Pokémon Code

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It’s been hard to miss the global phenomenon that has been Pokémon Go, and yes, I’m jumping on the bandwagon too. Well, kind of.

I have fond memories of the Pokémon card game and the original Game Boy games, and playing them with an ex-girlfriend’s younger brother.

Many lessons could be learned from the launch and marketing of the app, but Niantic had a head start with a large brand tie-in, years of experience with Ingress, and previously being part of Google certainly helps. Page upon page of coverage also helps, be it negative or positive, when the app will start making real money for all involved is an unknown, but the current potential is huge. Pokémon Go is literally the most successful app ever (so far).

Enough of that, let’s dig more into what’s behind the app code-wise. In this fascinating post from French developers, Applidium, they reverse engineered the app to get a rough idea of what lurks underneath. It’s surprisingly easy process to undertake on Android, and not one I had ever thought of looking into. It reveals the code to be fairly straightforward, but using a couple of interesting libraries and services, and the weight that these can add with their own dependencies. Reverse engineering an app may not tell you much about exactly how a hit app is coded, but tells you a lot about how it’s architected.

The post closes with how to prevent inquisitive developers breaking open your app code, an essential guide for any more secretive individuals or companies. I wonder what cracking open other popular apps would reveal.

Anyone up for the challenge? Let me know what you discover.

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