While the core game gets almost all the attention from the Destiny fanbase, very little is said about the phone app. This is a fairly interesting change from the time when Bungie released their first Destiny video documentary detailing their work on the game, in which they showed a companion app of some sort for a few seconds and people became pretty excited about it. Around that time, app interfaces for other games garnered a lot of attention themselves, as well as apps for then-next-now-current-gen systems. As time passed and many if not all of these apps failed to meet expectations (surprise, surprise), eyes turned away from the Destiny app.
Currently, the Destiny companion app is a fairly solid piece of programming and performs the role Bungie designed it to. It acts as a rudimentary interface to Bungie.net, allows players to view their details and is arguably the best way (of few) to view your grimoire cards. I’ll post about the issues with how the cards are presented in my next post. The deepest the app goes into useful territory is giving the user the ability to swap out inventory items. In a way, that single ability opened up a Pandora’s Box in Bungie’s unsuspecting face. Guardians now ask if inventory manipulation is doable, why not other things? Why not:
- Moving items between different inventories and the vault
- Upgrading weapons and armor
- Buying items from Tower vendors
- Accepting and submitting bounties
- Being useful during gameplay
- Easier connections to other players
First and foremost would be security issues. Bungie has to be sure the app’s security is uncrackable. They also may be uncomfortable with the thought of someone accessing an account through a stolen mobile device.
The app’s current design and interface at present probably is the biggest hurdle Bungie has to tackle. At present it’s properly organized for its functions but would not scale well to meet many new tasks. A complete redesign would be required. There is a bit of a silver lining here though. There is as of yet no tablet version of the app. A tablet’s larger screen and more robust processing power, on top of the slightly smaller chance of a tablet being stolen (a significant percentage of tablet users rarely take them out of the home) would be ideal for expanded capabilities. Some might be a little cheesed that the phone app would be left a bit in the dust, but it could be shored up in the meanwhile to take on at least some more functions that at present it could easily handle.
Given that the game is requiring so much attention right now, it would be a little unrealistic to expect any big moves on this side of things. Still, I think it’s important to further separate Destiny from the pack and giving the entire project some serious longevity.
What would you like to see the companion app do?