Pokémon GO APK Teardown [0.39.0]

Good day folks, and welcome to another teardown of Pokémon GO! There were several big changes with this update along with another feature being worked on that we missed in previous teardowns. Lets start with the two announced changes before we dive into the rest.


Capture location

Within the first two weeks of launch, we noticed the capture location map blanked out and later removed, leaving only the date captured. It was speculated this map was removed to help with server bandwidth issues. While the re-release of this feature isn’t restoring it to its former glory, its still great to know where you caught a particular Pokémon. If the lack of a map will help towards stable servers, I am ok with this middle ground.



Pokémon GO Plus & Incense

With the release of the GO Plus, more and more trainers are out there putting it to the test. One thing noticed by trainers in 0.37.0 were that Pokémon spawned by Incense were not discovered by the GO Plus. This has since changed in this release, allowing you to pop that incense before you take your walk with your GO Plus.



Security enhancements


The ongoing battle against scrapers and botters continue. As 0.39.0 rolls out, its speculated users will be forced to move to 0.37.0 (when no root was added). Along with further users on no root, it looks like a bunch of values pertaining to security were set from False to True. While I do not completely understand how these changes will impact scapers/botters, I hope to see the scale tip more towards the side of not seeing this kind of activity anymore.


Trainer Avatar & Pokéstops

Before, when tapping on a Pokéstop, the Trainer avatar would disappear from the world map. Intended or not, the Trainer avatar stays on the world map when tapping a Pokéstop now. This allows the Trainer avatar to been seen in front of and behind the Pokéstop.

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Queued Moves

First discovered on Reddit, it appears next action is queued during a gym battle. If you tap an opponent Pokémon in a gym battle during a special attack, a quick attack is queued and your Pokémon will perform a quick attack next opportunity (even if thats not what you wanted to do). In testing we found this to be true and it seems to be much less forgiving towards spam tapping. We’ll report more details on this as they are discovered, but go outside and test the change for yourself!


Incubator animation change

When loading an incubator, we notice a little shoe icon in the upper left. Perhaps this will better indicate that you need to travel to hatch eggs for trainers that may have been confused.



IV Changes

Prior to this update, Attack IVs were generally lower or higher, depending on a Pokémon’s Pokédex number. Meaning the Bulbasaur (#001) you caught likely has a worse Attack IV than the Dratini (#147) you caught. This was originally put together in a graph from data collected by Reddit user NewSchoolBoxer. Researchers on The Silph Road have also noted that Pokémon spawned from Nests prior to the update had poor IVs, but that no longer appears to be the case after this update.



Virtual Reality

Pokémon GO is an AR (Augmented Reality) game, using the camera to overlay 3D animations over the real world. Similar to AR gaming, there is VR (Virtual Reality) gaming, which usually requires a headset with lenses and is a much more immersive experience. A cheap introduction to mobile gaming VR is Google Cardboard.


So why tell you the difference between AR and VR gaming? It appears we missed some code in prior APKs pretaining to VR in Pokémon GO! We don’t know much yet, as there isn’t much referencing this. Right now all we know is that they are testing with VR, and have a list of devices and screen sizes relating to phone models.

public static Screen Nexus5;
public static Screen Nexus6;
public static Screen GalaxyS6;
public static Screen GalaxyNote4;
public static Screen LGG3;
public static Screen iPhone4;
public static Screen iPhone5;
public static Screen iPhone6;
public static Screen iPhone6p;
public static Device CardboardJun2014;
public static Device CardboardMay2015;
public static Device GoggleTechC1Glass;

I’m not sure what they plan to do with this, but a VR Cardboard viewer for my Pokémon would be pretty sweet.



While certainly not much on the surface, this update was packed with ninja updates that were not announced. This is great for news sites like us, but I wish Niantic would just list all the changes that come along with an update. Someone who is not as informed as yourself might stumble across a frustrating change and never know why. We’ve seen efforts from Niantic to improve their communication, but they still have a ways to go. Enjoy the new changes and train on!