Ally — Collect and Backup — a TagMo alternative for iOS

Good day, all Amiibo fans. Today I am going to talk about everything that can be done using Ally — Collect and Backup iOS application.

The app is launched about a month ago but already become the number one choice for all Amiibo fans. A good confirmation of that statement is a lot of 5-star reviews in the AppStore. Just check them out.

However, a lot of users have questions about the app and its functionality. In this post, I am going to cover everything that Ally can do.

Ally was created for three types of users:

  1. Amiibo collectors — people who collect Amiibo and need an excellent tool to manage their collection.
  2. Travellers — people who travel and play on the go to enjoy playing with Amiibo on the go.
  3. Amiibo creators — people who like to express their creativity by creating their own — custom Amiibo.

Amiibo collectors

Amiibo collectors can fully manage their Amiibo collection in the app. Users can add and update Amiibo data using NFC, delete Amiibo from the collection, search Amiibo to get its details, search Amiibo on Amazon, create a personal Wishlist, and filter Amiibo by multiple parameters.

The app shows you how many Amiibo you have in collection out of currently available in the World.

We know that collectors like to keep their Amiibo boxed. The app allows you to do so. You can scan the bottom of the box to add the Amiibo to your collection and then use it without unboxing the toy by writing it to NTAG215 or N2.

Adding Amiibo to collection

If you don’t have Amiibo in your collection, it will be greyed out.

To add Amiibo to the collection press [+] button and touch the top back of your iPhone to the bottom of Amiibo. The app will recognize the Amiibo, display its details, and prompts you to add it to the collection. Once added, the Amiibo image will become coloured.

If you use Amiibo in your games and write some progress on it, like levels in Super Smash Bros or number of hearts for Wolf Link, etc., you will be able to update your Amiibo data in the app. Scan the Amiibo one more time, and the app will prompt you to update its data.

There is also a way to add an Amiibo from the data dump files if you backed them up by other tools. To add Amiibo from files, you can open one or multiple files with Ally app, and iOS will display the correspondence menu in the share or AirDrop menu.

Alternatively, you can tap and hold on the [+] button to choose the import type you would like to use via NFC or by importing from files. You can import dumps from one or multiple files.

Amiibo details screen

Tap on Amiibo to view the Amiibo details screen. The details screen will be looking different depending on specific criteria.

If you don’t have the Amiibo, there is a star button to add the Amiibo to Wishlist and search for it on Amazon.

If you have the Amiibo, you will be able to add this Amiibo to N2 or to write its data to NTAG215 if the writing mode is enabled.

You can also delete Amiibo data from the app if you need to do so.

Viewing amiibo game usage information

There is a [usage] button on the amiibo details screen.

By pressing this button, the amiibo game usage screen will be displayed. This screen displays amiibo compatible games for Nintendo Switch, 3DS and WiiU and what features user get in each game by using this amiibo.

Viewing Super Smash Bors. Ultimate amiibo and Midna and Wolf Link amiibo data

If you have a key added to the app (dark side mode is active), you will be able to see amiibo game-specific data for Super Smash Bros. Ultimate amiibo and Midna and Wolf Link amiibo.

If you train your amiibo in Super Smash Bros. Ultimate, the app will display your character stats on the amiibo details screen or when you scan the amiibo via NFC.

For Midna and Wolf Link amiibo, the app will display Wolf Link related data.

Amiibo collection display

Amiibo collection displays all amiibo grouped by three sections:

  • My collection: displays all amiibo in the collection
  • Wishlist: displays all amiibo in the Wishlist
  • Not collected: displays all other amiibo that are not owned and not added to the Wishlist.

Refine the Amiibo collection

There is an advanced filter bar on the Amiibo collection screen. You can refine the Amiibo collection by the following criteria:

  • Refine Set — to refine Amiibo by the specific Set
  • Refine Game — to refine Amiibo by the specific Game
  • Refine Type — to refine Amiibo by the Type like Card / Figurine / Plush

The filter results will also be split into three main sections to quickly understand your progress in collecting amiibo for the particular Set, Type, or Game.

Manage the Amiibo Wishlist

The Star icon indicates that Amiibo is added to the Wishlist. You can add or remove Amiibo from the Wishlist by pressing the Star button on the Amiibo details screen’s top right. You can also tap and hold on to any greyed out Amiibo to Add or remove it from the Wishlist.

Only Amiibo you don’t have (greyed out) can be added to the Wishlist. Once Amiibo is added, the app won’t allow you to add it to the Wishlist as you already have that Amiibo.

Use global Amiibo search

Tap on the loupe button to open free text Amiibo search. You can search Amiibo by any term to quickly find the one you want and then tap on it to open the Amiibo details screen. The details screen will look the same as described above.

