While everyone gets to enjoy the newly added Grass in Pokemon GO thanks to the update, it appears that players residing in San Francisco got a different update, making it more of a location-locked one. In this update Niantic has quietly added a new Pokemon tracking system which they are hoping will replace the old in-game radar and footprint method.
This new tracking system is actually a bit more in-depth than the previous one. Basically there are two categories instead of one when opening up the tracking tab (the little white bar in the bottom right that used to show footprints). There is a section labeled Nearby, and under that is an area called Sightings. “Nearby” shows Pokemon that are in the general area, but it is a limited time thing, so you’ll only have a limited amount of time to get to that Pokemon before it is gone.
“Sightings”, on the other hand, is what the old Nearby used to be. So when a Pokemon has been spotted in that area, you can make your way to it and go capture it. There’s no time limit or anything like that, which is what the new Nearby has. Another interesting feature with this new Pokemon tracking system is that in the new Nearby section, it will show you a picture of a landmark, building, or another structure type that stands out, where the Pokemon you’re wanting to catch is near.
You can see all of this in action in a video (below) posted by Jackson Palmer on Twitter, who is in San Francisco and was able to download the update which included this new tracking system. Niantic is being pretty hush hush about it all, and hasn’t mentioned when it would be rolling out to everyone else. It should be within a few days if everything goes well with this little closed beta.
Thanks to GoJJ for the heads up!
— Jackson Palmer (@ummjackson) August 9, 2016