Pokédex for iOS vs Pokédex 3DS Pro,
I’ll start off saying I am not a writer. Never was. I can’t even get 140 characters right on Twitter without having a typo. So hopefully my attempt at putting words together won’t turn you away from this read.
Before I dive into comparing the Pokédex for iOS app and the Pokédex 3D Pro app, I want to thank a friend on Twitter named Omen. Omen and I got into a friendly argument about the differences of these two apps. I LOVE friendly arguments because it really shows both sides strongly. Life would be boring if everyone just agreed. I’ve always wanted that spark of argument on “It’s Super Effective” from time to time too. Maybe the next 100 episodes will be wildly controversial. Anyways Omen, you are the main inspiration of this article, so thank you!
So I want to point out a very important thing before we begin. Both of these apps are designed for premium users. They are designed for fans that not only love Pokémon, but for people who like convenience. At any point, you can say “this is dumb, I’ll just go to Bulbapedia” and you are absolutely right. These apps provide no extra information that Bulbapedia cannot provide to you! In terms, these apps provide sparkles and noises that would humor any fan of Pokémon, plus some other stuff we will get to.
So let’s talk about the Pokédex 3D Pro first. This app only works on the Nintendo 3DS and you can download it in the Nintendo eShop for $14.99. This app debuted in Japan on July 14th, 2012, and it was made available to pretty much everyone else on November 8th, 2012. Of course being on the 3DS, this app features Pokémon in 3D on the top screen. When you select a Pokémon, you have a really cool voice shout out that Pokémon’s name. When a Pokémon is selected, the bottom screen holds stats, represented by bars, no numbers here (so you’ll have to use Bulbapedia if you’re crunching base stat totals). What else is on that bottom screen, you ask? Well, you can control the Pokémon cry and make them move a bit with some animation. Followed by all this, you have the Egg Group, Abilities (descriptions of the Abilities too), and what level said Pokémon evolves, which comes with an easy tap to take you to that evolution. Now if you keep scrolling down on the bottom screen, you’ll get your matchup for type, then the move-pool that includes levels learned, type of attack, kind of attack, power, accuracy, and PP. This all seems like what you would expect out of a Pokédex app, right? Outside the actual Dex, you see a Records page on the top. This keeps track off all the Pokémon entries you have read, found, or remembered. It also keeps track of your challenge scores. There is also a rainbow bar at the bottom of this app. It’s used as a clumsy way to quickly switch to another Pokémon horizontally with your finger and the d-pad. Honestly, you’re better off going to list view and scrolling up and down.
There is also a Move Dex in this app with that same clumsy bar. The Move Dex does shows the move numbers/statistics on the top screen. The bottom screen shows the Pokémon that can learn said move and the effect/field effect. Swiping left and right on the bottom screen will move to the next move in alphabetical order.
Finally, the Pokédex 3D Pro app has the AR Viewer to scan those QR codes, but more importantly, the app includes what is called the Pokémon Challenge. The Pokémon Challenge includes timed trivia games that help you identify Pokémon in a multiple choice form. This trivia game goes to the extent to start comparing Pokémon Form(e)s, Pokédex text, and more. It will definitely keep a Pokémon fan busy for a while.
I love that the Pokémon Company made a separate Pokédex app for the 3DS. The voicing in the app is outstanding, the Pokémon look great, and the trivia alone makes the app worth the purchase. My main complaint is the function compared to the game. Most people would want their Pokédex open while exploring between Kanto to Unova. Unless you’re high balling with two different (3)DSs, that isn’t going to happen for you without quitting one app or the other. The other complaint isn’t so much the game, but the resistive touchscreen. As you may know, the 3DS uses a resistive touchscreen, which is pressure sensitive and can be used with a normal stylus. The problem with this in the Pokédex 3DS Pro app is that here is so much information to scroll through on top of a lot of information to touch, that navigation can be a tiny bit frustrating. I found various times I was scrolling up and down in the move-pool, while accidentally clicking on moves I didn’t mean to touch. A 3DS XL would probably clean up that last complaint of mine. My final complaint (because that’s why people read these) is the stupid, barely usable, horizontal rainbow bar. I’m sorry, but not only do I not care to read sideways, but when I think of Gorebyss, I don’t think of the color green.
