Pokemon GO is a game which has swept the world off its feet by integrating augmented reality or AR with the nostalgia of a decade old franchise. The skyrocketing popularity of the game has also been attracting hackers en masse. Many tracking apps flourished which could pinpoint the exact location of the mythical creatures appearing on the map, and even GPS-spoofing apps were being used to capture different Pokemon. And as it should be, the game’s developer Niantic is not happy about the unfair exploitation of the game and its feature.
Pokemon GO received an update from Niantic today with a couple of new additions and bug fixes highlighted in the changelog. Players will be disappointed to know that the Pokemon tracking feature which was removed in the last update, has not been fixed yet, but as a visual update, a patch of grass appears behind the Pokemon in the Sightings window. Apart from that, the update introduces a dialog screen to notify trainers if they are playing above a certain speed and advise them not to play while driving. Having said that, the game will not stop you from playing as there is an option available to inform the app that you are not driving.
This change comes as a reminder of the many accidents that have been caused due to people getting distracted while playing Pokemon GO on the road. A few users also tried to drive around instead of walking the required distance to hatch eggs, defeating the purpose of the game’s central physical activity motto. A bug affecting XP bonus given out to players for different throws categorized as ‘Nice’, ‘Great’, and ‘Excellent’ has also been fixed. A much-requested feature which allows a player to change their nickname once has also been added to the game. For the iOS specific version, the battery saver mode has been fixed and enabled.
A few days ago, Niantic released an update to the game which disabled the central tracking feature. This feature, although claimed broken, allowed users to track Pokemon with a three-step process, and the number of footprints on the nearby Pokemon window. Although not officially announced by Niantic, it is believed that the reason behind the update was to break compatibility with tracking apps like PokeVision. But in Niantic’s defense, the feature was already broken to start with and needed to be refined before it could be released to the general public. The update bumps the version number up to 0.33.0 and is already available in the Google Play Store.