A bug introduced in a previous update made Pokémon much more frustrating to catch in Pokémon GO. Considering that’s pretty much the bulk of the entire game, it was a nasty bug.
Thankfully a new version rolled out this week that fixes the horrible capture rate. It also re-enables battery-saver mode on iOS (no idea why that was removed), added visuals for the team leaders, and allows for a one-time name change for your trainer. See the full patch notes here.
The biggest stickler with Pokémon GO has been the disastrous tracking. Developer Niantic Labs had to shut off their “3 paws” tracking system to alleviate stress on the servers, as well as third party tracking sites.
With this patch we see the first steps taken toward implementing a new in-game tracking system. The patch note itself is cryptic, saying only that a selection of users will begin seeing some changes in the interface. Indeed, on my game the Sightings screen (expanding the Nearby section in the lower right) now includes tall grass next to pictures of nearby Pokémon.
According to Reddit, the new tracking system uses data pulled from PokéStops. The Nearby section shows Pokémon that are near PokéStops in your area. The Sighting section works like before, showing Pokémon in the wild. The patch also makes these Pokémon update much faster. Users have reported a much easier time triangulating the location of Pokémon in their areas.
With a terrible lack of PokéStops in Rural and Suburban areas, Pokémon GO is still best played in larger towns and cities. Hopefully future updates will make Pokémon GO a fun experience no matter where you live.