The dedicated folks over at the Silph Road have done some more Pokémon GO datamining, which lead them to uncovering a slew of new features coming to the immensely-popular mobile game. Read on below to learn more about these recent discoveries:
First off, the less exciting stuff: bug fixes:
1. Raid Lobby Fixes
Adding to the lobby count bug fixes that were added in the previous version, a few more changes were made to the lobby in this patch. Take a look and see if you notice anything different!
2. Notifications for EX Raids that get Cancelled
In the last round of EX Raid testing, several MewTwo Raids had to be called off at the last second, presumably due to feedback (read: complaints) from some venues. The larger crowds EX raids can draw appear to be a concern for Niantic – one they are being careful to roll out and experiment with in the various countries and cultures around the world.
In this APK, there are significant additions that help those who receive EX Raid passes to know if an EX Raid is called off. It appears that a notification will appear informing the player (a vast improvement over the pass simply disappearing).
Potential New Features
Only one new feature appears to be hinted at in this APK, and its scope is not very transparent at this point:
3. Passcode Rewards
Months ago, Niantic added a passcode redemption box to the store GUI. Passcode redemptions have been offered at Sprint sponsored locations since then, but this feature remains very lightly utilized and hasn’t seen other momentum since its introduction. [Note: Updated – thanks u/SuicidalNoob!]
We were surprised, therefore, to see tweaks to the passcode box referencing
Passcode Rewards. Might we soon see some sort of rewards upon redeeming passcodes?
4. AR Features?
Not much to go on here, but a small tweak appeared adding a new AR service. This could mean nothing, or it could show traction towards new AR features (such as the teased ‘AR Playground’ mode which might leverage Apple’s new ARKit library).
5. New Performance Testing Infrastructure
Niantic has several staging levels on different server hosts (e.g. one for release, one for QA before release, one for nightly builds, etc). New in this APK are references to a whole new staging environment, apparently designed to test performance. We’re glad to see this becoming more and more a priority!
This was a very interesting addition under the hood:
6. “Blacklisted App” Anti-cheat Measure
For over a year, we’ve heard many travelers on the Road (and even Ingress players) wonder why Niantic did not request the list of installed apps and check for a blacklist of installed GPS spoofing apps.
The simple answer is that this is not technically possible without jailbreaking (which the vast majority of Pokemon GO players are not). Apple closed the loophole that allowed easily checking this back on iOS 9 in 2015 (as far as dronpes’ memory recalls anyway!).
An app blacklist tool has appeared in Pokemon GO v0.79.2. This holds a lot of potential to actually put the first meaningful dent in GPS spoofing, assuming Niantic has truly found a way to leverage an app blacklist.
Keep in mind, though, that this is not something generally accepted as possible. So, we’ll certainly be following this anti-cheat measure with great interest. Perhaps Niantic will require an otherwise opt-in only process which might reveal this data? Time will tell.
On notable approach that might be employed with an anti-cheat app blacklist would be to simply flagaccounts, rather than prevent play, until a large (or automatic/rolling) banwave hits. At any rate, GPS spoofing just got even more dangerous!
What’s Coming Up
Get ready travelers!
7. Gen III Pokemon Sounds
New in APK v0.79.2 are the sound files for the ‘cries’ of Gen III Pokemon! This includes all species up to #386 (Deoxys). It’s the real deal, travelers!
8. New Gen III Badge
Alongside the Kanto (Gen I) and Johto (Gen II) badges, a new badge is now referenced in the code called
BADGE_POKEDEX_ENTRIES_GEN3. Tough to misinterpret this one. 🙂
9. Halloween Event!
A new designation for
HALLOWEEN_2017 has appeared!
Interestingly, this metadata is included near the other Pokemon variants – leading us to postulate that we might just see a Halloween variant this holiday? Keep an eye out for any special variants, travelers.
But if not, we at least now have official confirmation that the Halloween event is in motion!
10. Halloween Music!
Finally, some new music may be on the way!
A new entry has appeared called
mapHalloweenNightMusic – hinting that one of two things may be about to happen in the Halloween event:
1) A new Halloween map style may appear at night 2) New Halloween music may play during the event (or perhaps just on Halloween?)
Fortunately, to help clear things up a bit, we dug into the audio files and found a new one of interest…
…A Lavendar Town night theme.
So, get ready travelers. It’s about to get spooky!
Source: The Silph Road on Reddit