Following this weekend's Pokémon Go update, capturing rare creatures has become far more difficult. Developer Niantic yanked the step icons that show how far away a Pokémon is (which isn't a big deal, because they didn't work anyway) and also shut down sites created by fans that used bots to track Pokémon.
For Android Users, Smart Poke 2 appears to be an option that is still working, at least for now. The app, which requires a Pokémon Trainer Club login, showed a few monsters in my immediate vicinity and proved accurate. Folks at The Verge found that it worked on their Android Wear watches, too.
The app has a few neat tricks, including a list of nearby Pokémon on the lock screen and alerts for when rare ones are nearby. Smart Poke 2 may need to work on what is considered rare, as it suggested Pinsir to be rare near our New York City office, where Pinsir are plentiful. There were three in our area and there's one in almost every gym.
I suspect that Smart Poke 2 isn't long for this world. Whatever the team is doing to pass the restrictions that Niantic used to block other maps sites and apps, I'm sure Niantic will find a way to slam the breaks. In the meantime, you can use it to go get that Aerodactyl you've been chasing.
Hopefully we don't have to wait too long for Niantic to put a working, official tracking solution in its own app. In its first statement since the major changes, the company wrote that it "removed the ‘3-step’ display in order to improve upon the underlying design" and that it was "confusing and did not meet our underlying product goals." There is no word about when fans can expect an official fix.