Niantic has begun rolling out an update for both Android (version 0.37.0) and iOS (version 1.7.0) for its popular GPS-based exploration game known as Pokémon GO.
The latest update brings to the table an all-new buddy Pokémon system for players, as well as a variety of in-game improvements.
The biggest new feature in this update is without a doubt the all-new buddy Pokémon system, which allows players to tether a favorite Pokémon to their side at all times, similarly to how Ash would always have Pikachu by his side in the TV series.
The major benefit to this new system is you can now earn Pokémon candy for the Pokémon you choose to buddy-up with. The candy are earned by walking certain distances, and can help you to get more candies for a specific Pokémon if they’re not native to your region and you need a way to evolve them quicker.
Your buddy Pokémon can be switched out for another on demand, so you can selectively choose certain Pokémon for longer walks and others for shorter walks to help strategically earn candies for the Pokémon you need candies for the most.
Support for Pokémon GO Plus
The update also adds official support for Pokémon GO Plus, which is a $34.99 wearable peripheral that can be worn around your wrist to help you play the game more efficiently. The product will be launched on September 16th.
It’s worth noting that Pokémon GO is also coming to the Apple Watch, so you may want to hold out before you go buying another accessory.
Bug fixes and improvements
As with every update Niantic has released so far, this update also adds a number of improvements to the app and fixes bugs.
Starting with the biggest improvements, the following changes are now embedded in the latest version of the game:
- Improvements to performance and reliability when your device switches networks
- Fixes a problem where the egg animation wouldn’t appear when an egg hatched
- It’s now easier to tap on smaller Pokémon on the map with improvements to tap boxes
- Minor improvements to text throughout the app
As a side note, the update also seems to kill support for jailbroken devices, which is not surprising seeing as how Niantic is trying to do away with hacks and cheats for the game.
If you’re already a Pokémon GO player, then the update is waiting for you in the Updates tab in the App Store. If you’re not already playing the game, and want to download Pokémon GO, you can download it from the App Store for free.
What Pokémon will you be buddy-systeming with? Share in the comments!