Thoughts on 2.31

Ingress version 2.31 included a huge number of changes, many of which I liked, and some of which could use some tweaking, so I thought I would share my thoughts here.

The good:

  • Making a tap on a portal work even when a hack output dialog box is open is the single most useful change in this release. Provided I can see the next portal I want to visit, I can finally tap on it and expect that tap to work the first time.
  • Removing the countdown prior to glyphing is super helpful, given my mediocre short-term memory.
  • In dense areas, nearby missions showed up on the first page of results so unreliably that I frequently started up Redacted, selected the next mission I wanted to do, and restarted Prime rather than contending with Prime's mission list. This version appears to be significantly better in that respect and should greatly help with banners, especially given Prime's lengthy startup time.
  • The swipe needed to access mods using the deploy button seemed to be rather finicky before and is now much easier to do, saving me from having to travel toward the top of the screen and back.
  • Hack output is both easier to follow and less obnoxious by being on the edge of the screen. The additional color saturation helps -- at least until it changes color shortly before it disappears.

The bad:

  • The new version of the XM tank ring thing wastes a substantial amount of horizontal space. The newly-added space to its left is completely unused, and the space to its right, where Lawsons used to go, is similarly unused. Ironically, now that the AP bar has moved to the top of the screen the ring on the left now uses more space to convey less information. Consider putting the edge of the ring back on the left edge of the screen, moving the Lawson bar to either its previous position or where the AP ring used to go, and eliminating the space where Lawsons currently go.
  • The new hacking UI's yellow and purple color scheme is weird.
  • Capsules are too purple and pink. I'm a bit torn on this because it was part of the overall effort to make rarity-based colors really obvious, but in my mind capsules are already a bit "special."
  • I liked the previous, faster glyph demonstration speed, but the lack of a countdown largely makes up for the loss of speed.

The ugly:

  • The same gesture that brings the weapon carousel up can also activate the Fire button. This means that ending an upward swipe from the center button in the wrong spot leads to accidental weapon discharge.
  • The bug that breaks attempts to link while another link is waiting to launch remains.

No review is complete without a couple feature requests, so here are mine:

  • Nearby portal indicators are great, but should be possible to toggle off if I would rather see the road. I had the same desire for Redacted.
  • From a portal view, I should be able to proactively tap or swipe up on the Charge button so I can boost-charge it when I am in range without extra button presses. I can already do this for deployment; charging should work the same way.
  • When I swipe left on the center button to bring up the inventory I would like to be able to swipe back to the right to go straight to the key list. Not a major improvement, but a small time savings. I am aware that this sounds somewhat contradictory after my #1 issue is related to a button working after a swipe on something else.
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Comments

  • RostwoldRostwold ✭✭
    edited September 11

    Nearby portal indicators are not great, they are massively distracting, appearing and disappearing at random and flying round the screen crazily if you have any GPS drift.

    I've had to turn off 'map orientation dynamic compass' off, even though it was a really useful feature, just to stop these unwanted uncloseable pop-up boxes flying around everywhere.

    This really, really needs an off switch!

  • So far, visually it is a massive move in the right direction. Granted I have been poking around while on my couch, but I am truly looking forward to a test drive later with the new version.

  • GrogyanGrogyan ✭✭✭

    I am going to write up later today about all the awful things, and some good things in this release.

    Right now @NianticBrian The hacked items on the left, as well as the item list at the top, has made the UX far, far worse.


    I used to have a full view of the game map, now with everything going off, field-of-view of the game map is limited to the range circle.

    I cannot express just how bad this is. going from 1/5 of visual obstruction of hacked items, to 1/3 of visual obstruction

    The other 1/3 is the overall UI, leaving just 1/3 "usable"


    Great way to kill the user experience


    I Use a Galaxy S9+

  • I agree with Grogyan. The items popping up on left is OK, it's different but I can deal with that, Although the item list at the top is obstructing too much of the view. It's blocking exactly where I'm going. Ingress is a dynamic game. We are on the move and we need to know where we are going. I know it's just a click to dismiss but same can be made from the previous emplacement. And that's the way it is on Redacted... I'm not sure why this had to be changed. I love Prime and I have been playing for 6 years now, there is no coming back to Redacted for me since its release. Although, this update reduces greatly the positive gameplay experience... On the blocked view, let me add the nearby portal location which is completely useless and blocking the view on streets we need to see on the map.

  • The feedback on the space at the top of the map view being important for distance navigation is interesting. I didn't have that impression playing for ~1h this evening at bicycle speeds, and felt having the free space available near my marker more valuable, but now that I've seen Ravarii comment in that direction I'll have to think some more and play some mental what-if with it.

