Niantic released the Pokemon Go Buddy feature on September 10.
The highly anticipated Buddy feature is released. The Pokemon Go app update 1.7.0 for iOS and 0.37.0 is released. Niantic this time chose a Saturday.
Niantic announced the Pokemon Buddy feature on September 2nd, after references of the new features have been spotted in the Pokemon Go app source code. The new Pokemon Go app update with the Buddy feature is already available for Android users now in the Google Play Store. The update has not yet been released on iTunes for iPhone users. Again it might take 24 hours longer for the iOS release like last time.
Update: The Pokemon Go App 1.7.0 for iOS has still not been released as of Monday, September 12, 5am ET. Android users have already fun with the Pokemon Buddy feature discovering easter eggs such as getting Pikachu on your shoulder after 10km walk.
Android users will experience a staged rollout based on region. I can see the 0.37.0 Pokemon Go app version in the United States and also in Europe.
Niantic published the following release notes for Pokemon Go app 1.7.0 and 0.37.0.
Pokemon Go App Update September 10:
- Buddy Pokémon: Trainers will now be able to choose one of their Pokémon to be their buddy. A Trainer can earn Candy for their Buddy Pokémon by walking a certain distance.
- Made it easier to select smaller Pokémon on the screen.
- Fixed an issue where Eggs would sometimes hatch without displaying the animation.
- Improved performance reliability when a device switches networks to no longer cause the application to hang or stop updating.
- Pokémon GO Plus support
- Minor text fixes.
Niantic has announced last week that the Pokemon Go Plus ships on September 16. This release is already supporting the upcoming device.
The Buddy Pokemon feature announcement has been welcomed very positively by the trainer community. You will be able to pick your favorite Pokémon from your collection to become your buddy, opening up unique in-game rewards and experiences. Buddy Pokémon will appear alongside your Trainer avatar on your profile screen, adding helpful bonuses such as awarding Candy for walking together. You’ll also have the ability to change your Buddy Pokémon at any time.
While it would be more exciting to see Snorlax walking besides you in augmented reality, the new feature has still a lot of appeal.
Pokemon Buddy will be the biggest update after the appraisal feature. While the Buddy Pokemon feature is neat, what is more anticipated is the in-app Pokemon Go tracker. Niantic has not made any comments on when to expect the new nearby tracker. Trainers complain in the comments that they would have preferred to get an in-app Pokemon tracker over the buddy feature.
Niantic included in the release note that the company continues to focus on eliminating bots and scrapers from Pokemon Go. Niantic also notes that rooted or jailbroken devices are not supported by Pokemon Go. It is not clear what Niantic wants to say with this. Jailbreaker now that they are not official. Question is can Niantic spot them and ban them. Update: Now it is clear what this means. Niantic introduced code to make the Pokemon Go app stop run on rooted Android phones.
While the in-app Pokemon Go tracker is still in the work you can use these Pokemon Go maps and tracker apps that do not require a login. See also our complete Pokemon Go Tracker Round-up. Read the latest Pokemon Go News.