock up on that iconic commodity – the good ol’ Pokéball – but the game actually provides you with plenty of free ones. If you visit every PokéStop on your journey, they should drop them pretty regularly. Now spend those coins on far rarer items such as incense to lures.

13. Use incense to get Pokémon when not moving

Pokemon Go tips and tricks guide

Unless you’re hoping to jack in your job and take up Pokémon hunting full time, there are times where you’ll have to stop walking around gazing into your smartphone for rustling leaves, PokéStops and other important landmarks.

When you’re stuck at your desk or at home, you’ll need to use lures to attract Pokémon to you. Pokémon Go uses items such as incense to do this and they’ll prove some of the most important gear in your virtual backpack. Simply hit the Pokéball at the bottom of the screen, tap ‘Items’ and select ‘Incense’ to draw those creatures in – a purple ring around your avatar will show you it’s in effect.

14. Make incense more powerful

Pokemon Go tips and tricks

While using incense is a good way to attract Pokémon without moving, a Reddit user has uncoveredcode that shows by moving around, you can make incense work harder.

According to the code, using incense in Pokémon Go while standing still will spawn one Pokémon every five minutes.

However, if you move around you will spawn 1 Pokémon every minute – or every 200 metres you travel. So, if you want to really make the most out of the incense in Pokémon Go, make sure you move around while you use it.

15. Power up Pokémon before evolving

Pokemon Go tips and tricks guide

Pokémon Go doesn’t quite make this one clear when you check the main stats of each Pokémon in your collection, but the power of an evolved Pokémon is directly tied to the strength it possessed prior to evolving. So to get some really powerful creatures at your disposal (especially if you’re into touring gyms for XP) use plenty of candy and stardust to get those CP levels on the up.

Try to apply this tactic to the most formidable or useful Pokémon in your collection – this will make them ideal for leaving behind to defend gyms in your team’s honour

16. Evolution equals full health

Pokemon Go tips and tricks guide

If you’re a bit of a Pokémon Go gym bunny, chances are your trusty band of Japanese creatures have taken a bit of battering over the weeks. That’s okay, everyone loves a bruiser, but what happens when some of your best Pokémon get KO’d at the worst possible moment? Well, there is a cheeky emergency trick you can pull.

You can feed candies and apply stardust to unconscious Pokémon (we don’t know why either), but this means you can initiate an evolution on a downed creature. Ergo, your Pokémon will evolve and revive with full health.

17. Use the new Buddy feature to evolve Pokemon

Pokemon Go tips and tricks

This Pokémon Go tip requires the recent update to the game. A new “Buddy” system has been added to Pokémon Go, which allows you to select a Pokémon as your buddy, so that they appear next to your avatar.

This isn’t just a cosmetic feature, however, as a Pokémon that you select as a buddy earns extra candies as you walk around, making it quicker and easier to level up and evolve that Pokémon.

18. Gyms and PokéStops equal coins

Pokemon Go tips and tricks guide

Coins are the in-game currency of Pokémon Go, but like most in-game currencies the AR-powered smartphone app is decidedly stingy when it comes doling out the cash. Thing is, coins are essentially once you breach level 20 as XP accumulates at a crawl so you’ll need coins to buy key items from the store.

PokéStops do drop coins, but the rate at which they appear is so low you can’t build any sort of strategy out of using bar pure chance.

Gyms, on the other hand, are much more generous with gold. Defending a gym grants you a tasty Defence Bonus that nets you 10 whole coins. Defend those gyms regularly to bank that moolah.

19. Study gyms before you attack

Pokemon Go tips and tricks guide

Pokémon Go’s combat doesn’t have the nuance or the subtlety of the main games it draws from, but it is still based on the same theories. That means certain Pokémon will be naturally stronger and weaker against other types. So if you’re looking to go throwing a few Poképunches in your local gym, be smart and check out the Pokémon that have been stationed there to defend it.

Don’t just select the most powerful creature on your roster, instead play smart and select a type that would cause more damage to your opponent’s by default (water types weakening fire types, grass types weakening water types, etc). Sometimes a less powerful Pokémon will be far more effective than your favourite fighter.

20. Don’t just win gyms – defend them

Pokemon Go tips and tricks guide

When you reach level five, the real Pokémon Go begins. Now you’re at a high enough level you can begin earning in-game cash by joining one of three teams (Valor, Mystic or Instinct) and capturing or defending gyms.

