Pokémon Go update wants you to stop playing while driving

Time to refresh your apps again, folks: Niantic has just rolled out another update for Pokémon Go, and it brings with it a stack of interesting things we never knew we wanted.

Anyone who’s played the game for a while will tell you that there’s little point trying to catch ’em all while you’re in a moving vehicle. You’re travelling too fast to actually catch the Pokémon, and by the time you select a Pokéstop, you’ve already zoomed past. Plus, crucially, travelling above a certain speed doesn’t count towards your walking total, meaning you won’t be able to hatch those eggs any quicker.

But it seems there are still people trying to play in cars – and not just as passengers. Niantic’s new update will remind fans not to play Pokémon Go while driving, popping up nagging reminder messages when the game detects it is moving too fast.

As you might expect from a Niantic update, this isn’t quite working as planned: You’ll get the pop-ups when you’re a passenger (obviously), riding on a train, sitting on a bus, or even when you’re just hanging out at the kitchen table, thanks to the inevitable GPS glitches. It’s not game-breaking, but it is certainly annoying to have to keep reminding the game that “Yes, I am a passenger” (and I ride and I ride).

The update – v0.33.0 for Android and v1.3.0 for iOS – also brings with it an “experimental new system” for finding nearby Pokémon. It’s currently in testing and has only been rolled out to a select handful of gamers, so you may or may not actually see this tweak today.

It’s a new Nearby system, now called “Sightings”. While it’s still not as useful as the -three-footprint system, it’s still got some potential. Perhaps most handy: It has gotten rid of duplicate monsters, so no more screens full of zubats!

The update also squishes that XP bug that has seen players not being rewarded for “Nice”, “Great and “Excellent” Poké ball throws. It gives you the ability to change your nickname once, if you’ve picked something you don’t like, and – hooray! – this patch also resolves some nagging issues on Power Saving mode, and re-enables that handy feature.

Here’s the changelog – you should be able to grab this one now, regardless of which flavour smartphone you’re using:

  • Added a dialog to remind Trainers that they should not play while traveling above a certain speed. Trainers must confirm they are not driving in order to continue playing.
  • Made improvements to the accuracy of a curveball throw.
  • Fixed a bug that prevented ”Nice,” ”Great,” and “Excellent” Poké Ball throws from awarding the appropriate XP bonuses.
  • Fixed achievements showing incorrect Medal icons.
  • Enabled the ability for Trainers to change their nickname one time. Please choose your new nickname wisely.
  • Resolved issues with the battery saver mode on iOS and re-enabled the feature.
  • Added visuals of Team Leaders Candela, Blanche, and Spark.
  • We’re currently testing a variation of the “Nearby Pokémon” feature with a subset of users. During this period you may see some variation in the nearby Pokémon UI.
  • Minor text fixes

…and in case you were curious, that “variation in the nearby Pokémon UI”? It’s grass. That’s what you wanted, right?

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