Wildly popular augmented reality game PokÃ©mon 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, PokÃ©mon 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 PokÃ©mon 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 PokÃ©mon" feature that alerts users to view characters recently spotted in their vicinity. Instead of "Nearby," the updated section displays recent PokÃ©mon "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" PokÃ© Ball throws. A separate issue that shows incorrect medal icons was also rectified.
PokÃ©mon Go version 1.3 is available for free from the iOS App Store.