In classic Niantic fashion, the studio has upset fans of one of its games once again, and this time around, the kerfuffle surrounds the Galaxy Store version of Pokémon GO. Apparently, before the update to version 0.157.0 on the Galaxy Store, users could play both the Play Store version of the game in tandem with the Galaxy Store version when using separate accounts, all from the same device. Clearly, this loophole was unintentional, and so was taken advantage of by cheaters by running two apps at the same time, but there was also a legitimate use for families that share devices, which is why so many people are upset with this change.

Galaxy Store reviews for Pokémon GO have taken a nosedive over the last few days, with fans voicing their concerns with one-star reviews. Apparently, many of these users were playing the Galaxy Store version with a secondary account, typically for a child of a parent already signed into the Play Store version. This simplified the login process so that users didn't have to constantly sign out of their accounts just to let someone else sign-in on the same device. So this change is understandably inconvenient when you consider that players used to have the option to run two separate instances of the app from two different stores.

Now that the separate log-in option is gone, families once again have to juggle accounts when using a single device. This, of course, mitigates any instances of cheating where users would run both apps at the same time, so it's a tough call to say whether or not this change is warranted, though Niantic assuredly didn't do itself any favors by not notifying the public of this change, leaving users to discover the issue on their own.

Luckily, a workaround still exists for those that wish to run two separate instances of Pokémon GO on the same device, which works through Samsung's Secure Folder app. All you need to do is install the Play Store version of Pokémon GO, sign-in with your main account, then sideload a separate Pokémon GO APK into your Secure Folder, and install and sign-in with a secondary account. Ideally, this install method should keep both apps separate, even if they are the same version, thus allowing users to sign in with different accounts in two unconnected apps. While I've yet to test this method personally, there are reports on Reddit that it indeed works.

For now, it would seem Niantic has no interest in reverting the recent change to the Galaxy Store version of Pokémon GO, so from this point forward, I would imagine it's going to grow increasingly difficult to work around. I suppose it's a good thing that cheating by running two apps on separate accounts has been mitigated somewhat, though I can sympathize with parents that now have to juggle accounts in a single app. It's definitely an inconvenience. Still, I suppose the resolution of this bug isn't unexpected. I just wish Niantic would be more upfront with stuff like this, so users don't have to discover these changes on their own. Clearly, leaving your player base in the dark is never a good idea, which is assuredly why so many users are currently upset.

Pokémon GO
Pokémon GO
Developer: Niantic, Inc.
Price: Free+