Other trainers will leave some of their best Pokémon behind to defend them and you’ll need to enter Combat mode to claim the territory as your own. Once you’ve won them, leave a Pokémon there to defend them.

Defending a gym for long enough will generate coin bonuses which you can then collect from the top right of the shop menu.

21. Join a team

Pokemon Go tips and tricks

While it’s still fun to play Pokémon Go on your own, the game really comes into its own if you play with others.

Once you reach level 5 you’ll be asked to choose a team when you first set foot into a gym. There are three teams in Pokémon Go to choose from, Instinct (Yellow), Mystic (Blue) and Valor (Red). So which team do you choose?

Team Instinct

The yellow team Instinct is represented by an icon of the legendary electric Pokémon, Zapdos, and as per the team’s name, it believes that Pokémon should be allowed to be themselves and to trust in their instinct.

Team leader Spark tells you, in a bid to get you to join the team that “Pokémon are creatures with excellent intuition. I bet the secret to their intuition is related to how they’re hatched. Come and join my team. You never lose when you trust your instinct!”.

Team Mystic

If you’ve been playing a lot of Pokémon Go, you’ve probably noticed many Gyms being run by the blue team Mystic.

Team Mystic, which has the legendary ice Pokémon Articuno as its mascot, is an incredibly popular choice, though despite its hippyish name, this team is actually focused on studying and analysing Pokémon in an attempt to figure out the best way to use them in battle.

Team leader Blance has this to say: “The wisdom of Pokémon is immeasurably deep. I’m researching why it is that they evolve. My team? With our calm analysis of every situation, we can’t lose!”

Team Valor

If you’re more of a rough-and-ready Pokémon Go player who’s always up for a battle, then the red team Valor may be the best choice for you, as its belief is that that by battling over and over you will become the best Pokémon trainer.

The team’s mascot is the legendary fire Pokémon, Moltres, and its leader Candela boasts that “Pokemon are stronger than humans, and they’re warmhearted, too! I’m researching ways to enhance Pokemon’s natural power in the pursuit of true strength. There’s no doubt that the Pokémon our team have trained are the strongest in battle!”.

22. Listen to your team leader’s appraisal

Pokemon Go tips and tricks

A recent update to Pokémon Go has made the team leaders even more useful, as they can now tell you about a Pokémon’s special defence and attack moves in a feature that’s known as “Pokémon appraisal”.

These appraisals can be really useful for planning your tactics before launching into a particularly tricky battle. To find out what your team leader thinks of your particular Pokémon, open up the Pokémon screen and select the one you want to be appraised.

Now tap on the round button on the bottom right-hand corner of the screen, and then tap ‘Appraise’ in the menu that appears.

Your team leader will now appear and ask you if you want to know more about the Pokémon. Tap the screen and you’ll get taken through your Pokémon’s strengths and weaknesses, as well as if the Pokémon is large or small, which can affect its performance in battle (larger Pokémon hit harder, smaller Pokémon are more nimble).

23. PokeStops equal prizes

Pokemon Go tips and tricks guide

PokéStops are Pokémon Go’s way of turning special landmarks in your town or city into interactive events. Visiting these special points of interest will drop random loot, including Eggs for hatching new Pokémon (see our next step for Egg hatching tips), Pokéballs for catching new ones and Potions or Revives for healing your Pokémon while in Combat mode.

Be sure to visit these PokéStops everyday if in the same area, or open the app in new areas to reap the rewards of travel. To use one, walk up close to it, tap the blue icon then swipe it to make it spin. All your randomised loot will then appear.

24. Hatch Eggs by keeping the app open

Pokemon Go tips and tricks guide

Here’s a handy Pokémon Go tip: much like any other Pokémon game, hatching Eggs for new Pokémon is still a thing – only this time you need to monitor said Egg like a Tamagotchi to expedite the process.

Hatching rates are based on how many miles or kilometres you’ve walked with the app open – and until the special Pokémon Go wearable is released over here this is the only way to rack up that mileage. You’ll need to make sure you put the egg in an incubator so that it registers your miles as you walk.

