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First Pokemon Go update of 2017 improves GPS tracking, Apple Watch app

Pokemon Go update

Following the launch of Generation 2 and the holiday events that rounded out 2016, Pokemon Go developer Niantic went quiet for much of the first half of January. In fact, other than the addition of 5,000 additional PokeStops at Starbucks locations around the US, the company’s blog was silent. Until yesterday.

On Tuesday, Niantic revealed that the first Pokemon Go update of 2017 was being rolled out (version 0.53.1 on Android, 1.23.1 on iOS). These are the release notes for the update, which should arrive soon:

  • Updated Apple Watch to display Eggs obtained from PokéStops
  • Changed distance tracking to better account for GPS drift
  • Minor text fixes.

Ever since the Pokemon Go Apple Watch app launched late last year, players have been complaining about its limited functionality. While the ability to display eggs likely isn’t the big improvement many players were waiting for, it’s encouraging to see Niantic begin to make the app more usable.

The second bullet point is far more interesting, as GPS drift has been a significant issue ever since Pokemon Go launched on iOS and Android last year. Hopefully this will lead to more accurate placement of avatars on the world map and more consistent tracking of distance walked while hatching eggs.

Finally, The Silph Road was able to datamine the APK of the update and discovered that Niantic has added 38 new moves to the game. This is the first time moves have been added other than the addition of Ditto’s Transform move, which means that more Gen 2 Pokemon are likely on the way.

While this update isn’t especially monumental, it appears to be setting Pokemon Go up for some major changes and additions throughout the year. Check your device in the coming days for the update.

Jacob Siegal is Associate Editor at BGR, having joined the news team in 2013. He has over a decade of professional writing and editing experience, and helps to lead our technology and entertainment product launch and movie release coverage.