For those seeking clarification as to why the app developer Niantic removed the "three-step" Pokemon tracking indicator in a recent update of Pokemon GO, today presents us with an answer. Niantic went on record saying that the indicator's removal was done in the name of quality assurance, to rework the "underlying design" of the mechanic. They have sworn to "keep players posted as Niantic strives to improve this feature".
In their post, the developer also placed some of the blame for various technical issues on third-party apps. Niantic's statement on the topic was as follows:
"We have limited access by third-party services which were interfering with our ability to maintain quality of service for our users and to bring Pokémon GO to users around the world. The large number of users has made the roll-out of Pokémon GO around the world an… interesting… challenge."
Although highly successful and becoming increasingly widespread, Pokemon GO has been plagued by glitches and technical shortfalls – including the glitch that lead to the three-steps being removed in the first place. Stories of server crashes, mid-game freezing and other inconveniences have been all too common in the weeks since the game's launch. It remains to be seen if these are short-term issues that will be ironed out as the year progresses, or if these problems belie inherent flaws in the app's design.