Feature: EVE Online Apps for your Smartphone!
This review is intended to focus on the available Smartphone apps that is on the market.
Which one are you using and for what reason? Which one do you need to use? Which one do you want to use? Which ones can you use? Which ones are broken and which ones work?
Read on to find out more!
So, the idea is to review apps that would help me enhance my offline experience with EVE Online. To review apps that will give me information that I as a player can use even if Im not near a client where I can log in. To that extent it needs to have functionality that I can use while being disconnected from EVE. If it only has functionality that I can use while next to a PC, chances are that there will allready be a 3rd party app that does the same job, better – or in some cases, the EVE client itself does the job for you.
I wouldn’t really gain an increased gaming experience if the apps, attempts to do something that other 3rd party PC tools allready does better while Im near a PC. Key words here being “While near a game client” vs “While not near a game client”. Mobile, or not. That is the question.
Unfortunately the API that these apps use haven’t really given us much functionality (yet!), so the challenge for the developers of these mobile apps has been to create Apps that use the API but without trying to do something that 3rd party tools doesn’t allready do better. Its a balance, and Im not surprised that this isn’t allways easy to manage. There is a natural tendency to attempting to “awesome’ize” it by adding additional features in addition to the features that the API offers.
Most of you are allready familiar with 3rd party tools, such as EVEMon and EVE Fitting Tool and you know that those are both borderline must-haves. You’d propably also realize that you don’t need the full functionality of the Apps while on the road for them to be usefull for the situation youre in. Sometimes, being reminded about something happening in EVE Online right now is all the functionality you really need when youre at work, sitting in a train or inbetween happy slappings.
Ok, lets get going…
Let me just start off by apologizing though. This was intended to have a few screenshots of each app, but due to my nubness. I’ll have to come back and edit them in on a later date. It requires me going quite technical with root access and whatnot, and thats just something I’m not really comfortable doing just yet.
The first one I was reccomended and took at look at was Aura. Now, as a first-time user of a Smartphone I found Aura usefull because I could keep track of skilltraining on all my avatars via Widgets, but I admit I had to faff around a bit with figuring out how to copy/paste the API info from the official API page. Eventually I managed to sort it out though, and with the gained knowledge I could progress with the installation (yay!).
With the limited API, I have access to a Fitting Tool, an Item Browser and the Pilots section through the main “Dashboard”.
I can add pilots, delete pilots and refresh their portraits from the main page. The list of pilots will display any skills currently in training as well as the wallet of the individual pilots.
When I access a pilot, I get the following options:
- Skill queue
- Skill planner
I have to admit I found the pilots section quite usefull. I could go into my skill overview and add them to the skill planner. The partially trained skills are highlighted in yellow like youre used to and triggering a skill (either untrained, qualified for or partially trained) gives you the option to add it to the planner. Very handy and very good correlation between the two features. To help keep track of the skilltraining, you can add individual pilots as widgets that will display your skill currently in training, when that skill is trained and what you have in your bank.
When I access Items (the Items browser), the item browser appears using magic sorcery! I found myself looking for skillbooks. Im kinda missing skillbooks. I’ll manage. The Item browser doesn’t display whether or not youre skilled for any particular item as youre propably used to ingame. I also wasn’t able to find officer or faction mods using the Item Browser, although those are available using the ordinary search tool. Don’t confuse this for a market tool. It isn’t. There are some similarities though.
Its a tool that has categorized items.
While you can see which skills you need to train to use modules, I had problems queueing those skills into the skill planner. What you can do instead is to bypass this by using your brain cells (omg) to store the nessisary information to add the skill from the regular skill sheet. Voila!
Why its not supported, may be becuase of my personal nubsauce or because its simply not added yet. I have to admit I don’t know. Nevertheless, its a feature and its available. I personally didn’t found a use for it outside of trying to remember the different module names.
For those of you that are into EFT warriorring, its a decent way to get part of that fix while heading home on the train or while attending a boring meeting. Its not perfect. Its not EFT, but its a decent supplement to it while on the road if you know how to use it and compensate for the shortcomings of it. I’d like to comment more on it, but I wouldn’t do it justice.
With the full API, you gain more utility as you gain “Assets” and “Market Orders” that allows you to see these. It also has some handy sorting options that wil allow for minor hauling planning. With the CAK’s (Customizeable API Keys) there are now ways to refine the API functionality that allows for some parts of the software to work while disallowing others.
Aura is providing you with a powerfull tool that with the Widgets gives you some very relevant information that you can use. Unfortunatly, the fitting and item browser features doesn’t give you any relevant information that isn’t allready beaten by 3rd party apps. It aspires to be more without really accomplishing it. Due to the lack of further development of those two fewatures, they aren’t really usefull though. Its definately worth installing it, for the skill monitor tools though. The skill monitor is so well developed that you’ll be fully aware of where your characters skills and with the full API, you’ll get extra functionality that allows you to keep track of how well your market orders are doing. Chances are what you’ll use from Aura is the widget portion of the app and occasionally checking how your orders are doing.
Evanova for EVE Online is an alternative to this app and works in many similar ways.
Courier Contract Calculator
This tool is simply a realtime calculator for calculating the cost of a courier contract based on the collateral, number of jumps, security level and more. While I personally found no use for it in an offline scenario. Its possible that curiers would find it usefull as they can potentially use EVE Gate to reply to clients and set up orders before they return home.
Since my phone allready shows how much battery power it has left, I found the information presented redundant. IF you have a phone that doesn’t inform you of the battery power and you need a widget to show this information, go ahead.
Nearly the same functionality as Aura – you can check when your skills run out and it will show you your bank balance, but outside of that there isn’t any – functionality that is. If you need help to decide to go for Aura or Podkill? Remember that Aura offers a bit more functionality.
Similar to the Gmail app so this should be somewhat familiar to alot of you. You’ll be able to read your mails by supplying your full API key, but you won’t be able to respond to them. You’ll have to log into the EVE Gate to do so, but EVE Gate mails look really weird on a mobile platform at the moment.
I’ll definately be keeping this one myself! Unfortunately it is no longer available on the Android Market.
Contains a skill database where you can add the skills to a skill planner as well as see the attributes of the skills. Unfortunately, the review stops there as the app is simply too unstable in its current state to be of any value.
Has been discontinued according to the developer. The app was intended to deliver alerts to your smartphone of various varieties (for example POS fuel alerts).