Let’s move onto the highly controversial Pokédex for iOS. Why do I say this? Well, at first you see the app only cost $1.99. That’s so much cheaper then the Pokédex 3D Pro, right? Wrong. Like most of us who don’t read the details of the app, the $1.99 gets you the Unova Dex of 494 to 647 (You can get Meloetta unlocked by entering ‘TCPBSDCR’ into the search bar). So how do I get Kanto, Johto, Hoenn, and Sinnoh? Well, for an extra $5.99 per region, you too can own the entire app for $26. Now before everyone keeps complaining about price, let’s take a look at something. The 3DS app is $15 and works on the 3DS, which there are about… 22 million out there. The Pokédex for iOS app works on any iOS device running 6.0 or higher… which includes over 200 million devices. This covers the iPod Touch (4th Gen and newer), the iPad 2, the iPad Mini, the iPad with Retina Display, the iPhone 3GS, iPhone 4/4S, and the iPhone 5. Now, if you are a developer, getting an app to work across all the iPhones (even the iPhone 5’s larger screen) is pretty easy (this includes you too, iPod Touch). I think a lot of people forget that this isn’t just a port to the iPad. The iPad, while includes all the same data and information, has way more real-estate to play with and different touch gestures. In terms, these apps are entirely different structure-wise. One is ultimately paying $26 for two apps. And let’s take a look at Angry Birds for a second. If you want that game on iPhone/iPod it’s .99¢, BUT if you want that “same” app on the iPad, it’s $2.99. While some of you may say that’s stupid not to have one universal app, it’s hard to argue that to Rovio Entertainment who keeps Angry Birds in the top 10 every week on both devices. So trying to get back on topic, I think the Pokémon Company did the right thing with making a universal app. Also be prepared if you download all the content, it takes up a whopping 1.6GBs on your device(s). I forgot to mention this app came out in Japan on November 8th, 2012. America got version 1.1 of this app on December 10th, 2012.
Let’s dive into the actual interface of this app. First off, the iOS app has 7 different languages that can be changed on the HM02 (Fly). This app covers English, French, Spanish, German, Italian, and two kinds of Japanese. This is a huge feature, and someone can correct me if I’m wrong, but there was no way to change the language in the Pokédex 3D Pro app. Another feature is that you can export and import memos and icons. What does this mean? This app can work with any .txt (Text File) back and forth. If you jot up a bunch of memos, you can transfer it to your computer, edit it, and transfer it right back to your iOS app. Let’s go further, shall we? The Move Dex app can sort by all the same ways the 3DS Pokédex Pro app can, except with one extra search option. The iOS app can search by icons (which is identified by one of five different stars). Let’s say you are working on a double’s team; mark the moves and Pokémon you might consider using with a purple star. Singles Team? You can identify your moves and Pokémon with a different color star like green. This makes it extremely handy to quickly start putting a team together in your pocket. Unlike the Pokédex 3D Pro app, the Move Dex in the iOS app will also show you how much damage that specific move will do to a type of Pokémon. The Pokédex app itself includes a fully-rendered Pokémon that you can spin, animate, and cry. One of the coolest things about this app is that you can compare the height of any Pokémon to Pikachu. Since the entire world knows Pikachu’s height of… umm… 1’4”… anyways… This app is also missing base stat total too. If you want an average bar of blue, both apps match on that. The Pokédex for iOS also has tab of “Where to Find” which covers Diamond/Pearl games up to Black 2/White 2, and all the games in between those.
The biggest complaint I see about the iOS app is that it is $9 more then the 3DS app. For a universal and Retina enabled app, on top of not only the Pokémon Company’s, but Nintendo’s first iOS app ever, it’s hard for me to say that it should be a duty to buy this game to show that Pokémon is alive and stronger then ever – we need more content like this to keep coming.
So let’s talk about what both these apps are missing. Both apps do not having breeding groups, there are no shiny sprites at all, and no base stat totals. Both apps don’t touch on EVs or IVs. Finally, both apps don’t have any item support. I also want to point out that both of these apps work WITHOUT an Internet connection, which may be a huge deal if you don’t have a computer with Internet next to you (like in a car ride to a Pokémon tournament). Being digital of course, keep in mind that these apps can be updated. Personally, I see the iOS app being updated more so then the 3DS app.
If your reason for not buying one of these apps over the other is the price, then you are a consumer that doesn’t see value in convenience or features. Again, Bulbapedia is a free resource and will always be there for you, so if you want to use that, fine, then don’t complain about the price of these apps, they weren’t made for freeloaders. Free is free.
A final comparison. The only thing the Pokédex 3DS Pro has over the iOS app is the “Pokémon Challenge” (the trivia games), the Records/Albums data, the cool voice, and it differentiates between the tutored/learned/egg moves. The iOS app has the size comparison to Pikachu, can sync .txt files to your computer back and forth, has direct move matchup data, a location guide, icon (star) organization, and the fact that it is a universal app. On top of that, the app groups Pokémon together during your search. If you tap on Abra, for example, it will queue up Gothita, Solosis, and Ralts at the bottom for you. This is a super convenient feature! While both apps are far from perfect, to compare the two completely puts me in a situation where I would use Pokédex for iOS as my primary Dex. The biggest reason is that I can access this app across all my iOS devices, and I cannot use Pokédex 3D Pro while I play my copy of Black 2. I will use Pokédex 3D Pro for the awesome trivia, but I bought both apps for the Pokédex features, and after playing with both of them, it’s clear that Pokédex for iOS has more than a couple features that the 3D Pro app doesn’t offer.
Did I miss anything? Wrong or right? I would love to hear your opinions in the comments below. Anyone who comments will automatically be entered to win the full version of the Pokédex for iOS that I will gift to you. Don’t have an iOS device? Then I will gift you the Pokédex 3D Pro app for your 3DS. Don’t have a 3DS? Well… Bulbapedia says “hi”.
Written by Steve Black Jr. | sbj
Proofed by Greg
Quick follow up. A Twitter follower did point out that you can indeed change the languages on the Pokédex 3D Pro app by going into the gear settings and scrolling down. Good find!