AR Disabled: What Does This Mean for the AR Community?

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With the news from Niantic that what was formerly known as AR mode is no more, just what does this mean to our AR Community?

Previously there were two distinct AR modes. ‘AR mode’ was the widely used option for most non-AR players, with the Pokémon spawning in a fixed position in AR mode. This was the option utilised for fast catching and Buddy Mode. The other mode, ‘AR+’, now just the default AR, was the option with the yellow footprints that allowed a more realistic interaction with your chosen Pokémon. Now you can turn AR off completely, so your Buddy spawns on a plain background, but it does also mean that some phones now are not compatible with AR in any way.

So what does this mean for the AR Community? Well, usually I would be quite worried, as Niantic have a history of neglecting us, and also removing/breaking AR features. For example, when Buddy Mode broke in June 2021 and has never been acknowledged, or more recently, when Shared AR was removed without warning.

However, this time, I’m quietly optimistic. Why would I be optimistic about Niantic removing an AR feature? Because I think something bigger and better is coming for AR.

💡 Disclaimer  Everything in this article is data mined, and therefore subject to change,  or not even being released at all. Information referenced in this article is made publicly available by a group of data miners called PokéMiners. Our article includes some of our  own commentary from experience. Data mining is, and never will be, something Niantic or the Pokémon Company endorses.

A recent datamine uncovered a new Buddy Mode, known as ‘Iris’ in the game code. It appears to be a whole new photo mode, with a lot of potential! It hints at the ability to take photos of multiple Pokémon, without needing a friend to help you, which would be a major addition the AR community have long dreamt of. It implies that we can reposition Pokémon, interact with them more, choose whether or not Pokémon that can fly are landed or flying, and more! I took the below photograph with one of my friends using the Shared AR, but it was a very convoluted and complicated to be able to take it, with rather a lot of glitches. In ‘Iris’, I may be able to take photos like this without assistance, finally constructing the battle sequences I’ve dreamt of taking!

‘Don’t talk to me, or my son, ever again’

These are the texts discovered in the game code by the Pokeminers:

You can use stickers to decorate the pictures you take. Have fun and share your photos with others. You never know what you’ll find!
You can call a Pokémon back into its Pokéball by tapping the recall button. Your Pokémon will then be ready to move to a new location.
Find a flat surface and either tap the footprints or drag the Pokémon from the selection menu to place it.
You can take up to 3 Pokémon out of their Pokéball and take photos together! You may even encounter other Pokémon while there!
Use the group photo mode to take a perfect shot of your Pokémon! Or try playing with your Pokémon to see their different moods.
Tap the rotate button to start using the toy. Moving the toy around your Pokémon is sure to get its attention!
Connect to the Pokéstop Area by scanning the location first to view and interact with the Pokémon there.
Unless removed, your Pokémon will stay here for up to 48hrs until they get tired and return to you. While they’re away, they may greet other trainers and Pokémon!
Decorate and share your photos!
Reposition your Pokémon
Position your Pokémon
Take photos of your Pokémon with others!
Take a group photo
Rotate your Pokémon
Connect to Pokéstop Areas!
Your Pokémon will stay and play!

The potential within this new ‘Iris’ mode for AR with your Buddy is huge. It could be totally game changing for the AR community!

My major concern is that right now a large portion of Pokémon GO players are cut off from AR completely, because the former AR+, now AR mode, isn’t compatible with their phones.

AR mode may have seemed limited, but it did have it’s uses. AR+ is problematic in low light, or in areas with motion, whereas because AR was a fixed position, you could use it to take photos in any light conditions. The photo below wouldn’t have been possible in AR+, because it was in low lighting in an aquarium, and due to the motion of the water I couldn’t have used the footprints to spawn Mantyke in.

While we may be concerned for the future of AR right now, I have a feeling that the future may be bright, thanks to ‘Iris’. Fingers crossed it is coming soon!

Author & tags

Turtwig obsessive, real life Psyduck, Pokémon GO AR Photographer, found footage horror fan and Pokémon GO Hub AR Queen

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