New code found in Pokemon Go's latest update hints that a new augmented reality mode is coming to the game.
A dataminer posted evidence on Reddit that Pokemon Go is getting ready to roll out a new mode called "AR+." Although AR+'s function is unclear, text files indicate that it's a new form of augmented reality that allows players to find and catch Pokemon with their AR tools.
Text found in the current update indicates that players can look around on their phone to find "bushes" where Pokemon are hiding. Tapping the bush will make the Pokemon appear so they can be caught. The code also hints that players can earn an "Expert Handler" badge by using the AR+ feature on a regular basis.
Pokemon Go's current AR mode allows players to "catch" Pokemon in the real world by replacing a standard backdrop with images taken from a phone's camera. The Pokemon remains in a "fixed spot" which means that players may have to adjust where their phone is pointing in order to get the best angle to throw a Pokeball at it.
Pokemon Go has previously expressed a desire to improve their AR functions using Apple's new ARKit. An early showcase of ARKit showed a Pokemon "standing" on the ground instead of floating in mid-air. Pokemon Go also hinted that players could place multiple Pokemon in an AR Playground so they could take pictures of them.
None of Pokemon Go's update notes mention the new AR abilities, so it's possible that this feature is just in testing. We're expecting some sort of big announcement or release later today, so stay tuned.