Niantic has released a new Pokémon GO update, available to those playing the augmented reality app on iOS and Android devices.
While the update seemingly had prioritised delivering bug fixes, it has also changed the Nearby Pokémon tracking feature. This has now been renamed to Sightings, and presents Pokémon that have appeared near to the player with tufts of grass.
Niantic has explained that they are “testing a variation of the Nearby Pokémon feature with a subset of users. During this period you may see some variation in the nearby Pokémon UI.”
Reddit has been trying to pinpoint exactly how this works. User AlbelTelWicked has produced the most credible theory, in that it scans the player’s nearby area approximately every 15 seconds and any new Pokémon will appear within the list. If a Pokémon is no longer detected by the scan or if the player moves too far away, it will be removed.
We won’t know an exact distance, but they estimate that the scan reaches 700 feet (200 metres) around the player, which is similar in scale to that seen with Nearby.