Will the latest update to Pokémon GO fix or break it?

Opinion

Niantic’s update to Pokémon GO modifies game behaviour, as well as shifting the locations of some Pokéstops, which will please some privacy advocates while probably annoying fans of the game.
Niantic made it very clear from the start that it intended to iterate with Pokémon GO, adding new features and tweaking the gameplay experience as it went.
Also, and this shouldn’t even be neccessary, but people are… people, to put it politely, it also now warns you rather specifically of something not to do while playing the game.

Yes, people were driving and playing Pokémon GO. Accidents waiting to happen, but other people could get hurt, so this is a sensible step.
Yes, people were driving and playing Pokémon GO.
Accidents waiting to happen, but other people could get hurt, so this is a sensible step.

One of the more unusual changes in the code relates to the battery saver mode. It’s not much of a battery saver — it simply dims the screen if you dip it so you can walk around saving a little power — but it’s gone as of this update for the iOS version. Android users still get access to battery saver mode for now.
We discussed future updates (and plenty more Pokémon GO related material) in this week’s Vertical Hold with Pokémon GO enthusiast Matthew Wu:

The latest update modifies the game experience in the following ways, according to Niantic’s release notes:
Trainers, Pokémon GO has been updated to version 0.31.0:
– 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

So what does that all mean? It should mean a more stable game experience, for a start, hopefully including that terrible “Schrodinger’s Pokémon” issue where you catch a ‘mon and the game freezes in on your Pokéball. Personally, I’ve hit that with both captured Pokémon and hatching eggs, and it’s always annoying.
There are also reports of the ways that rejigged power values affect the metagame, as well as the locations of some Pokéstops being changed. Within the Australian context, the Rhodes Pokéstops at Peg Patterson park appear to have been reduced according to what I’ve seen in social media, so perhaps the thronging of eager Pokéfans will reduce somewhat.
If you’ve got Pokémon GO installed on your Android or iOS device, the update should be available through your respective app stores; if you’ve got automatic app updates enabled you may already be running it.

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