Niantic Labs has responded to the criticism of an update for the game that removed the tracking feature and support for third-party Pokemon location services.
Niantic, according to their post on the official Pokemon Go Facebook page, Niantic said the 3-Step display had to be removed “in order to improve the underlying design”.
This 3-Step design display was meant to give players some sort of indication of how close a given Pokemon was.
Niantic also said, “The original feature, although enjoyed by many, was also confusing and did not meet our underlying product goals,” it continued. “We will keep you posted as we strive to improve this feature.
This update also cut off access to the Pokemon Go API, which rendered third-party services like Pokevision, useless. This was incredibly controversial because this feature offered a convenient way to track Pokemon in real time.
“We have limited access by third-party services which were interfering with our ability to maintain quality of service for our users and to bring Pokémon Go to users around the world,” Niantic said.
Although Niantic has removed most third-party Pokemon tracking services, there has already been a new one released. SmartPoke 2 shows Pokemon overload on a map, their distance from you, and how long until they despawn.
It is available currently for Android phones and Android Wear watches.