Remember the last piece where we mentioned that Windows Phone is being left out of the Pokemon GO action? Finally, there’s a version out there for Window Phones. Unfortunately, like many other Windows Phone apps, it’s not official, but it connects to Pokemon Go servers. It even follows Microsoft’s standard of nomenclature. The app is called PoGo-UWP. Just rolls out of your tongue doesn’t it? UWP stands for Microsoft’s Universal Windows Platform that enables an app to run on both Windows 10 and Windows 10 Mobile. It’s an app made by a guy with a potential supervillain mindset. Just how did the app come about?
The app was written from scratch by a guy suspected of being without ‘passion’ by Microsoft. Imagine that. In a sense, PoGO-UWP is the result of a crime of passion, the type of crime often the stuff of movies or thought-provoking TV. The perp’s name is a developer named Stefano Tenuta.
“…because learning new things is always cool…because it could be done…Because Microsoft rejected my job application saying that I wasn’t showing enough ‘passion’, and this proves them wrong :)… Being rejected is always a good source for motivations, and proving that I’m better than what they thought is one of them,”
— Stefano Tenuta
Now that is a guy with passion and giving Windows Phone owners who are passionate about their devices, a chance to roam around and catch Pokemon, is definitely a sign of talent or the potential of becoming a super-villain. There are always those square pegs trying to get into round holes that the late Steve Jobs talked about, still developing for defunct or obscure systems until they can develop no longer. What’s Microsoft thinking? This guy may have just given Microsoft that additional 1 to 5 percent market share. According to Tenuta on his interview with Business Insider, the app already has 50,000 unique users who open it about 1.5 million times a month.
Niantic, as well as other developers’ refusal to develop for Windows Phone and Windows 10 Mobile stem from the perceived lack of market share of Microsoft’s operating system. But many people who tried and use the platform end up loving the product making the few developers who work on the platform rather unique. It’s a chicken or egg thing for Microsoft. Developers aren’t making apps for Windows Phone because of lack of market share and lack of market share is because no one’s developing apps.
Now, about the app, PoGO-UWP (even typing it is a pain) functions much like the real Pokemon GO app unlike those me-too Chinese apps in Android. Much like other Freeware, donations allow the development to continue and Windows Phone fans are just happy to contribute. It connects to Pokemon GO servers so most of the functionality is there and Windows Phone users can now play with others running Pokemon GO on Android and iOS. Visually, the app looks very similar so Pokemon GO players on other platforms who are hesitant to shift to Windows Phone/Mobile can soon do so granted that Niantic doesn’t pull the plug on the project.
Niantic is currently conducting a witch hunt for unofficial Pokemon apps that give other users an unfair advantage. But Tenuta isn’t worried as the app isn’t designed to do so and his goal is just to get the game to work as good as the original. He isn’t alone in the project, and he’s been getting the help of other equally passionate people either passionate about Windows Phone or Pokemon GO or both, who volunteered to help him.
“I honestly didn’t expect such help from people, but I’m really glad that they’re here because I couldn’t have done this without them…we’re not harming anyone with this project, but we’re giving more users the chance to play their game, and every one of these users may be a potential customer for their in-app purchases, so this can be a win-win situation for both of us,”
— Stefano Tenuta
One sour note about PoGO-UWP is that it doesn’t function on the get-go. You’ll need to first create an account on the original Pokemon GO app on iOS or Android and choose your first Pokemon. After that, it should work okay with a few glitches, but Stefano and company should Weedle it out soon. As a UWP app, PoGO-UWP should install on Windows 10 Mobile phones, laptops and tablets.