So this past weekend, I went on a trip to San Francisco for the first time! It was great: lots of good food, nice cold weather that made me feel like it was actually fall, really good wine…
The first day we were in town, I got to walk around the pier and buildings where the ferry is located. They had a beautiful indoor market, and a beautiful view of the water on one side, and the bustling city on the other. I thought, “Wow, this is so fun. It can’t get any better than this.”
And then I decided to open up Pokemon Go. And I was welcomed with a glorious sight.
Much to my surprise, it seems that San Francisco isn’t only home to The Giants and the bay area, but also to the golden tracking feature that may possibly save this insane app that has essentially taken over the world.
For those of you who don’t know or are aware, once Pokemon Go dropped in July, the app almost immediately rose to the number one downloaded app in the Apple App Store. However, as the app was downloaded, more and more issues began to rose. Servers were crashing like waves, at one point there was news of a hack, and then all the controversy with the tracking features.
With Pokemon Go, the original tracking feature implemented would show little tracks, ranging from three to one that would depend on how close a Pokemon would be to your avatar’s location. However, as the updates slowly came out, users became enraged when this tracking feature was removed, and was promptly replaced with a feature that was less than productive than the last update. This lead to a large chunk of the users to leave the game entirely, many of them claiming that the game is basically useless without its original tracking feature.
So you can imagine both my surprise and ultimate joy when I saw this new tracking feature on my phone. As a disclaimer, let it be known: the Pokemon Go tracking feature shown is a BETA, and is only located in San Francisco for the U.S., as of now.
But let’s go over what’s so special about this new tracking feature.
The biggest thing that I thought was most effective was the little location circles next to the Pokemon. When you tap on those, the app then shows you the location where the Pokemon is, initially mimicking what Pokestops do. However, there is an added twist.
When you tap on a specific Pokemon you want to catch, and after the disc shows where their location is at, a “view” option appears. Once you tap on that, the app zooms out and shows you exactly where the Pokemon is located.
So naturally, I freaked out. A lot. And completely ran the app down to my last little bits of battery until it died throughout the day.
And with that, my final thoughts on the new tracking feature?
I honestly think, it might just be the thing that saves the app from dying out. With all the essentially empty promises of being able to trade and battle other users, this feature seems to be the closest to reality. It is also one of the only features, despite being a beta, that users can use and show the results of this new feature.
So to Niantics and to everyone in the Pokemon Go team: GIVE US THE TRACKING FEATURE. It may not be the one that everyone wants, but it’s the one we may deserve.
Oh, and also: maybe add Pokemon where they would actually be??? Like, for example:
Maybe add some water pokemon IN THE ACTUAL WATER? Just a thought.
And if you found this topic interesting, or at the very least appreciate my subtle (or not so subtle, whichever you prefer) nerdy references, I host an evening talk show on Saturdays at 7 PM PST! The show is called “Bingeworthy”, and I cohost the show with my friend, Kentaro Kawasaki. Come tune in Saturday nights and follow us on Facebook/Instagram/Twitter at @KCRBingeworthy.