Pokémon GO was updated over the weekend with what initially appeared to be some relatively minor fixes, but the guys over at The Silph Road have been doing some digging and have discovered some a little more exciting.
Despite "minor text fixes" being mentioned in the update notes, it would appear that this new version is in fact laying down the foundations not only for the introduction of "Shiny" Pokémon, but also the elusive Ditto - one of the few original Pocket Monsters still not present in the popular mobile game.
Data in the update shows that there are now distinct values for "Default" and "Shiny" Pokémon, which proves that super-rare Shiny 'mon are on the way. There's no other information available in the code at present, so it's fair to assume that this update is simply starting the process of introducing super-rare beasts to the game. When they do arrive - and assuming they're as hard to find as they are in the mainline console versions - the promise of Shiny Pokémon could generate a fresh surge of interest in the title. When that will actually happen is anyone's guess.
On the topic of Ditto, things are a little more encouraging. Ditto assets have been added to the game, including sound effects, move sets, a new background and even a "spotlight" effect which could suggest that the creature will spawn differently in the game than other Pokémon.
We've not seen any reports of Ditto being encountered in the game since the update, so perhaps Niantic is simply getting things ready for the big push, and Ditto may be released in the wild as part of a forthcoming special event.