• Pokemon Go Plus

Pokemon Go Plus (Photo : Twitter)

"Pokémon Go" players are upset that the latest app update for the smash-hit GPS/augmented reality (AR) game has removed two features. Software developer Niantic has ended a few key features of the smartphone game in its July 31, Sunday update. The Google spin-off company has killed the game's tracking system and battery saver feature, which caused angry customers to request refunds for their in-app purchases made in the Pokemon game.

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Version 0.31.0 has the latest changes. The hit game's step counter feature changes the number of footprints on the display to show if gamers are closer or farther from the pocket monsters. That tracking system's icons are missing from the latest app update.

"Pokémon Go" fans are now flummoxed about how to track down the little creatures. It is unclear if the order that players are shown is correct or in real-time, according to Mirror.

In addition, the new update is reportedly missing the battery saver. That could cause gameplay problems due to "Pokémon Go" being a power-eating app, and especially for smartphones with low-capacity batteries.

In the past, a settings option dropped the screen brightness  when the mobile phone was down, and saved battery power. However, now it seems to make a small difference in the battery-draining game.

Mobile gamers have also reported that their handsets did not come out of power-saving mode. They had to wake up screens by turning their phones upside-down, or restart the game.

 It is interesting that the app update does not show that the power saver has been removed. That is true for Apple's App Store and Google's Play Store.

The removal of the tracking system and shutting down of third-party services are causing "Pokémon Go" users to ask for refunds on in-app purchases.    

A new Reddit thread includes stories of "Pokémon Go" players who requested refunds at Apple iTunes or Google Play, according to Kotaku. They point out that the smartphone game's newest update broke the functionality provided by their in-app purchases.

The short-term Plan B for players included third-party tracking programs such as Pokevision based on Niantic's application program interface (API) data. They showed where the little creatures would lay eggs and how long they would be available. However, many of the websites/apps have been shut down.   

Last week Niantic CEO John Hanke warned "Pokémon Go" players that tracking websites might stop working in the future.  Millions of mobile gamers accessed them.

Here's an update on Pokemon Go Plus: