When it comes to mobile games, and Internet phenomena in general, Pokémon GO is quite literally the hottest thing since sliced bread.

But South Africans are being asked to wait a couple of weeks to experience this battery (and attention) chewing mobile game, as it’s not due for release on the South African iTunes and Google Play stores just yet.

Niantic (the maker of the game) wants you to wait for the official release date.

But that doesn’t mean you have to. By carefully bending the truth a little and making a few things seem a little different to what they really are, you’ll be up and running and hunting down Pokémon (under the radar) in no time.

While some Android users have been installing the Pokémon GO .apk that’s made its way into the wild Internet,  this is unwise as versions have been found that are littered with malware.

If you must have it on Android, follow our handy guide to setting up a US Google ID and install it straight from the Play store.

And similarly, what follows here is the process for setting up a US iTunes account (with no payment information) and installing the application straight from the AppStore onto your iPhone.

So, grab your iPhone and let’s get cracking.

Step 1: Sign out

So, you’re in all likelihood logged into a valid (and South African) Apple ID at present. The first step is to log out of this account, so we can  get cracking creating a shiny, new US one.

So heading over to your iPhone’s Settings scroll down and head into iTunes & App Store and then tap on your current Apple ID (it should be right at the top of the page, highlighted in blue) and Sign Out.

Step 2: Set your Store to the US

Having successfully logged out of your current Apple ID, hit the home button and head over to the App Store application. Make sure you’re on the Featured tab and scroll all the way to the bottom of the page.

Find the nice, big ‘Sign In’ button right at the bottom and tap on it.

Choose Create New Apple ID from the dialog box, choose United States from the list of countries and tap Next. Now go ahead and accept the terms and conditions by tapping on Agree and then tapping on Agree (again) in the dialog box.

Now (and this part is important), hit the Cancel option in the top left corner of the next screen and then confirm that you do in fact want to cancel by tapping Yes when the next dialog appears.

Step 3: Search for the App (and install it)

Good job. You should now be firmly ensconced in the warmth of Apple’s US App Store.

Next, you’re going to want to tap on the Search tab (fourth icon across on the far bottom of the screen) and type Pokemon GO into the dialog box.

When the search results are returned, you’re looking for the app called Pokémon GO and nothing else.

Tap on the GET button next to it and when it changes to INSTALL, tap on that.

Step 4: Create your US iTunes account

You should be presented with a little dialog box with some choices in it. You’re looking for the one that says ‘Create New Apple ID’.

Go through the same motions you did before, i.e. make sure that United States is ticked and click Next, agree to the terms and conditions twice.

Now it’s time to actually capture the info you’re going to use for your US iTunes account. Fill the form out with all of your preferred information.

You’ll have to use a different e-mail account for this account to your main (South African) iTunes account, but you’ll be able to use your main account’s e-mail address as your recovery one (in case you forget your password or something equally silly).

When you’re done with that page, move on by tapping on Next. And don’t worry, if you’ve left anything out or typed it in incorrectly, it will let you know.

On the next page, make sure you’ve selected None under the payment section and input “some” US address, zip code and telephone details.

Ideally, you should use the valid address details of a friend or family member in the US, but to be honest, you could just as easily Google a  Starbucks or Dunkin Donuts in you favourite American town and use those details.

When you click ‘Next’ a message will pop up telling you to ‘Verify Your Account’.

Do that, by heading over to the inbox of the e-mail account you used to set this account up, and clicking on the verification link, Apple has sent.

Once you’ve done that, head back into iTunes & App Store and type your new US iTunes Account’s password.

And voila, Pokémon GO should start installing.

If for some reason it doesn’t just search for it again, tap on the GET and then INSTALL buttons and enter your new password.

Step 5: Cleaning up

Good job for getting this far!

All that remains is for you to head back into Settings and then iTunes & App Store and sign out of your US iTunes account and sign back into your South African account, so that your apps update as planned.

As a matter of course, you should log back into your US iTunes account periodically so you can check for app updates (as these won’t show up automatically while you’re logged into your South African account).

[Image – CC BY 2.0 Shannon]
Brett is the big cheese at Hypertext Media. He's been covering the technology industry for so long, he's seen old technology be 'respun' as the next big thing one too many times. He started Hypertext in 2002 and quite frankly hasn't looked back (although he often longs for the days when a steady salary, sick days and leave were a given). Publications in his stable include htxt.africa; DailyFive (http://www.dailyfive.tv); Connect; Tarsus Channel and GirlGuides (http://www.girlguides.co.za). He also hosts the ZA Tech Show (http://www.zatech.co.za), does a monthly tech column for Sawubona and writes the odd gadget piece for a magazine here and there. Currently uses: 11-inch Macbook Air, iPhone 5, Blackberry Z10, iPad Mini, Nexus 7, Kindle Paperwhite, Marley TTR Headphones, Xbox360, PS3, Nintendo 3DS.