To check the progress of your Poké ovum, tap the Pokéball, then select the Eggs menu from the list. The Pokémon that’s born out of each egg is also randomised, so don’t get too disappointed if you get any doubles.

25. Play Pokemon Go on public transport

Pokemon Go tips and tricks

We probably don’t need to tell you to play more Pokémon Go if you’re as addicted to this game as we are, but we’ve found a great tip: playing Pokémon Go on public transport such as trains and buses, is a great way to catch Pokémon you usually wouldn’t find in your local area.

You don’t get steps when siting on a train, but you will cover a lot more distance, and pass a lot more Pokéstops during your travel. It’s safe to play when someone else is driving, and it makes that morning commute into work or school go by much faster!

If you’re going on a long journey, make sure you pick up some incubators as well, as you can hatch some Pokémon while you’re whizzing through the countryside.

26. Buy a battery pack. No, seriously

Pokemon Go tips and tricks guide

If you’ve read any of the coverage Pokémon Go has received recently, there’s a good chance you’ve heard the app is a real battery killer. Since it requires you to always have it open, while accessing Wi-Fi, GPS, your camera and more, the Nintendo app will suck even the newest of batteries down to the marrow in less than half an hour.

Nintendo says it’s working on a solution, but in the meantime you’ll need to find alternative means. For a start, you might watch to switch off the AR component permanently and invest in a portable power pack.

27. Activate battery saver mode

Pokemon Go battery saver mode

If you’re not in the mood to carry around an extra battery pack, you can also activate Pokémon Go’s battery saver mode to prevent your handset from quickly running on empty.

Go to “Setting” in the top right corner and scroll down to battery saver. Select it and make sure it’s checked. You can then turn your phone screen upside down, which will dim your display. You’ll still be playing as the mode doesn’t shut off the game or lock up your phone.

You’ll save precious battery life, and can keep catching ’em all till your heart’s content.

We’ve also got a video below where we test out some of the most popular smartphones in the world to see how long their batteries last when playing Pokémon Go.

YouTube : https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ROHctDywyaQ

28. Save data by using offline maps

Pokemon Go tips and tricks

Pokémon Go pulls map data from Google, and if you download your home and work areas on your phone via the Google Maps app it will improve the performance of Pokémon Go. You phone won’t have to keep constantly redrawing your surroundings.

Open up the Google Maps app, select the Settings menu (shown by an icon with three horizontal lines) and tap on ‘Offline areas’.

Press the ‘+’ icon then use the map to drawn a square of the area you want to download, then tap on ‘Download’.

This will mean you won’t burn through your mobile data allowance quite so quickly, and it can help save your smartphone battery as well while you play Pokémon Go.

29. Throw a Curve ball for extra XP

Pokemon Go tips and tricks guide

Pokémon Go gives you plenty of unique ways to capture Pokémon, and this way will help you level up much faster.

When you’re about to catch a Pokémon, hold down on your Poke Ball and spin it in a circular motion with your finger. This will create a curve ball, and if you hit and capture a Pokémon with this move you’ll gain some extra XP.

30. You can even change your name

Change nickname

Not a fan of your Pokémon Go nickname? It’s not too late to change it. Be warned though: you only get one chance to switch it so choose something you want to keep for life.

Remember all other Pokémon Go players are likely to see your name whenever you take over a gym so choose something you’re happy with.

To do it you need to go to the Settings tab within Pokémon Go and press Change Nickname. You’ll be given a warning about how you can only do it once and you’ll be ready to change your name to whatever you want.

31. Use other people’s lures to catch Pokemon

Pokemon Go tips and tricks guide

While playing Pokémon Go you can increase the number of Pokémon who appear near you by either using Incense or a Lure Module, which attracts Pokémon to a Pokéstop.

Incense only works for the person who activates it, and no one else can see it, but Lures work for everyone. While playing Pokémon Go you might see other player’s lures, and these can be seen on the map, represented as confetti.

To use another player’s Lure, just hang around near it, and you’ll soon find extra Pokémon without having to use one of your own!

32. Keep an eye on your Sightings

Sightings

While playing Pokémon Go you’ll see Pokémon icons (or their silhouettes if you’ve not encountered that type before) in the bottom-right hand corner of your screen.

This shows you nearby Pokémon. Tap on this area to bring up the larger Sightings menu, listing all the Pokémon near you.

