Pokemon Go has had a very tumultuous history in relation to its nearby tracker. The game launched with a feature that showed you in real time whether you were getting closer to the Pokemon around you. This was quickly removed, with many putting forward different reasons for the removal. Since then most players were left in the dark, with a very broken tracker being put in its place. That changed recently though with the expansion of the San Francisco test nearby tracker to the rest of the US. This feature has now been spread further, while also making some adjustments for players in more rural areas.
While many players have enjoyed having any form of tracking back in Pokemon Go, the new system relies so heavily on Pokestops that players without any near them were left very much in the dark. Niantic seems to have heard these complaints, promising that they have “also made some changes to the way the Nearby Pokémon feature functions when there are only a few PokéStops in range. We will continue to review the feedback submitted on our official social media accounts and in other channels and make changes if necessary.” What these changes are should become clearer when the update fully rolls out to all players.
As for who can now access the nearby tracker, Niantic simply says that “most regions of the world” who can play Pokemon Go should now have access. There might be some small countries out there that need additional work, but by now it seems that most players will have some form of Pokemon tracking in Pokemon Go.
Niantic continues to promise changes and improvements to the nearby tracker, though many players feel that the base idea is not as good as what was available at launch. It definitely has gotten better though, but it is still a work in progress for many.