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Launching soon, Pokemon Sleep could be a nightmare for mobile players

Published Jul 6th, 2023 10:38AM EDT
Pokemon Sleep
Image: Pokémon

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The long-awaited Pokemon Sleep game will finally launch soon. While iOS users will need to wait a bit longer, Android owners can already pre-register to get the game once it’s out. I first didn’t believe The Pokemon Company would ever release this game since the announcement was made so many years ago. But now that it seems this app is almost ready to be released — but, oh boy, I have some concerns.

The Pokemon Company released a new trailer on Thursday, explaining how the game works. Besides all the cuteness and how it wants to improve your sleep – which will help you register different kinds of Pokemon sleeping in various poses – I actually don’t think it’s safe for users to play.

First of all, while Apple, Google, and Android manufacturers are creating tools to help users spend less time on the screen, The Pokemon Company is going in the opposite direction. It’s not only asking users to keep the app open for the entire night, but it also wants you to keep your smartphone in your bed.

While this could be a concern for adults that share a bed with a partner – as Pokemon Sleep explicitly says the sleep tracking won’t work if it’s on a nightstand – it’s also a problem for kids and teens, as parents usually don’t let them have their phones during bedtime.

A workaround could be an Apple Watch app. Several people already use a smartwatch to track their sleep data. Whether Pokemon Sleep could import this information or have its standalone app would be the perfect situation. Here’s how the mobile app gaming requires it to be used to work:

  1. Keep your smartphone plugged in while you sleep;
  2. Keep your screen on with the app running;
  3. Then leave your device face down and by your pillow.

That said, even if you can put the smartphone in bed to use Pokemon Sleep, sleeping that close to an electronic device is not ideal. You could drop it while sleeping, break the power cable, or even roll over the phone.

Finally, Pokemon Sleep tracks what you say while you’re sleeping. As it seems, the game won’t send to its server this data, but it also doesn’t mention that the tracking stays on your device.

With all that in mind, I was really looking forward to trying Pokemon Sleep, but after the how-to-play video was posted, I had several concerns about the playability and how it could collect my data.

José Adorno Tech News Reporter

José is a Tech News Reporter at BGR. He has previously covered Apple and iPhone news for 9to5Mac, and was a producer and web editor for Latin America broadcaster TV Globo. He is based out of Brazil.