However, while you used to be able to see how close a Pokémon is to your current location by the number of paw prints underneath them (the more paw prints they have under them, the further away the Pokémon is), since update 0.31.0 you can no longer see those footprints – which weren’t always that accurate.

If you want to catch a specific Pokémon, then use this tip to make the most out of the new Pokémon Go Sightings system.

Keep the Sightings window open while you walk around and keep an eye on all of the Pokémon icons it displays. If the Pokémon you’re after has an icon in the Sightings window, and it suddenly disappears, then it means you’re heading in the wrong direction. Turn around and move back to where you were until the Pokémon icon reappears. You then know you’re on the right track.

33. Ensure your Pokemon are the strongest

Psyduck

Ok, so this is where things get a little deeper, but stick with us and we guarantee you’ll end up with an unbeatable Pokémon army.

As you should know by now, every Pokémon has a CP (Combat Power), that dictates how strong it will be in battle. What you don’t see are the hidden base stats that make up the CP, which are attack, defense and stamina, along with what are known as IVs (Individual Values) that help determine how these base stats vary from one Pokémon of the same species to another.

The IVs range from 0 to 15 for each stat, and the higher the IV of each, the more powerful that Pokémon has the potential of becoming. This means you don’t want to waste time powering up a Pokémon with low IV, even if it currently has a higher CP than another.

So how do you determine a Pokémon’s IV? It’s not straightforward, but thankfully some fan-made solutions are available, including this one on the fan site Sylph Road.

These calculators let you enter information about an individual monster and then produce a calculated IV and how it fares to other Pokémon of the same species. Oh, and Pokémon that come from eggs have a higher chance of having better IVs.

34. Level up your team’s gyms

PokeGym

As well as capturing other team’s gyms you can also battle your own gyms to level them up. You’ll be limited to using just one Pokémon, but for each of the monsters you defeat at the gym you’ll build up the gym’s XP.

Once the gym has enough XP it will level up, which unlocks more slots for Pokémon to defend it. Either you can then leave one of your Pokémon there or else another member of your team can do so.

Once your gym is impenetrable you can sit back and reap the coins that will come your way as a defender’s bonus.

35. Time your lucky eggs

Lucky Egg

Short of filling up your Pokédex, evolving Pokémon is one of the activities that will get you the highest level of XP.

You can take advantage of this fact by saving your evolutions for when you have a lucky egg activated. The item, which you can find at Pokéstops, doubles the XP you get for half an hour.

So rather than transferring all the low-level Pidgies you’re no doubt accumulating, try evolving several of them right after activating a lucky egg. If done right you should get 1000 XP with each evolution and be levelling up in no time at all.

36. Level up for rewards

Pokemon Go tips and tricks guide

The more you play Pokémon Go, the more XP you will earn. After earning a certain amount of XP you’ll level up, and each level brings new rewards.

Up to level 10 you need to gain an increasing number of XP points to level up, and the amount increases by 1000 XP each time. So, for level 1 you need 1000 XP, level 2 needs 2000 XP and so on.

The first couple of levels give you extra Poké Balls when you level up, but certain levels give you more exciting things.

When you reach level 5 you unlock Gyms, Potions and Revives, and you get 10 Potions, 1 Incense and 10 Revives as well.

Level 8 unlocks the Razz Berry, along with 15 Poké Balls, 10 Potions, 5 Revives, 10 Razz Berry, 1 Lure Modulator.

Level 10 unlocks Super Potions, Level 12 unlocks Great Balls, Level 15 unlocks Hyper Potions, and level 20 unlocks Ultra Balls.

37. Be prepared for tough fights at high levels

Pokemon Go tips and tricks

The higher the level you achieve in Pokémon Go, the harder the game gets. A committed Pokémon Go player has shared their experiences of playing Pokémon Go at very high levels, proving just how hard this game can get.

This involves once easy-to-catch and low powered Pokémon now becoming incredibly hard to catch thanks to their high chance of evading capture. So you may end up having to use a large amount of Pokéballs to catch Pokémon at this level.

Each level increases the number of XP you need to move on to the level, and by level 30 you’ll need 500,000 experience points to move on.

If you gained 100,000 experience points a day (no mean feat in itself), it would take you over a week to go from level 31 to 32. So, if you’re playing Pokémon Go with an aim of levelling up fast, make sure you’re prepared for a tough fight the higher up you climb in the level rankings.

