Latest Pokemon GO Update Addresses "Nearby" Feature

Patch also fixes bugs, adds speed limiting feature.

Latest Pokemon GO Update Addresses

Pokemon GO has been a real roller coaster throughout the summer. Launching in a dubiously functional state, the smash-hit app has seen its fair share of tweaks.

Perhaps the biggest change has been the deletion of the "Nearby" mechanic that Pokemon GO launched with. The feature, intended to help players gauge how far they are from a given Pokemon, was rendered useless after an update. A subsequent patch didn't fix the issue, instead gutting the mechanic entirely.

But fans of the feature may be in luck, if the new update rolling out is any indication. In place of "steps," Niantic has added in the "Sightings" feature, which has two functions. Firstly, it tells players what's in their immediate vicinity. Secondly, it shows which Pokemon are around nearby Pokestops using photographs. This means players are getting a clear idea of what's immediately catchable, on top of being able to scope out local Pokestops.

From my limited experience with it (I just tested it out a bit before writing this) the new feature works pretty well. It's definitely less buggy than the original feature, although telling players "a Pokemon is here, go get it" seems a little easy. Regardless, it's nice that a new feature launched without issue. Here's hoping a future update doesn't wreck that.

This feature isn't the only new addition to the game, however. Niantic has also fixed the Battery Saver mode, and added in a new speed limit feature. That last one keeps you from playing if you're going a certain MPH/KPH. It's clearly a reaction to irresponsible players trying to hit Pokestops and catch Pokemon while driving. However, I have been told that it can be finicky, and will lock up the game while people are just walking. If that's the case, it pretty much quashes joggers being able to play effectively.

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So far, however, this does seem to be the most stable build of the game so far. Especially since a bug preventing Pokemon from being caught has now been patched. Hopefully, this update can get us closer to a stable, reliable game.