More like “Pokemon Stop” for me: How Niantic Decided I Was Cheating, Even Though I Wasn’t.

Edit: If you’re the owner of a rooted phone with this same problem, you can follow the steps in this reddit thread.  The key bit for me:

The Google CSR sent me an email link and suggested that I report Niantic via the Report Inappropriate Apps form.
Their choice to allow rooted users to make purchases and then later
deny them access to the purchased content falls under the Google
category of an “Unlawful Activities” –> “Deceptive Behavior”

Bye bye, Pikachu. 

After two months or so playing the game – and being one of the people who has actually spent money to support the game (and get extra stuff), I uninstalled it yesterday.
I didn’t want to – I enjoyed having something to do while walking my dog. I played just enough to stay competitive, but little enough that I hadn’t gotten burned out.
But that also means that I was a casual enough player that I didn’t follow Niantic’s Facebook posts, so I didn’t realize the new update would completely make the game unplayable. 
Like this:
Not my phone, but could be.

 Yup, after two months of no problems, suddenly I discovered that having rooted my android phone meant that I could no longer play the game.

I rooted my phone a while back – before I ever thought about installing Pokemon Go – mostly so I could use applications to be able to fully use my SD card after the Lollipop update. That functionality is something I kind of need on my older phone in order to have space to… oh, play things like Pokemon Go. (I also use it with Tasker to automate some other things that should be able to be automatic, but aren’t.)
Yeah, yeah, I get it. Some people used GPS spoofing in order to cheat. I actually ran into that – while at a gym in an otherwise empty park, someone kept fighting me for it, even though there was no-one else in sight. 
As annoying as that was, not being able to play is a far sight more annoying.
Add in the assumption that I must be cheating because I could be cheating, and I’m righteously pissed off. 
Nevermind that you can easily find ways to spoof your GPS without rooting. Nevermind that literally days after the ban on jailbroken and rooted phones was rolled out, there’s already ways to make it so you can play the game on your rooted phone or jailbroken phone.
It’s too much trouble for me to jump through those hoops myself. And I shouldn’t have to.
I’m one of the people who spent money on this game, and was still playing and enjoying it. 
Now? I can either uninstall this NON WORKING game, or tweak a bunch more stuff to pretend my phone isn’t rooted.  
Niantic has made a lot of mis-steps with this game, and I’ve forgiven them all so far. 
Treating me like a cheater when I’m not was the last straw.

Featured Photo by Kamil S on Unsplash

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