Ingress Prime: What’s Changed?
Yesterday, Niantic released the long-awaited Ingress Prime. Fev Games presents you with a comprehensive look at what’s different in the new scanner.
The biggest, most obvious change is the new user interface. While many of the changes are just eye candy, there are practical usability updates, as well:
- The OPS menu, once located at the upper-right, is now presented as a ring-shaped button, and has been moved to the bottom-center to be easily reached with your thumb. The menu supports swipe actions to quickly select an item under the menu: swipe up and left from the ring to open your inventory, straight up to attack, and up and right to open the comm. (The dots next to the ring indicate the availability of these actions.) You can also access missions, the store, and settings (formerly the “Device” tab) from the new OPS menu.
- Hacking, deploying, and recharging use similar menus. All actions hidden under long-press gestures have been promoted to be fully visible in the UI.
- There is now a quick power cube drawer, which you can access by tapping the square icon below your XM meter at the upper-left. This drawer works similarly to the attack drawer: select a cube to use from the carousel, then tap the “Use” button. This makes it much easier to top off your reserves quickly.
- Ingress now uses the same rotation and zoom gestures as Pokémon GO. Rotate the screen by swiping with a single finger. Zoom with a pinch or double-tap-and-swipe gesture.
- Recent actions now appear at top, below your agent name. The most recent alert appears at the bottom-right. Tapping either of these opens the corresponding tab in the new comm screen.
- The comm screen has been revamped so that agent activities, alerts, and chat are all separate streams. Chat is further broken down into faction and cross-faction categories, making it a bit more clear who will be able to see your message.
- Inventory management has been completely overhauled. Portal keys are now managed separately from your other items. Inventory is now displayed with two carousels: the lower carousel shows the item categories, with how many items of each category you have. Selecting a category displays the items in that category in a second carousel above. Multi-select allows you to easily recycle all items of a particular level or rarity at once.
- Hack results now display your inventory count.
- You can now filter the list of missions to display only those you haven’t completed.
Although the message from Niantic leading up to the release of Ingress Prime emphasized a focus on feature parity with the original version of the scanner, there is a brand new mechanic available called “recursion.” This is similar to the “prestige” mechanic available in some other games. Recursion (available only to level 16 agents) restarts you at level 1 and 0 AP, and gives you the option to change factions. Your inventory items, keys, medals, recharge distance, mission progress, and access to level-gated services (portal submissions, Operation Portal Recon and the Mission Creator Tool) are all retained. Your agent profile will display your lifetime AP (all AP you’ve earned across all recursions) just below your current AP, and a new stat will appear showing the number of recursions you’ve performed. You’ll also earn the Simulacrum medal. Any medals that you re-earn through recursion will be decorated to show that you’ve earned them more than once. If you’re level 16, you can find recursion at the bottom of your agent profile.
The original training section in the OPS menu has been replaced with a brand-new agent primer that does a significantly better job of helping new agents get familiar with the scanner. You can go through the training at any time by going into the Settings screen and tapping “Restart” under “Agent Primer.”
Facebook Sign In
In addition to the existing Google sign in, you can now sign in with your Facebook account.
Ingress Prime isn’t quite up to feature parity with the original scanner yet. To bridge the gap until then, Niantic is releasing the original scanner as a separate application called Scanner [REDACTED]. New agents can’t use it to sign up, but it will support existing agents in the meantime. Scanner [REDACTED] is slated to go out today for Android, and within a week for iOS. That leads us to…
There are some features present in the original scanner that are currently missing in Ingress Prime:
Global/Regional Scoring (a.k.a. Intel)
Other than a couple of meters showing the global faction scores during the start-up screen, there is no information about global and regional scoring in Ingress Prime. Fortunately, the data from the Intel Map is still available, and Niantic says that adding that information to Prime is in the works.
Portal Submission and Reporting
Ingress Prime has no mechanism to submit new portals or corrections to existing portals. According to Niantic, this is the principal reason why Scanner [REDACTED] is being released. Once this feature is restored in Prime, Niantic intends to discontinue Scanner [REDACTED].
The original scanner had a compass display on the main screen, and you could tap it to toggle between the dynamic and static compass. This is missing in Prime, although you can still toggle the compass in the Settings screen. Niantic says that restoring the compass is in the works now.
The “Force Sync” option appears to be missing from the Settings screen. There has been no word from Niantic about this feature being made available in Ingress Prime. Seeing as this was a useful fix when the scanner would occasionally get borked, it’s absence is notable. Theoretically, you can accomplish the same thing by deleting the app cache, although that’s a much more cumbersome approach.
Recycle Exceeds Capacity Warning
The original scanner warned you if you were about to perform a recycle that would exceed the capacity of your XM reserves, but this warning isn’t given in Prime. Niantic says they are working to include this in Prime.
The original scanner allowed you to share various things to social media (portals, profiles, achievements, missions). This appears to be missing, and there’s currently no word on whether Niantic intends to reinstate this feature.
Recruiting and Community Tabs
The “Recruiting” and “Community” tabs from the original OPS screen haven’t made the migration to Ingress Prime. Niantic has not indicated whether it intends to provide these in Prime in the future.
Google Plus Link
In the original scanner, agents could link their agent profiles to their profiles on Google Plus. As Ingress was born at Google and G+ was the original social network of choice, this made sense, but with imminent demise of G+, it makes sense that this feature wasn’t carried over. It might be nice if Niantic would allow linking to other profiles, however (such as Facebook).
Any non-trivial application is going to have some bugs. Niantic has a page on their support site that documents the known issues with Ingress Prime and the current status of those issue. If you’re having a problem, you may want to check that page.