Ever since a new “nearby” tracker was announced in August and released in San Francisco, Pokemon Go trainers have been wondering when the feature will ever be released to everyone. It’s a pretty nice feature. While everyone else just has the “Sightings” panel, the “Nearby” panel points you directly to Pokemon that are at nearby Pokestops, making the tracking process a lot easier. But every time an update is released, players hope that it will include the nearby tracker. And it never does. Unfortunately, it looks like a wide release of the San Francisco tracker isn’t going to happen any time soon.
Here’s what you need to know.
A Niantic representative confirmed with Polygon that they have no plans to release the tracker everywhere yet. The tracker is geo-locked to San Francisco and still being tested, with no timeline set for a potential roll-out, the rep said. The rep told Polygon:
At this moment, there is no estimated timeline to potentially rolling it out wider.”
It’s important to point out that Polygon’s article doesn’t name the Niantic representative who spoke to them. So it’s unclear how much weight should be given to an anonymous representative’s comment about the tracker.
If you want to get really technical, the “Nearby” tracker is actually already available for everyone. It’s in the Pokemon Go code, so Niantic doesn’t need to put out an update on iOS and Android in order for everyone to get the feature. However, the tracker is still geo-locked. So even if the code is there, you can’t use it unless you’re in San Francisco. Here’s what the tracker looks like in San Francisco:
Right now, if you want to get the Nearby tracking feature, all you have to do is go to San Francisco. The feature is available in that region and it will simply show up on your phone if you’re in the area. But remember, it doesn’t help you track every Pokemon near you. It will simply point you in the direction of Pokemon that are at nearby Pokestops. So it won’t be much help to rural players who don’t have a lot of Pokestops within walking distance. And far as Pokemon in the wild, you’ll still have to rely on the “Sightings” feature and other tricks to track them, even when the nearby tracker is eventually released.
So, although the Nearby feature is nice, it’s not a true tracker, at least not in the way that the three-footstep tracker worked or even the original tracker that was in the beta version of Pokemon Go. Here’s what the original tracker, used in the beta version of Pokemon Go, looked like:
Do you want to see photos of San Francisco’s Nearby tracker and how it works? Check out our story below: