"Pokémon GO" may not be as popular as it was in the weeks directly after its launch. However, the game is still a worldwide phenomenon. Presently, Niantic has detailed an upcoming update that will introduce some highly-anticipated features.
A post published on the official "Pokémon GO" Facebook page revealed that version 0.37.0 for Android and version 1.7.0 for iOS are currently being distributed to players. This process started over the weekend, so most users should now have been updated to the most recent version.
The Buddy System
This update to the game brings Buddy Pokémon, a feature that Niantic first announced in a blog post published earlier this month. Trainers can now choose their favorite pocket monster to follow them at all times, mimicking the way that Pikachu never left Ash Ketchum's side in the classic "Pokémon" animated series.
You can now walk with your Pokemon!
Giving players the ability to see more of a favorite companion would perhaps be enough to make the Buddy system a valuable addition to the game, however, there's a practical reason to this feature as well.
Having an active Buddy Pokémon while walking earns candy for that particular type, which can then be used to amplify stats.
New Pokemon GO Plus Wearables
The update also introduces support for the Pokémon Go Plus wearable that's is set to launch this week. The device has previously been anticipated to launch shortly after the app itself, but huge demand and manufacturing issues prompted a delay for several weeks.
Is it enough?
It's great to see Niantic adding new content to Pokémon Go, but it might well be that new mechanics like the Buddy system might be too little, too late. While it's clear that players want to be able to do more with their monsters, taking their favorites for a walk to earn candy is a relatively small improvement, considering the game has been out for more than two months.