Thursday, September 29, 2016

Playing Pokémon GO? Five Fixes For The First Frozen Fingers Of Fall!!!

We’re hardly into Fall in the Midwest and already the temperature has dropped to finger aching levels during my morning pre-work forays to catch ‘em all.
Cool gloves - but not for the cold!

Having lived in the Chicago area for more than 10 years I’ve got the gear to be outside – but being outside while interacting with my smartphone? Not so much.

Quora has some good suggestions about playing Pokémon GO in the cold, but for me the major issue is keeping my hands and fingers warm. As this thread on Reddit elaborates, “As someone who's been walking around in an NZ winter I can confirm that the phone does nothing to stop your fingers from freezing. My solution was to buy some touchscreen friendly gloves.”

Truth. Not wearing gloves is already uncomfortable and causing my fingers to ache. It’s going to be impossible in a couple of weeks when the cold really kicks in.

So, below five fixes to keep fingers from freezing and the “GO” in Pokémon GO as the temperatures fall.
  1. The most cost conscious fix first. Cutting a small hole in an old pair of gloves just big enough for a fingertip or a part of your forefinger to touch the phone’s screen. My experience on my Samsung phone is that a fingertip is all that is needed to throw balls, and I quickly adjusted from using the pad of my forefinger to just my fingertip. It sometimes requires wiggling to line my fingertip up with the hole – but the price can’t be beat! Start with a very small hole and increase in size until you find the size that will work for you.
  2. The Pokémon Plus device would be a great alternative that would allow playing while keeping my gloves on. Unfortunately, these have been sold out almost since day one. They can be purchased on Amazon or eBay – but at three times the price, sometimes running into triple figures. With many coming from Europe it’s a price I’m not willing to pay – especially since many of the “stores” offering them have only been in existence for a week or so.
  3. Touchscreen sensitive gloves offer a solution to being able to interact with your phone, or if you are going to go this route, then,
  4. Touchscreen sensitive gloves with heating offer the deluxe version of keeping warm while playing. After much research I found a pair that look good – I could also wear them as my “normal” gloves - and that come with single use heating pads. After reading customer reviews about rechargeable units breaking, and the recent Samsung Note experience, rechargeable just did not seem to be the way to go. The heating pads are a pricy $15 for 10 but I thought I’d give them a try. My ideal solution would be a heating pad that I could pop in the microwave and that would keep its heat for the hour that I would likely to be outside. The eight hours of the single use heating pads are overkill – perhaps practical on the slopes, but not for suburban ‘mon hunts.
  5. Last but not least – take your fingers out of the cold and walk indoors. Successful walking and ‘mon stalking indoors depends on where you live. If you’re in an urban environment with covered or underground walkways that also include PokéStops – lucky you! I’m in the ‘burbs and while our forest preserves and trails are wonderfully endowed, our closest malls are not. Artwork and PokéStops seem to go together, so an indoor alternative could be a building that’s open to the public and that is also well endowed with both artwork and PokéStops...until someone opens the first indoor PokéTrails... 
I’d love to hear suggestions about good indoor PokéPlaces to walk – and if you’re in the MidWest, how you’re planning to keep your creature catching going when the regularly scheduled blizzards return to the Prairie!