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Niantic Makes Some Updates to Pokémon Go, But is it Enough?

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In addition to developing a new Harry Potter mobile game, Niantic is also rolling out another update for Pokémon Go.  The new version makes a few minor improvements, but you will notice it most if you are an owner of the iPhone X.  The update optimizes Pokémon for the iPhone X’s screen resolution, but the update also lets you play in AR mode.  Which I think is really cool.  And, it should be because this is a big “new” feature that Apple was introducing with the new iPhone, right? Aside from that, and a few bug fixes, this update doesn’t have that much going for it, to be honest.

In terms of specific bugs that Niantic has addressed, the new update resolves an issue that prevented players from maxing out their Pokémon’s CP.  It also fixes a bug that caused error banners to remain on the screen until the app was restarted.  Additionally, the new update improves load times when you open the game.  Which are all great updates, but it doesn’t feel like it’s that much, does it?  Perhaps Niantic is putting their time, money and effort into their new Harry Potter game?

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Pokémon Go iOS Version 1.53.2 / Android Version 0.83.1 Patch Notes:

  • Added support and made optimizations for the iPhone X screen resolution.
  • Removed support for devices running iOS 8.
  • Resolved a bug causing error banners to remain visible until the app is restarted.
  • Resolved a bug that prevented Trainers from powering up Pokemon to their max CP.
  • Improved load times when you open the app.
  • Various bug fixes and performance updates.

The big thing that was happening with Pokémon, however, was their latest Pokémon Go event.  It is unfortunately over now, but Niantic Labs are reporting that players caught more than 3 billion Pokémon, which allowed them to unlock some rewards.  Note – the challenge was to catch 3 billion Pokémon worldwide.  And the reward?  Farfetch’d, which was previously only available in Japan is available to be caught worldwide (until December 1).  But it doesn’t stop there.  There is another Pokémon Go challenge available until December 12.  Niantic is making Ho-Oh, one of the Johto region’s two legendary Pokémon up for grabs in Raid Battles worldwide.

Niantic has also recently announced big changes to their Pokémon Go raids.   Raids are designed to even the playing field for trainers at all levels.  The raid system has faced criticism because of the way it seems to favor certain players and locations, but the changes should rectify things.  There’s a big jump in the quality of rewards for raid participation. Trainers will get Golden Razz Berries for completing raid battles, and while the number of potions and revives awarded for completion will decrease, their quality will improve. Trainers will receive stardust for taking part in a raid battle whether they win or lose, and the likelihood of getting fast and charged technical machines for tier 3+ raid battles has increased.

There is a lot going on with Pokémon Go, but I’m surprised that there isn’t more hype around it and the iPhone X augmented reality feature.  But like I said, maybe Niantic is putting more effort and resources into building their new Harry Potter game?  Pokémon Go seems to have died down a bit in popularity, so I wonder if they’re shifting gears to try to get people playing more of their games.