In addition to Pokemon Go's second Christmas event, a new update for the title is now live. The update--version 1.57.5 for iOS and 0.87.5 for Android--isn't nearly as large as the one that introduced Gen 3 Pokemon and weather recently, but it still adds a big new feature to the popular mobile game.

The centerpiece of the update is Pokemon Go's new AR+ mode. As its name suggests, this is an enhanced version of the game's existing AR feature, tailored around Apple's ARKit augmented reality technology. In AR+ mode, Pokemon appear closer to their actual size, and they'll be aware of their surroundings, possibly fleeing if you startle them by making quick movements. However, if you can get close enough to a Pokemon without startling it, you'll get an "expert handler" bonus that rewards you with extra XP and Stardust when you capture the monster.

Beyond the new AR+ mode, the latest update doesn't make any other particularly noteworthy changes to Pokemon Go. Along with an assortment of bug fixes, Niantic has improved the responsiveness of the Pokemon Go Plus accessory on devices that are running iOS 11. The update also makes some unspecified performance improvements. You can read the full patch notes below.

Pokemon Go's new Christmas event is now live. Like last year, players will have a chance to catch a Santa hat Pikachu during the duration of the event. It can be evolved into a Santa hat Raichu, while a Santa hat Pichu can also be hatched from Eggs. Additionally, Niantic has added 20 more Ice- and Water-type Pokemon that originally appeared in Ruby and Sapphire, including Milotic, Glalie, Sharpedo, and more.

Pokemon Go players can also still catch the game's first Gen 3 Legendary, Groudon. The massive Ground-type Pokemon is available from now until January 15. Like previous Legendaries, Groudon will appear as a Raid Boss at Gyms, and you'll need to team up with other players to defeat it before you have a chance to capture it.

Pokemon Go iOS Version 1.57.5 / Android Version 0.87.5 Patch Notes
  • Added the all-new AR+ encounter mode for Trainers on ARKit-enabled devices (iPhone 6s or later) running iOS 11.
  • Improved Pokemon Go Plus responsiveness on devices running iOS 11.
  • Various bug fixes and performance updates.

Source: GameSpot