Trainers, the recent 0.153.0 update brought us first hint of Generation 5 and a number of exciting changes: VS Seeker, Route Maker, Unova Stone, Buddy V2 System, Competitive Play and more. Today, a new update, v0.153.1, went out and removed almost all of the changes with the exception of Generation 5 Pokemon.
As reported by data miners (reports not endorsed or verified by Niantic), 0.153.1 removed all code for:
- Route Maker – a new item that allows creating in-game routes between Pokestops 🗺️
- PVP Ranking and matchmaking – seasons, duels, competitive system, etc
- Buddy updates – feeding, walking, levels, motivation, all is gone
From the looks of it, it seems that a number of features in 0.153.0 were accidentally released, or maybe intentionally, to gauge public opinion. 0.153.1 is a clean cut removal of everything that doesn’t have a connection to Unova, as if someone reverted a whole branch of code.
The net difference is that 0.153.1 weighs 68 KB less than 0.153.0.
A word of advice / caution
This is not the first time this happened. Back in the day, the Field Research feature was abruptly removed from the APK, only to be released a mere month after.
We’re not claiming that this will be case with Route Maker and other features that were removed, but it has happened before.
There are a few possible reasons for this removal:
- The code was accidentally merged and pushed to release. This is not likely, but it does happen sometimes
- They were testing the waters and wanted to see how people would react. Given the usual approval process that companies go through, this is unlikely at best
- There’s an existing bug on the pre-0.153.0 branch. Niantic switched back to this branch in order to fix that bug. This is very common, especially in companies with multiple features in parallel development
The last bullet point seems to be most likely – as most software developers are aware, this happens all the time. The other bullet points seem like conspiracy theory compared to this one. Here’s how we imagine it happened:
- Niantic switched over to the development branch called
develop-unova, a branch that contains 0.151.1 code + Unova changes
- They pushed
develop-unovawith 0.153.0, thinking everything is fine and dandy
- The users discovered and reported a major bug in the 0.153.0
- In order to address the issue quickly, Niantic switches back to pre 0.153.0 code, fixes the bug and pushes it as 0.153.1
And that’s it for 0.153.1! We hope to see the 0.153.0 code make a return in a future update – Route Maker and competitive PvP are very exciting additions that we’d love to play with.
Be on the lookout for potential bugs and performance improvements in 0.153.1!