A new update to Pokemon Go has broken many of the app’s most useful features – including the ability to find Pokemon.
The controversial update has removed a whole host of the apps most popular features, including the tool that told people how near Pokemon were and breaking the app so that people lose their progress.
But perhaps the most lasting could be the developers’ decision to cut off access to the game for third party apps like Pokevision. Those tools catalogued where Pokemon were in the real world, so that people could head to specific locations to find the animals they wanted, and could be alerted when they were nearby.
When the update was installed, those apps lost access to the game and so can no longer work. That leaves people with no way of finding the Pokemon they’re looking for, since the “step counter” feature was removed at the same time.
The company appears to be committed not to let those third-party apps into the game as it considers them cheating. That means that they’re unlikely ever to return.
John Hanke, the head of Pokemon Go developers Niantic, has said that using the tools counts as a kind of cheating.
“Yeah, I don’t really like that. Not a fan,” he told Forbes last week.
“We have priorities right now but they might find in the future that those things may not work. People are only hurting themselves because it takes some fun out of the game. People are hacking around trying to take data out of our system and that’s against our terms of service.”
But it isn’t clear how that sits with the fact that the game originally had a tool that served much the same purpose, showing people how far away certain creatures were – but that never worked.
That tracking feature has now been removed, in the same update that disabled third-party apps.
Pokevision’s official account tweeted out a message to say that it didn’t have anything more to say.
“At this moment, we are respecting Niantic and Nintendo's wishes,” it wrote. “Will keep you guys posted.”
But one of the creators of the app, Yangcheng Liu, tweeted more passionately about the fact that developers Niantic appeared to have broken one of the central parts of the game.
As with many of the other changes in the most recent update, the removal of Pokevision and its competitors has provoked ire among trainers. Many have said that they have stopped playing the game since the update, and others are requesting refunds for the in-app purchases they have made.
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