38. Name your Eevee to determine its evolution

Pokemon Go tips and tricks guide

Eevee is a unique Pokémon that can evolve into three different Pokémon – Jolteon, an electric-type Pokémon, Vaporeon, a water-type, and Flareon, a fire-type.

It’s been discovered that by naming your Eevee a certain way in Pokémon Go, you can control what it evolves into.

So, if you name your Eevee Sparky it will evolve into a Jolteon, if you name it Rainer, it turns into a Vaporeon and if you name it Pyro it will evolve into a Flareon.

We’ve tried this trick ourselves and it worked! This is a cool Easter egg, as the Eevee brothers from the Pokémon anime series were named Sparky, Rainer and Vaporeon.

39. Make a Pokémon your Favorite

Pokemon Go tips and tricks guide

You can now choose Pokémon to highlight as your Favorites. This essentially ‘locks’ the Pokémon so that you don’t accidentally transfer them, or lose them.

It’s a great way to make sure you don’t lose any super rare Pokémon you have, and to select a Pokémon as a Favorite, load up the Pokémon Go app, press the Pokéball icon to open up the menu, select ‘Pokémon’, then tap on the Pokémon you want to add as a Favorite.

There will be an empty Star icon in the top-right corner of the screen. Tap it to fill in the Star icon – you’ve now saved that Pokémon as a Favorite.

40. Invest in a Pokémon Go Plus

Pokemon Go tips and tricks guide

Let’s be honest, playing Pokémon Go is great, but not all of us can walk around with the app open all day – day jobs, a life and a finite battery source being just some of the obstacles standing in the way of accelerated Pokéstardom. But there is a way to track notifications without having the app, and its name is Pokémon Go Plus.

The Pokéball-themed wearable is extremely difficult to get hold of at the moment (it’s only available through the official Nintendo Store and waves of pre-orders are disappearing fast), but if you’re in toPokémon Go for the long haul this Bluetooth-enabled, US$34.99 (£34.99, around AU$46) priced gizmo is your best bet.

6 tech brands that could challenge Apple

6 tech brands that could challenge Apple

Introduction

Can Apple's dominance ever be challenged?

Does Apple innovate anymore? With each reveal of a new iPhone there’s always one big question from the tech world: is that it? There’s a feeling that Apple has reached its zenith when it comes to phones. It might be the most valuable company in the world, but the speed of change in tech is unfathomably fast, and share prices can shrink.

The tech world is littered with super-hot brands that gradually faded away and in the world of phones, there’s no bigger example than Nokia. Once the number one handset maker globally, the Finnish company became a department within Microsoft before being sold on this month to iPhone maker Foxconn.

But can Apple, a company with an estimated $200 billion (around £150 billion, AU$270 billion) in the bank, ever be challenged? Here are our fanciful theories, complete with a reality check.

Magic Leap

Magic Leap's mixed reality could change computing forever

Fanciful theory: Fast forward a few years to an era where hardware is abandoned in favour of ‘mixed reality’, where headsets, head-mounted units or even ‘retinal displays’ allow us all to interact with computers without using phones, tablets and laptops.

That’s what Magic Leap – which is backed by both Google and Alibaba – is promising with tech that projects the illusion of a hologram into the user’s eyes, creating realistic images that fit over the physical world. If a new era of computing beckons, can Apple keep up? Some think not.

Hard truth: Apple must either think it’s a crazy idea, or be working on something similar, otherwise Magic Leap would already have been acquired by Cupertino. “It would be a threat to Apple, if Apple didn’t take these things on board,” says Richard Holway, Chairman and analyst at TechmarketView.

Tesla Motors

Tesla's Model 3 already has an iPad-like touchscreen inside

Fanciful theory: The future is all about connected cars. So much so, that if Apple doesn’t become a leader in it, as a company it is finished. “The connected, autonomous, self-driving electric car will be the biggest next big thing in the tech scene in terms of revenue,” says Holway, adding: “It will surpass the smartphone in terms of importance to many tech companies … the connected car market could be 10-20 times bigger than the phone market.”

