The Packet Tracer Mobile App

Packet Tracer Mobile

First off, I am not necessarily a “GNS3 Champion” although I am a figurative “Tony Hawk” with the blasted software. But to be honest, I haven’t found that piece of software that is the new ‘king of the hill’ other than GNS3.

Having said that, I was poking around the Google Play store and I saw a Packet Tracer Mobile app. I’m thinking “Wow! This is a great concept!”

I immediately started downloading and goofing with the GUI on my Samsung Note 5.
As far as the space…it’s real clean. Grabbing a couple of routers and connecting them is a snap.

When we get to the part of where you enter basic commands in the interface…it’s very easy to ‘fat finger’ commands (and I do that already with a full size keyboard). So I think integrating a full size keyboard to enter commands would be better than using ‘thumbs’ if I’m going to spend an hour building a topology.

But I still see potential to download pre-configured Packet Tracer files and follow along with an instructor. There is real power for a student to use their android, download a packet tracer file from an instructor and mess with the routers as the instructor goes over the details or plants “missing configurations” in the topology for the student to find. So I think with a bit of work with the user interface for the keyboard and the ability to quickly share Packet Tracer files among themselves via Bluetooth would be a nice add.

Otherwise a good start and I look forward to those improvements in the future.

UPDATE: 6/16/2017

After I was finished with Clash of Clans, I decided to focus more on the actual controls within this app. I missed the command completion option on the right hand side. Essentially, you don’t need a keyboard, because it lists the possible commands after you choose “enable” and “configure” and “terminal”. The list of commands are in a flyout window to the right which actually makes entering commands EASIER than if I had to manually type them in. So that’s a big plus.

Also, in the top left hand corner of the app is a place to load a pre-configured file. Shocking things like simulated WIRELESS and other topologies that are in-line with the newer IPv6 modules and the GRE tunnels are excellent places to start for students who don’t know how to build out from scratch a network topology.

Having pre-defined, easy to configure routers and switches based off the 1800 series is a perfect entry level for students and I think for starters, the Packet Tracer Mobile App is even BETTER than it’s predecessor and is far more intuitive than GNS3 ever was back in 2006.

I still think Bluetooth should be enabled to swap the .pkt files BUT I am sure there is a community out there that already has a place to share them anyway. KUDOS to CISCO for really thinking about an entry level student or someone new to engineering. I have no problems suggesting this app as the first to learn Cisco equipment.

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