The Mass Effect 3 Datapad app for iOS is a really good idea for a companion app. Not only does it provide a Mass Effect codex that is mostly fully voiced, it also helps you improve your Galactic Readiness in Mass Effect 3. Unfortunately everything is powered by Origin, and Origin has a tendency to hinder everything it touches.
Although the reviews for Mass Effect 3 Datapad in the Apple App Store are mostly positive, the problems that people are talking about are consistent. Some users are finding themselves constantly needing to sign into Origin, while others can’t sign in at all. Much like The Simpsons: Tapped Out (which still hasn’t returned), an internet connection is required to make this app useful. It’s not uncommon to select the Galaxy at War option and receive a notification that you’re not connected to the internet even though you are.
Mass Effect 3 Datapad is also quite sluggish. There is a noticeable lag time between selecting an option and watching the result. I’m convinced this isn’t a hardware problem because Mass Effect 3 Datapad is not a hardware intensive app at all. It’s a collection of text, sound effects and mostly stationary backgrounds. This leads me to believe Origin is the culprit behind the latency issues. There was a time when The Simpsons: Tapped Out had somewhat long load times and lag between switching screen orientations. Those issues are noticeably better now and there hasn’t been an App Store update.
For what it’s worth, Mass Effect 3 Datapad is a great idea and I’m glad it exists. I just don’t see myself spending as much time with it as I’d like due to its Origin-created sluggishness and connection issues.
iTunes Link [Mass Effect 3 Datapad]