    Single accident-prone UI actions that lead to Intel-visible actions are could be a big problem for fielding or flip fracks if so. Haven't had that experience yet, but it worries me.

    I like the new glyphing interface better. It also feels a lot less laggy, but Prime lag is variable and I'll need a few days to know if I just got lucky with whatever memory usage patterns were in flight at the time.

    Thicker lines and better contrast colors: different but generally an improvement.

    I like the thicker XM indicator, but moving the AP indicator to the top edge did help demonstrate how much less efficient a circular UI is, now that there's only one informationally useful thing in it (I'm afraid to lube up to see what that'll look like).

    I'm hoping I misunderstood this, but at one point my phone lost cell connectivity and the map blurred out and the blur layer blocked map interactions completely. That could be a real problem for fielding in low-signal/sat-only situations if so.

  • Some people are never satisfied! And for what it's worth I have no idea what you mean about the screen being more obstructed than before.

    Personally I was fine with the hack boxes as they were (and as they also were on Redacted). Making them not absorb an extra click was a useful improvement. But these forums here are absolutely full of people saying "take those awful hack boxes away - they're obstructing my view", and so I can entirely understand why Niantic moved them to a higher point on the screen. The action circle is surely the point where you are looking more often, so it can't possibly be better to put the hack box in place of the action circle than it is to put it a bit higher on the screen... or can it?

  • The new position of the hack output boxes is definitely better for static farming (Glyph hacking the same portals over and over without moving) and for playing on bike or in the car. I can see that it might be a degradation when playing on foot while on the go.

    In my opinion, the boxes should go away altogether for hacking portals. The only situation I really use the boxes is when looking at the output of passcodes. Keep the boxes for passcodes and make them optional for hacking portals.

    In a later release, remove them altogether and instead have a journal of the last activities that shows hack output and passcode output like for example in Pokémon Go.


  • Since we get the items along the left, I would definitely want to try a version without the central output boxes and instead having a journal if something catches my eye.

  • SundermeyerSundermeyer ✭✭
    edited September 12

    I like everything about the new update but I agree that the nearby portal feature would be better if you could turn it off and on. I live in a rural area and it is very helpful but I can see it being a pain in urban settings. It is the one Redacted feature I wanted the most.

    The one thing that caught me off guard and I don’t like is that the Charge and Recycle buttons swapped. I nearly lost something while fast tapping into a remote portal to charge it.

    There is one thing that may be a bug or interface issue and that is the bottom menu is up too high and covers up stuff. I will submit that separately.

    Otherwise, things are way better than the last revision.

  • GrogyanGrogyan ✭✭✭

    There is screenshots all over which accurately show just how much the new UI objects obstruct the field.


    With the new location of the hacked items, box, and the flying to the left of the screen of said items, reduces the visual area significantly.

    And has been reported, that in many situations, it makes the game almost unplayable.


    The hacked items box didn't need moving, just needed to be transparent, and not require an additional tap.

    However, as I mentioned in another thread, I understand that the hacked items box is AWAYS going to be obstructing the game map.

    Although I don't like the idea of having another comms tab for showing just how many items were hacked. It IS likely to be the only way way to appease most players, including myself.

  • I wonder if the hacked items box could contain less information, and therefore be much smaller? All I really want to know is did I get a key, and did I get anything very rare. For me, one line of text would suffice, like this:

    "2x portal keys and 6 other items"

    "1x Portal key and 9 other items including a JARVIS Virus"

    and so on... do people need more than this?

  • Will Trekker medal become obsolete when Redacted is retired?

  • TheFarixTheFarix ✭✭✭✭

    No, it just means that agents don't have to walk 3km just to have 0.5km registered.

  • Tried again, playing on the move after Ravarii's comments on the hack yield popover, paying attention to where my eyes went and what I wished I could see. I still don't feel strongly that it's a big difference, but I did find myself dismissing it pretty quickly to see what I was about to come to, and wishing it could be 25% smaller and laid over (or perhaps displayed in) the allcomm overlay to the right of the XM circle. I'm still not a fan of the allcomm overlay at all, but that space could go back and forth between hack yield and allcomm without loss of function.

    Modal portal disambiguation overlays, though - those need to die in a fire. Don't take the map away, just float the disambiguation options over the main map without any interstitial effects. If I meant one of the disambiguated portals/items I'll tap on them. If I didn't, I'll tap what I meant to, which might be the map itself. If you're concerned about the disambiguation boxes themselves being hard to see (cough, Prime, cough), surround them with a small darkening effect.

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