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Pokémon Go Update Removes 'Nearby' Tracking With Footprints, PokéVision Becomes Unavailable

by Elise Favis on Jul 31, 2016 at 04:50 AM

An update (version 0.31.0) for Pokémon Go released last night, bringing a host of improvements, while also adding some new problems. The three-step glitch that many players noted has been fixed by removing footprints entirely. Unfortunately, that now means finding Pokémon is even more based on luck than actual tracking. This, in turn, has shut down the third-party app PokéVision, which helped users track Pokémon on a map in real-time.

New achievement medals have also been added, and you'll now be able to re-customize your trainer's look on the profile screen, including changing gender along with a swap of clothes. In terms of transferring Pokémon, you can now do so immediately after catching one, but you are still limited to one transfer at a time. New prompts have been added to the game as well, such as warning users to be aware of their surroundings and to not play the game behind the wheel. This is likely due to the traffic accidents and other unfortunate news stories that have resulted from the game.

Check out Niantic's full patch notes below:

  • Avatars can now be re-customized from the Trainer profile screen
  • Adjusted battle move damage values for some Pokémon
  • Refined certain Gym animations
  • Improved memory issues
  • Removed footprints of nearby Pokémon
  • Modified battle damage calculation
  • Various bug fixes during wild Pokémon encounter
  • Updated Pokémon details screen
  • Updated achievement medal images
  • Fixed issues with displaying certain map features
  • Minor text fixes

PokéVision, a third-party tracking tool for Pokémon Go, has become unavailable since this latest update. This is likely because of Niantic's removal of tracking Pokémon altogether, but it sounds like the team has been cracking down on these third-party tools. PokeHound, another tracking application for the game, has also become unavailable, with its website stating "We tried our best" and its Twitter account deleted. Allegedly, Niantic sent an email to these third-party trackers, listing its terms of service. 

For more on Pokémon Go, check out the reveal of the team leaders' appearances, along with editor Brian Shea's feature on how the game was a smash hit at San Diego Comic-Con.


Our Take
There's some decent improvements in this list, but it's both frustrating and disappointing to see the footstep tracker system removed. Niantic had a really neat function that needed some refinements, rather than a complete removal. I hope it's a temporary omission, but it's unclear whether the team wishes to reinstate the function at a later date. As for PokéVision, its team hasn't said they've shut it down indefinitely, but I'd guess that will likely be the case.