Drivers beware: Pokemon Go's new update throws a pop-up in your path

Niantic really doesn't want you to Pokemon and drive.

Sean Hollister Senior Editor / Reviews
When his parents denied him a Super NES, he got mad. When they traded a prize Sega Genesis for a 2400 baud modem, he got even. Years of Internet shareware, eBay'd possessions and video game testing jobs after that, he joined Engadget. He helped found The Verge, and later served as Gizmodo's reviews editor. When he's not madly testing laptops, apps, virtual reality experiences, and whatever new gadget will supposedly change the world, he likes to kick back with some games, a good Nerf blaster, and a bottle of Tejava.
Sean Hollister
2 min read

Pokemon Go, the wildly popular game where you catch cute little digital animals hidden in the real world, is getting a minor update today to v0.33 on Android and v1.3 on iOS. The single biggest change: a pop-up message that you'll have to dismiss if you're playing in a moving vehicle.

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Pokemon Go players now have to dismiss this pop-up notification if they're traveling at speed.

zook388 on Reddit

In other words: if you want to play Pokemon Go in the car, you'll have to swear you're not manning the wheel.

(Never mind that the pop-up itself is yet another driving distraction; personally, I'd much rather Niantic rewarded people for carpooling instead of this temporary annoyance.)

Other changes include the one-time ability to rename your character, the return of the game's Battery Saver mode on iOS, and a fix so that when you make a "Nice," "Great" or "Excellent" throw, the game rewards you with experience points the same way it initially did.

Those are the only changes that developer Niantic calls out in the app's Android changelog, but you may notice another difference: Niantic is testing out a new version of the "Nearby" system for tracking down wild Pokemon with some, but not all players.

The game's Reddit communities are still trying to figure out exactly how the revamped "Sightings" feature works, but it appears that it will now scan for nearby Pokemon far more often and register them more consistently, allowing you to see which Pokemon are closest to you by reading the chart from left to right, top to bottom.

Here's a picture of what the revamped tracking feature looks like. It's not much different.

Long story short, don't Pokemon and drive. Happy hunting, players!

Update, 11:27p.m. PT:It turns out the "Sightings" feature and the new Nearby tracking system that some users are now testing out are two different things. Nearby may soon show you nearby Pokestops to visit if you want to find particular Pokemon!