You know what they say: if it’s broken, don’t even bother trying to fix it. That seems to the approach Niantic has taken with Pokemon GO, as the newest update removes a key feature or two.
Players will likely have noticed that the AR game’s first major patch has entirely done away with the broken tracking system – instead of being stuck at three footprints all the time, there are now no footprints to complain about.
Niantic is aware of the problem, and it could simply be that they’ve decided to remove it altogether while they work on a proper fix. I’d certainly be surprised if that wasn’t the case.
Pokemon GO’s super helpful battery saver feature has also been removed now (but only on iOS). This enabled players to hunt for Pokemon for longer periods of time, as holding the phone by your side would dim the screen.
However, many users reported this feature was the cause of a number of crashes – again, I’d hope this is a temporary removal while Niantic work on a full fix.
Players will also now see a number of new safety warnings, as Niantic clearly underestimated just how stupid people can actually be.
Whereas before the game simply reminded you to remain aware of your surroundings in the hope that we’d all know what that meant, Niantic has now gone into specifics.
As such, when you boot up the game from now on, you’ll be told not to play while driving, and not to trespass on other people’s property.
Pokémon Go now has a fresh warning when you open the app. Probably sound advice… pic.twitter.com/6i3ywjghjB
— Tom Phillips (@tomphillipsEG) July 31, 2016
Numerous locations have also now been removed as PokeStops or gyms in-game following requests, such as the Washington DC Holocaust Museum, which had previously had to ask people not to run around catching cartoon monsters while there.
There are some other welcome changes too, such as the ability to customise your trainer avatar on the fly, general improvement to the speed and flow of the game, and spawn locations being altered, which means you should hopefully see a few new Pokemon.
Finally, some players have reported that the update erases progress, but there is a chance that the game is simply trying to log you into a different Google account.
Before you freak out and threaten to burn down Niantic Labs, just make sure that isn’t what’s happening in your case.
Ewan Moore is a journalist at UNILAD Gaming who still quite hasn’t gotten out of his mid 00’s emo phase. After graduating from the University of Portsmouth in 2015 with a BA in Journalism & Media Studies (thanks for asking), he went on to do some freelance words for various places, including Kotaku, Den of Geek, and TheSixthAxis, before landing a full time gig at UNILAD in 2016.