A new update from Niantic about Pokemon Go account bans basically says you can use 3rd party Pokemon Go maps and trackers for now.
Niantic is at war with Pokemon Go bots and 3rd party apps that scrap real-time data of the location of Pokemon to provide users with information where they can find Pokemon. Niantic is not offering that very necessary feature inside the Pokemon Go app. They removed the nearby tracker feature after it proofed not to be scalable early on after the release of the game in July.
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John Hanke, CEO of Niantic, released an update yesterday on Pokemon Go account bans, that is somewhat confusing to read. Between the lines it says though that Niantic knows that trainers need trackers and that Niantic is not offering them. That is why it is ok to use 3rd party trackers, despite them being against the ToS of Pokemon Go. Anyway, this is the take away from the latest update.
Hanke explains in it that some users have been banned using add-on map apps unaware that some of them scrape data in the background from Pokemon Go servers and harvest them. "These apps can have an effect similar to DDoS attacks on our servers. Because of this we have had to ban some accounts associated with using these add-on map tools, leading to confusion by some users about why they were banned. This is a small subset of the accounts banned," explains Hanke.
Niantic made changes and is now able to unban these accounts. This is kind of a move of weakness. It is though giving users a free pass to use Pokemon Go trackers for now. These apps are against the ToS and Niantic says that using them can get you banned going forward.
We predictd that as soon as the in-app nearby tracker feature is rolling out to all users, Niantic will let trainers use 3rd party Pokemon maps.
Niantic still says to go after Pokemon Go bots. "Accounts whose sole purpose was to scrape data are not being unbanned. Accounts which used apps or websites to remotely capture Pokémon, battle or deploy on Gyms, or harvest resources from PokéStops are also not being unbanned. Accounts which used apps or websites to remotely capture Pokémon, battle or deploy on Gyms, or harvest resources from PokéStops are also not being unbanned. Our main priority is to provide a fair, fun, and legitimate experience for all players, so, aggressive banning will continue to occur for players who engage in these kinds of activities," John Hanke ends his update.
We have seen many comments from Pokemon Go users in response to this update from Niantic that say that trainers would stop using 3rd party Pokemon Go maps as soon as there is an official tracker. Let's see if Niantic is managing to roll this out in September. They kind of have to by the end of next month, because of the release of the Pokemon Go Plus Bluetooth bracelet.
Nintendo's Pokemon Go wearable is vibrating if a Pokemon is near. To make that work, the Pokemon Go app needs have a tracker feature. It is unclear how powerful the Pokemon Go Plus tracking will be. Ideally trainers can set filters to get only notified when specific Pokemon are nearby.
As long as Niantic is not rolling out the Pokemon tracker feature in the app to all trainers, here is a list of available Pokemon Go maps, trackers and notifiers. Using any 3rd party Pokemon Go software can get your account permanently banned.