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Pokémon Go update removes broken nearby footprints feature

Spawn locations changed, PokéStops removed, extra safety warnings added.

Pokémon Go has received its first major patch. Two features known to be not working or causing issues have been binned, another safety warning has been added, but the app now seems faster and more stable overall as a result.

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The app's broken footprint feature, designed to narrow down nearby Pokémon by the number of paw prints displayed next to their names, has been removed. Developer Niantic has said it was aware the feature was not working, and in the meantime has apparently decided to excise it completely.

Pokémon Go's battery saver feature, which dimmed the screen when the phone was held at your side, is also gone on iOS. Users had reported it was the cause of crashes, which is likely why it has been culled from the app as of now. Again, hopefully its disappearance is only a temporary measure - pending a full fix.

Players will also note new safety warnings whenever they boot up Pokémon Go advising them, for example, not to use the app while driving. Sound advice, almost certainly prompted by a reported rise in car accidents where people were distracted by mobile phones at the wheel. Numerous Pokémon-related traffic incidents in Japan have appeared in the news since Pokémon Go arrived in the country last week.

We've also seen alerts to stay aware of surroundings, not to trespass while playing, and not to enter dangerous areas.

Speaking of Pokémon Go being in the headlines, numerous locations have been removed as PokéStops after requesting to be omitted from the game. This includes the Washington DC Holocaust Museum which had to ask players to be respectful while visiting.

In more positive news, the app now lets you edit your trainer design whenever you want and has killed various bugs - so says the app's official iOS patchnotes, anyway.

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The app's loading speed and UI appears faster, and there are numerous other tweaks - improved badge designs, and a fresh location for the option transfer Pokémon in the game's menu to limit the chances of you doing so accidentally. Favourited Pokémon are now blocked from being transferred, although it is unclear if this is a bug or an intended feature.

Various spawn locations have been altered, so you may well find different Pokémon popping up around you - although from our walk this morning, you'll still get loads of Pidgeys. In gyms, meanwhile, the strength of various battle moves have been adjusted.

Finally, some players have reported being forced to restart their progress after updating. I had the same issue (cue some definite fear I'd just lost my Lv 20 character), although on further inspection it was simply the app trying to log me into a different Google account to the one I'd used previously. It's worth checking you're signing in to the correct one if you're having issues.

As ever, if you are playing, we have all the Pokémon Go guides you need to become the very best.

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