Is Apple Car a thing, or is Cupertino working only on the connected gubbins and iOS for existing car manufacturers? If only the latter, Apple could regret it, and leave itself open to buffeting from a very rapidly growing market. If Apple doesn’t reinvent itself in the direction of connected cars, it could lead to some serious regrets in the future.

Hard truth: One thing is for sure – Apple is going to have a crack at the connected car. Even Tesla Motors CEO Elon Musk thinks so. What if Cupertino gets it wrong and another company, such as Tesla Motors, trumps it? Well, it could buy that company. “Apple could buy Tesla for the same price that Microsoft paid for LinkedIn, and I know which company I would prefer to own,” says Holway.

Facebook

If VR wins out, it's Facebook that has the hardware and the platform

Fanciful theory: Okay, nobody mention Apple’s Ping social media experiment, the game has changed. Zuckerberg and co are firmly focused on VR via the acquisition of Oculus Rift. Apple has plans for VR according to rumours, but with the hardware and a massive platform – 1.65 billion users and counting – it’s Facebook that’s in pole position. Facebook is also expanding its Messenger platform to challenge WeChat in third-party apps and bots, and Apple’s iMessage is beginning to feel a little old hat.

“Everyone said they wouldn’t be able to get into mobile or monetise it, and now they make obscene sums of money … Facebook is the most awesome company around at the moment in terms of what they’ve achieved, but it will have to reinvent itself to continue that success,” says Holway. After all, it wasn’t long ago that we thought that Twitter and LinkedIn were the future of social media.

Hard truth: Apple will expand its iMessage platform in a similar way to how Facebook is expanding Messenger, and as we’ve mentioned there are plenty of rumours about Apple’s plans for VR.

ARM

The growth of the IoT will change the shape of the tech industry (Image Credit: Thyssenkrupp)

Fanciful theory: The Internet of Things is coming, and Apple could get left behind. Cisco predicts 11.6 billion mobile devices and machine-to-machine connections by 2020, while Gartner forecasts IoT adoption to grow 50% this year alone. Will Apple dominate it?

No, but Cambridge-based UK firm ARM could. “ARM has been able to look to future trends and has reduced its dependence on producing semiconductors for smartphones to less than 50% of its patent royalty turnover,” says Holway, “and it really has moved over to the IoT, with its very tiny transmitters and semiconductors that you can embed in anything.”

Hard truth: Although ARM is perhaps one of the more serious contenders to Apple in terms of future earnings potential, all iPhones use ARM-based processors. Apple’s status as the world’s most valuable company means that an acquisition of ARM is a real possibility, and has been rumoured before.

Foxconn

iPhone maker Foxconn just purchased the Nokia brand

Fanciful theory: Taiwanese company Foxconn Technology Group makes the iPhone in China as well as some of the bits that go in it. The firm wants to make all of it – upcoming OLED displays included – as shown by its acquisition of iPhone display maker Sharp Electronics earlier this year for $3.5 billion (around £2.7 billion, AU$4.7 billion).

However, as its recent acquisition of the Nokia brand from Microsoft demonstrates, the company has ambitions beyond mere assembly. If a faltering Apple iPhone brand were ever for sale, Foxconn would surely be in the running.

Hard truth: Foxconn may have just bought the ailing Nokia brand, but the idea of Apple selling its brand to anyone – even if its smartphone business collapsed and the company moved on to other areas – is far-fetched. After all, it’s not like it sold off the iPod brand; Cupertino just let it die.

Huawei

Richard Yu, CEO at Huawei, which spends more on research and development than Apple

Fanciful theory: Apple’s tagline is ‘Designed in California’, but everyone knows the iPhone is made in China. All electronics now come from Shenzhen, China, which just happens to be the base for Huawei, now the world’s third biggest smartphone brand behind Apple and Samsung.

Now working with Leica and issuing top-end phones at least as good as the iPhone, Huawei spent $9.2 billion (around £7.1 billion, AU$12.3 billion) on research and development last year, a cool billion more than Apple, and its smartphone sales in Europe doubled over the course of 2015.

Hard truth: “Huawei has huge backing from the Chinese state and economy, it’s a huge player, and its latest smartphones are clearly up there with the best,” says Holway. “They are extremely powerful.” However, since Apple is almost certainly thinking far beyond the slowly declining smartphone market, Huawei’s rise probably isn’t causing sleepless nights in California.