Why don't I have the new Nearby mode in Pokémon Go?

Pokémon tracking has been restored in the latest updated to Pokémon Go! Well, sort of. What used to ready Nearby for some now reads Sightings for all. Instead of footprints telling you roughly how far away some of these critters are, you get a single icon that tells you Pokémon are somewhere within 70 feet of your current location, and you're going to have to walk around to find out specifically where your prey is hiding.

Actually, it turns out there's a whole lot more to this Nearby menu but most of us don't have access to the new features yet.

What you're seeing there is the new and improved way to track Pokémon, and what little information you grab from that video is pretty cool. There's a compass system to show you more generally where to find different Pokémon over a larger area, which means no more wandering around endlessly for something that might run away. This looks like a huge upgrade over the original paw print system, but not everyone has this feature yet.

Why? Did Niantic let an unfinished build leak or something?

Not exactly. What you're actually seeing is one of many players who have access to a beta feature that isn't fully available yet. Niantic is testing this feature by releasing it to a small number of people and collecting data on how it gets used. The feature is available exclusively to those select users for now, and it will likely change based on the information collected by this group before it is rolled out to the rest of the world.

How do I get in on this beta?

There's nothing you can do to be a part of the beta if you aren't already in it. These aren't users who have opted-in to something, and these users aren't contained within a specific place in the world. From what anyone can tell, it was random and could probably be removed at a moment's notice. It's not a matter of software version, you can't sideload a special version of the app. If you don't have this feature, you have to wait like everyone else.

Look at the bright side, it'll work really well when it's activated for you!

Russell Holly

Russell is a Contributing Editor at Android Central. He's a former server admin who has been using Android since the HTC G1, and quite literally wrote the book on Android tablets. You can usually find him chasing the next tech trend, much to the pain of his wallet. Find him on Facebook and Twitter