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Latest 'Pokemon Go' update brings safety warnings, returns battery saver mode

Wildly popular augmented reality game Pokémon Go received a major update on Monday, bringing back a useful battery saver mode and introducing a safety feature that dissuades users from playing while driving.




Much to the delight of law enforcement agencies coping with the gaming phenomenon that spawned a new breed of reckless driver, Pokémon Go version 1.3 adds an in-app dialogue reminding users not to play while traveling above a certain speed.

Using iOS geolocation services, the app monitors device speed and, if it is determined that a user is traveling at a high rate of speed (in a car), prompts said user to confirm they are in the passenger's seat to continue playing. The safeguard is designed to minimize reckless driving, a serious concern government officials have bee dealing with since Pokémon Go launched last month.

In addition, battery saver mode is back after being pulled in a previous update for technical reasons. Also reintroduced in version 1.3 is a tweaked "Nearby Pokémon" feature that alerts users to view characters recently spotted in their vicinity. Instead of "Nearby," the updated section displays recent Pokémon "Sightings." The proximity based feature is being tested with a subset of gamers, developer Niantic says.

Other improvements include the accuracy of a curveball throw, an option for Trainers to change their nickname (one-time only) and fixes related to correct experience awards when achieving "Nice," "Great" and "Excellent" Poké Ball throws. A separate issue that shows incorrect medal icons was also rectified.

Pokémon Go version 1.3 is available for free from the iOS App Store.