At the end of October NIA Ops posted to Google+
As a reminder, the use of unofficial Ingress software or add-ons which interact with the Ingress game server or client may violate the Ingress Terms of Service. This includes but is not limited to mobile clients, desktop clients and plug-ins. In an effort to protect the quality of service and integrity of the game for all our agents, the use of unofficial Ingress software or add-ons may result in your account being banned, reset, or permanently deleted.
This wasn't necessarily new, there was nothing new there had been some other reminders like this. What was different though is that numbers of players were reporting that they were banned.
Reportedly the emails banned players received much later read:
We have reviewed your account and it remains permanently terminated for violations of the Ingress Terms of Service, including Section 2. Use of the Products - Permissions and Restrictions. This includes, but is not limited to, falsifying your location and/or accessing Ingress clients or backends in an unauthorized manner including through the use of third party software.This player said that they used IITC.
Please check out our FAQ on this topic for more info
Apparently this "reminder" had some bite behind it and was directed to players who used IITC or Ingress "Broot" mod.
Posts on G+ and other places started appearing with players stating they had been banned. Many admitted using IITC, Broot Mod or some other 3rd party product which was in violation, others firmly denied it.
I will admit I used the Broot Mod on my phone briefly, but had removed it well before these actions by Google. I also used IITC desktop to a much greater extent. Once I saw the reality I ditched IITC too.
Are using those things a violation of the TOS, absolutely. Were they cheating, meh.
What were the advantages of Broot Mod? In my opinion very few hardly constituted cheating IMO.
- What I liked best was the chart of your inventory. I could see all my Items in one fell swoop. Quick and easy.
- Another feature I liked is that you were able to disable animations like rotating items.
- Another cool feature was the start up was much quicker. Fortunately a later version of the official version added that.
- Placing your resonators correctly was also easier with this unapproved version as it told you how far away you were from the portal.
- The portal view also allowed you to see how old the portal was.
All of these advantages were what I would consider convenience and aesthetic. Nothing dramatically altering the game experience in your favor.
As for IITC, I only used (past tense) the desktop version and I really liked it. It offered the interaction I wish Ingress would have offered. It made working with the game much easier. Some of the features of IITC:
- First and foremost it was much more user friendly.
- Downloadable plugins to further enhance your use.
- Much easier to plan fields
- Player tracker Plug in, you could see where players were recently.
- Sortable list of portals (one of my favorite things would be to track which portals in the area were how old and plan to attacks on the enemy's portals before they earned Guardian Medals)
- You could get the street address for portals often (Great for using navigation to get to unfamiliar portals)
- Counts of portals in a specific area. Good to measure you performance against your opponent.
I actually think the Google/ Niantic team should be looking at these things and make changes based on what these products are offering. We've seen that they did shorten the start up animation, and offered a total count of items based on feedback. Hopefully this is just a start.