Niantic serves big blow to bot users and GPS spoofers with the latest Pokemon Go App Update 0.37.0.
On Saturday, Niantic release the new Pokemon Go App update 0.37.0 for Android and 1.7.0 for iOS. The main new feature is the Pokemon Buddy feature. In the release notes Niantic mentions that rooted or jailbroken devices are not supported by Pokemon Go. At first it was not clear what that meant. It turns out Niantic implemented to prevent Pokemon Go run on rooted Android devices.
People run Pokemon Go on rooted devices for all kinds of reasons. There are many tweaks available to enhance Pokemon Go that run only on rooted devices that make game play more convenient. GPS spoofing and using rooted devices to scrape Pokemon Go data is another use.
Niantic adopted Google's SafetyNet system to check if an Android is rooted. There is a way to still run Pokemon Go on rooted devices. It is more complicated than the regular method of root an Android device. The guide on how to use Magisk is available here. The beauty of Magisk is that you can toggle with the Magisk Manager root on or off. If it's off, the PokemonGo app works, if it's on then you can use your apps and tweaks that require root access.
The blocking of rooted devices also hits trainers that just own a rooted Android device for other reasons. Now they cannot play Pokemon Go anymore and need to either use the Magisk solution or get a non-rooted phone. This move against the rooted community has caused already some backlash. There is a big subculture around rooted Android phones, with Chinese phone makers like OnePlus.
Developer of the popular FastPokeMap Pokemon map slams Niantic: "Rooting is part of the Android ecosystem. Disallowing it is a fuck you to an established community. This was the worst move i've seen ever. This new update will piss off legit players that have rooted/jailbreak phone. It won't decrease hacking at all or affect FPM." This expressed the current sentiment of rooted Android users quite well.
The Pokemon Go 0.37.0 APK file is available from APKMirror (download at own risk). It only will benefit you if you have Magisk installed. Migisk requires an unlocked bootloader to work, which is something not all phones that can be rooted have. More and more users report to successfully run Pokemon Go on rooted phones with Magisk. The tool will experience unseen popularity now, which could also pose a danger to be shutdown by Google in some form.
Not only did Niantic block rooted devices, the company also changed the way the Pokemon Go app talks to the servers in a major way. It is not clear yet 3rd party Pokemon Go tracker and bots will be able to find a fix for the new changes. The work has just begun. He heard whispers that Unknown 6 has been removed. Niantic is using Google servers to verify requests. The Captcha mechanism spotted earlier is also now in play.
The Pokemon Go app update 1.7.0 for iOS is not yet released. There is no confirmation yet if Niantic managed to block Pokemon Go from running on jailbroken iPhones. It is also not clear if they have blocked the ability to side-load Pokemon Go on regular iPhones. This is important to all trainers who got used to run Pokemon Go++.
If your favorite Pokemon Go tracker or map has stopped working, it is because of either the blocking on rooted devices or by the changes made to the Pokemon Go protos.
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