You favorite real-time Pokemon Go map or tracker will stop functioning soon. Go catch them now.
Niantic packed a lot of new changes in the new Pokemon Go app release 0.37.0 for Android and 1.7.0 for iOS. The biggest changes are under the hood as it turns out. Trainers get the new Pokemon Buddy feature, but the update has much bigger impact elsewhere. As reported, the new Pokemon Go app does not work anymore on rooted Android devices and on jailbroken iPhones (not confirmed yet, as iOS version not released yet). Furthermore, 3rd party developers have discovered that the communication between the Pokemon Go app and the Pokemon Go servers has changed considerably.
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As soon as the new Pokemon Go app updates are rolled out to most of the hundreds of millions of trainers, Niantic will flip the switch to just allow the new communication protocol. This will disable all 3rd party real-time Pokemon Go tracker, notifiers, IV calculators and other tools require direct access to Pokemon Go servers.
This new security measure will also affect Pokemon Go tracker that do not require a login as these services connect via a server to the Pokemon Go cloud.
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3rd party developers are already at work analyzing the changes Niantic has made to the Pokemon Go Protos. The update appears to be though a bigger change than when Niantic first time changed the protos and switched on Unknown 6. The earlier discovered captcha is part of the new security measure targeting bots and Pokemon tracker. Early results that started to circulate say that Unknown6 has been removed. Niantic is instead using Google servers to sign and verify each request. Initial take of a developer is that the changes require a complete rework of the Pokemon Go API.
Update: The latest discovers say that Unknown6 is not removed. According to a diagram posted in Imgur, only the first requests are packaged in new Google signed envelope. Following requests look the same as before. If developers can find a away around this initial step of authentication then they are back int he game. If that is even technically possible is unclear.
Now that Google is more involved in providing security of the communication between a client and the Pokemon Go servers, breaking this security measure would have likely an impact beyond Pokemon Go.
The 3rd party developer community on reddit and Github did break the Pokemon Go security already twice. The first time does only count half, as the Pokemon Go servers have been an open book initially. The last security update took two to three days to break.
The developer behind the Fast Poke Map service, that many other tracking ups are using as source of the Pokemon location data will attempt to develop a fix. There is no update yet on his progress.
Niantic is likely switching to the new protocols latest September 16. On that day the Pokemon Go Plus device will ship. The latest Pokemon Go app update is supporting already the Bluetooth Pokemon Go tracker on Android and iOS.
The in-app Pokemon tracker is still not insight. Niantic would be well advised to release that ahead of blocking the 3rd party maps and tracker with the new security change. Right now you can still the Pokemon Go tracker appls listed in this Pokemon Go Tracker and Finder round-up.
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