Introducing EVE Portal – 2019 Edition!
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We’re super happy to announce that as of 05:00 EVE Time this morning, a new version of the EVE Portal app for EVE Online is now available – called EVE Portal 2019.
The app is free to download from both the App Store and Google Play store and has been rebuilt from scratch in house here at CCP.
You can grab it here:
If you’re viewing this on your PC, then feel free to scan this QR code with your phone for a link directly to the relevant store page where you can grab the app with just a couple of taps.
Alternatively, you can search for EVE Portal 2019 in the app store of your choice. We’re not simply updating the old version of Portal due to various technical reasons (more detail below), which is why we needed to have a different name!
We’ve been waiting anxiously to release this version of the app – and we wanted to get this into your hands now – so you can help us try it, break it and thus improve it. We want to work with the community to make EVE Portal as good as it possibly can be, and feedback both from EVE players at CCP and from the CSM has already helped shape the first iteration.
When we released the first version of EVE Portal a couple of years back, it missed the mark with a lot of our pilots and didn’t provide enough features to compete against the myriad of player designed third party apps out there, some of which are pretty incredible.
We’ve always been committed to EVE Portal since we released it in November 2016, but we understand that there were a lot of basic features that were missing from the original version.
Since taking development of the app in house, we’ve been considering player feedback on the original app, looking at what the community has been asking for the most in terms of features, and working toward an initial feature set for the launch of a new version of the app.
This new version of the app is rebuilt from the ground up using an entirely new framework, which is going to allow us to open the window into EVE wider than ever before and allow more access to Tranquility from your mobile device.
A New Framework?
We kicked off a project internally last year called “EVE Portal 2”, tasked with taking a fresh approach to developing a new version of Portal in house rather than outsourcing it to a third party.
The first thing to look at was what kind of a framework to use when developing the app.
We had the option to build with native frameworks, which would make the app lighter, faster, very easy to develop and maintain, but would restrict the future of Portal to being only a “companion app”. For now, it remains a companion app, but we're hoping that in future that may change.
When considering what we want Portal to be – a conversation that was based heavily on community feedback from the original app, we decided to build the app with a game engine instead – which leaves the option open for us to explore gameplay features within the app in future.
The new version of EVE Portal is built in Unreal 4, an engine that CCP has started to use across multiple projects and has become pretty familiar with in recent years.
One downside of this is of course that as a game engine, if its latest features are to be utilized to their full potential, we have to stick to a recent engine version, which means that Portal will not continue to be compatible with some older smartphones that the old version of Portal can support.
2019? What’s In a Name?
Given that we’re building the new version of EVE Portal in a completely different engine, it’s not possible for us to simply release the new app as a build update for the original, so for now we’re going to name the new version “EVE Portal 2019” until we phase out the old app and remove it’s SKU from the Android and iOS stores.
We’ll then rename the new app to “EVE Portal” once this transition is complete.
So, What’s Actually New?
Let’s take a look at the features in the first iteration of the new EVE Portal and have a quick rundown of what’s available.
Well, firstly we’ve got a spiffy new loading screen, along with a completely redesigned user interface and user experience that will hopefully make it feel more like an EVE Online app.
On top of that we’ve added new audio, so there’ll be some familiar sounds and music while you’re using it – these can be disabled though if you prefer a more sneaky-cloaky mobile experience.
The main central screen for the app is a new homepage that’s been introduced for your character, where you’ll be able to see new mail, skill training progress and calendar events, as well as check on what’s going on in New Eden with news and articles.
There’s also a handy character switch option at the top of the screen that’ll let you switch between the characters you have logged into the app, as well as a clock that’s always displaying EVE Time (UTC).
When you start adding your characters, you’ll see a screen that’s familiar to anyone who logs in. No need for API keys here or any other complicated madness – just log into the app the same as you would on a desktop with your username and password, authorize the character you want to use, and you’re good to go.
You can authorize one character from your account or hit the add character button again and add multiple characters from the same account if you want to keep tabs on them all.
They’ll all show up in the character list and you’ll be able to switch between them through the “Character Switch” option on the homepage.
If you want to find out more about your character, you can click the character portrait on the home page, and this’ll take you into the first version of the mobile character sheet.
There’s the basics there in terms of information right now – we refer to this as “EVE Passport 1.0” and we’re planning to evolve this by adding more information to it in future.
You can see your current corporation, skill point count, wallet and PLEX balance, security status, home station and current ship.
At the top there are also two additional tabs, these list your jump clones and their locations, as well as the implants in your current clone, and a map that shows the current balance of your attributes and how they’re being affected by your current implant set.
Of course, since this new version of EVE Portal is still designed to keep you in touch with pilots across the cluster, we’ve retained the EVEmail and Calendar features – both also redesigned from the ground up.
They’ve also been brought up to date with new dark UI and the same new tabbing system used throughout the rest of the app.
The Calendar is now also accessible via a few different routes. You can either go to “More” and click the calendar there or click a calendar related message in your feed on the home page to be taken directly to your calendar from there.
We’ve also made some pretty cool updates to push messages too with EVE Portal 2019.
Since most pilots have multiple characters and they’re all receiving notifications, it could get pretty confusing to tell which character was receiving a notification in the old version of the app.
We now have personalized push – by looking at the message, you’ll be able to see which of your characters is receiving the push notification.
With EVE Portal 2019 we’ve also introduced a built in New Eden Store, so that you can browse and purchase SKINs, apparel and services on a per-character basis should you want to do so.
You’ll still need to purchase PLEX from your desktop PC, but once you have PLEX in your vault, you’ll be able to grab your favorite SKINs directly from your mobile device if you want to.
Now let’s talk about skills and skill training.
The number one requested feature that was wanted in the original version of EVE Portal was mobile skill management.
So, we’ve done it. We’ve developed a mobile version of skill management that’s part of EVE Portal 2019.
It doesn’t cover the full range of features just yet, but all the basics are in there and we’d love to hear what you guys think.
Right now, you can:
- Add new skills to your queue.
- Remove skills from your queue.
- Re-order your skill queue.
- Buy and inject new skills from the market.
- Apply unallocated skill points to injected skills.
- Pause and start your skill queue.
Allowing read and write access to Tranquility like this is a big step forward for EVE, and we’re looking to do a lot more of it in future.
Please note however, that we’ve taken a lot of factors into consideration when deciding to allow this – particularly skill farming activities that occur in New Eden – and after a long internal discussion within CCP and some consultation with the CSM, we will only allow Omega pilots access to the skill management features for now.
Alpha players will still be able to browse skills and skill queues, but this will be in a read only mode.
What you can’t find on the dock at the bottom of the app, you can find under the EVE shaped “more” hamburger menu in the bottom right of the screen.
In the future, we’d like to expand this menu with a lot more features, depending on where we decide to take the app and of course what features we choose to introduce.
Let's Build This Together!
As you can see from this screenshot, we’ve also added a survey – we’d love your feedback on the new version of the app, and we’d love to hear more about what you want from EVE Portal in terms of features and suggestions for improvements.
The community’s feedback has been instrumental in us taking the first steps to a new, more up to date and accessible mobile app for EVE Online, and we want to continue to work with our pilots to make it as good as we possibly can.
Our EVE Portal team over at CCP Shanghai have been working super hard on putting the first iteration of the app together and would love to hear feedback, suggestions and comments on what you’d like to see going forward.
Download the app by clicking the links at the top of this blog, scanning the QR Codes or searching for “EVE Portal 2019” in your app store.
Try it out, and hit the survey button, or leave us some feedback in the comments thread for this dev blog – we’d love to hear what you think and work with the community to make EVE Portal better than ever before.