A lot of Pokémon Go players walk around with their app on and phone in their hands, but sometimes I like to walk the dogs; I need to put my phone in my pocket or a bag. Also, I don't want to trip and drop my phone, so I'm not keen to carry it open in my hand.

Besides travel speed, what phone factors affect walking being registered; what can I "get away with" and still register my walking to the app? What is an optimal "passive mode" for those who don't want to show their phone to the world?

  • Must I keep Go on-screen at all times?
  • What if my phone goes into sleep mode?
  • Can I turn it sideways if I have auto-rotate on?
  • Can I go into another app (for example, to write this question via the StackExchange app) and leave Go in the background?
  • Will walking register if Go is in the background?
  • I don't want to hold the phone out; can't I just put in a pocket? What if the phone turns sideways and the screen goes black?
  • 1
    If you want to play the game more passively, the pokemon go plus accessory lets you play the game while your phone is locked, without having to look at it to be notified when a pokemon appears.
    – Pyritie
    Nov 2, 2016 at 14:22
  • 1
    You're probably getting down votes because this is likely a duplicate. Did you check for an existing question?
    – Kat
    Nov 2, 2016 at 16:38
  • If it was a dupe, they could have posted. I actually went through the full list of PGo questions @Kat and didn't find one relevant.
    – JoshDM
    Nov 2, 2016 at 16:40
  • Reason why I downvoted : Souding condescending to people (never talk directly to voters) and having a proper answer to your question and yet getting annoyed by a simple detail that is still part of the answer.
    – Karlyr
    Nov 3, 2016 at 14:22

2 Answers 2

  1. Most importantly, the app must be the foreground, active app to register your virtual distance. If you put the phone to sleep, the app cannot register distance.
  2. The app does not support screen rotation. However, the app has a battery saver function which blanks the screen when pointing the phone down.
  3. If placing it in your pocket, try pointing it down. Also try the vibration feature to alert you of pokemon.
  • You can use apps like "Stay alive" to keep your screen on (and distance tracked). I would also like to add a warning: keeping your screen on and in a place like a pocket can possibly generate a lot of heat and cause issues with your phone, so only do this for a very short amount of time.
    – Rapitor
    Nov 2, 2016 at 13:23
  • If you have an iPhone, it seems like the default setting for Pokemon Go is to never lock your phone, so it's not even an issue (aside from battery life)
    – Vemonus
    Nov 2, 2016 at 13:34

Yes, the app must be active and on the screen to register your walking.

The problem with the phone being out of hand is the screen taps caused by inadvertent contact in a pocket. My way of dealing with this is to use a pretty standard case that extends slightly above the edge of screen side of the phone. Then the battery goes on the screen side before it is put in the pocket. This reduces inadvertent screen taps to a rare occurrence.

P Go stays active and prevents the phone from going into "sleep mode." After pressing the lock button or switching P Go to the background to use another app, it will stop logging distance and will not sense pokemon. To prevent the distraction of the game while logging miles, if that is a goal, turn off sounds and vibration in the game settings. To save battery life, turn the screen brightness down to the lowest level.

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