'Pokemon GO' to receive improved AR mode

(Pokemon Go)A promotional image for "Pokemon GO."

Niantic Labs looks seriously bent on keeping its promise of improving its hit mobile game coming into the brand new year.

Last Wednesday, the developer of "Pokemon GO" announced that the game's latest update set to be rolled out this week will bring in an enhanced version to its AR mode called the AR+. The updated feature will use Apple's ARKit augmented reality technology to further improve the game's AR mode and bring in special bonuses and new features for players, Gamespot reported.

Much like the game's current AR system, the AR+ becomes available when catching Pokemon, giving the experience more depth perception as well as improvements in scaling. This means the Pokemon will look much closer to their respective canonical sizes. Moreover, The Verge noted that with the new AR+, a new capture bonus called "expert handler" will also be available for Trainers. The bonus allows players to sneak close to a target Pokemon without scaring off the latter, resulting in an easier catch.

The challenge lies, however, on encouraging players to keep the AR mode opened at all times, as keeping the mode live tends to drain the phones of the players faster and makes capturing Pokemon a bit more challenging.

"In terms of AR, we launched with a pre-ARKit version of AR that was interesting and fun and created a lot of social media sharable moments for people," said Niantic CEO John Hanke earlier this week. "But a lot of people did turn it off, in part because it was so limited," he added.

Hanke also noted that the main goal of the AR+ mode is to instill among the players that AR is "part of the gameplay in a way that is unique and fun."

In addition to the AR+, the updated version will also improve "Pok√©mon GO Plus responsiveness on devices running iOS 11" and apply "various bug fixes and performance updates," the official patch notes read.