New Features, New Partnerships, Version 0.49.1 and Gen2 Pokemon!
It’s been a busy week for Pokémon GO! New features have been announced for the next update to Pokémon GO (version 0.49.1 for Android and 1.19.1 for iOS), a partnership with Sprint has been announced, Generation 2 Pokémon are on the way, and a speculated partnership with Starbucks is circulating. Let’s dive in!
- Trainers will be able to transfer multiple Pokémon at a time to Professor Willow. To use this function, press and hold on a Pokémon. (THANK YOU!)
- Pokémon type icons have been added to the Gym battle approach and Gym battle screen.
- The total Candy count for your Buddy Pokémon has been added to the buddy information screen.
- The total kilometers a buddy has walked has been added to the information screen of each Pokémon that has ever been your buddy.
- Minor text fixes.
Niantic announced it’s first “US” partner, Sprint. The reason I give US quotes is because Sprint is owned by SoftBank of Japan. This isn’t the first time Niantic has partnered with SoftBank either. Ingress saw a partnership with Niantic in 2015, introducing an in-game branded item called the SoftBank Ultra Link.
Though we still have yet to see a partner branded item in Pokémon GO, this partnership will be adding more PokéStops and Gyms to 10,500 Sprint locations in the US. These locations will also include Boost Mobile and Sprint at Radioshack locations.
While bringing traffic to these new locations, Sprint is also going to be offering in-store charging stations to assist in longer Pokémon GO sessions.
Generation 2 Pokémon coming
Trust me, this isn’t another click bait announcement like the rest of the internet! Aside from actually having generation 2 data in the APK, Niantic stated in a tweet that “More Pokémon are coming to #PokémonGO! Stay tuned for details on 12/12, Trainers!”.
With the newest version application in our hands, we noticed something interesting to thwart data mining. The static images of Pokémon shown in the Pokédex are no longer in the application. The generation 1 sprites of these Pokémon were removed. This means that the Pokédex might load slowly until those images are cached. This method of downloading images server side has a few advantages.
- Can hide new Pokémon, cough Gen2 until they are ready to be launched.
- Can update images with Pokémon without an application update.
- Slim down application size, only downloading images for Pokémon you have in your Pokédex.
This was then confirmed after we discovered the following new caches in the application.
Pokemon Icon Cache
Pokemon Bundle Cache
Disclaimer: There have been no official announcements from Niantic or Starbucks on this. It is all “leaked” and speculated information.
With that out of the way, lets check out this leaked information from Reddit.
The leaked image tells us two major things:
- Starbucks locations may become PokéStops and Gyms, like with the Sprint partnership.
- There will be a new drink at Starbucks called the “Pokémon GO Frappuccino”.
The Reddit post further states that there might be unreleased Pokémon tied to this partnership, and possibly some sort of gear redemption for purchasing a Pokémon GO Frappuccino. We’ll have to wait and see if any light is shed on this leak tomorrow on 12/8.
The leaks were indeed true! Niantic announced the partnership today, bringing us 7,800 PokeStops/Gyms to US Starbucks locations. The “special-edition Pokémon GO Frappuccino” was also announced and reported to be “tasty” by Niantic’s community manager, Andrew Krug. I was really hoping to see something else announced with this partnership other than more PokeStops and Gyms, though like with Sprint, this may become the standard partnership model for Pokemon GO partners.