Travellers

Nintendo Switch made triple-A gaming experience available on the go. It’s unique to play the games you like anywhere you want. However, for Amiibo, this is not true. It is so inconvenient to take your Amiibo collection with you when you travel. An NFC tag called N2elite allows you to write up to 200 amiibo on a small tag to solve this.

Ally — Collect, and Backup is made to manage N2 fully. You can read your N2 tag, set an Active slot, delete Amiibo from the tag, clear N2 and write up to 10 amiibo at once. We have limited writing batches to 10 as writing takes time, and it is a bit weird to wait when it’s writing. We believe 10 is an optimal size of the batch to write. You can write as many batches as you like.

Reading N2elite tag

When you open the app for the first time and open the n2 screen, the app prompts you to scan N2 to read it for the first time.

When N2 is successfully read the screen will display the information about your N2:

  • How many slots are taken out of 200
  • What is the currently active slot and what Amiibo is there?
  • And a list of slots with Amiibo on each slot

You can also reread the same N2 tag or read another N2 tag by pressing the tag button.

Adding Amiibo to N2

To add Amiibo to N2, you need to press on the [+] button and select up to 10 Amiibo to write in one batch. The added Amiibo won’t be displayed in this list anymore, so you don’t need to remember which Amiibo are added to N2.

You can also write to N2 by pressing the WRITE TO TAG / N2 button from the Amiibo collection view in the Amiibo details screen.

Setting the Active slot

To set the active slot, you can tap on the Amiibo slot to open the details screen and tap on the SET ACTIVE button. You can also tap and hold on the Amiibo slot from the N2 screen to open quick actions and select Set Active quick action.

Removing Amiibo from N2

To remove Amiibo from N2, you can tap on the Amiibo slot to open the details screen and tap on the Delete button. You can also tap and hold on the Amiibo slot from the N2 screen to open quick actions and select Remove from n2 quick action.

Randomize Amiibo serial on N2

If the writing mode is enabled, there will be an extra action in the quick actions menu to Randomize Amiibo serial. This function is added if you want to use Amiibo as many times as you want without a need to wait till another day in games like Zelda — Breath of the Wild. The good thing is the actual Amiibo data dump won’t be affected, and only an N2 copy of the Amiibo will have a different serial number. So your source data will remain safe and legit.

Clearing N2 data

There is an Empty all slots button in the app to clear the data from the N2 tag. The app uses a smart technique to remove the data fast and to protect N2 from corruption.

Amiibo creators

There is a bunch of people who like to express their creativity by creating their own Amiibo. Those people are doing it so well. We’ve seen examples of the beautiful, unique custom paint on NTAG215 cards or tokens, custom-made plush toys, etc. We’ve made Ally — Collect and Backup a number one app for everyone who likes Amiibo, and we couldn’t avoid those people. Unfortunately, all Amiibo are encrypted by the proprietary key, and distributing this key is illegal. If you have a key file, Ally collect and backup allow you to import the key file (one joint file or two parts of the key file) to activate the writing mode (it’s called dark side mode).

Once the dark side mode is activated, Ally will enable the writing mode from the Amiibo collection view in the Amiibo details screen. The correspondence message will be displayed under the WRITE TO TAG button, meaning that you can safely write to NTAG215 tags or PowerTags. The app is smart enough to understand if you are wiring to NTAG215, PowerTag or N2. It will automatically detect what tag are you writing on, and the app will use the appropriate writing method.

The app will automatically count the number of times the particular amiibo has been written. That number will be displayed in the top right corner of the amiibo.

There is also a way to update that number to any number you want to synchronize with your collection of custom tags. Number 0 won’t be displayed, so if you’re going to remove that number, update it with 0. To update the number of writes tap and hold on any amiibo you want and tap on the correspondence menu.

PowerTags use a proprietary algorithm to encrypt the key to write the data. That algorithm is used when you write to PowerTag using the writing device (called PowerSaves) that comes with PowerTag in a package. We have found two encrypted keys and serial numbers for those keys on the Internet and added them to Ally. Basically, when you use Ally with a new PowerTag, everything will be working great. The app initially sets the right serial number and then uses the encrypted key to write the data to that tag. You can rewrite that tag as many times as you like.

If you used PowerTag with a PowerSaves device before, most likely, PowerTag will have a different serial number, and it needs to be reset. In that case, Ally will show you the following error message: “Found PowerTag with bad serial. Please reset it with PowerSaves adapter.”

To do that, you need to write the following bin file to PowerTag using the PowerSaves device, and then your tag will be reset and ready to be used with Ally.

https://ally.ninja/POWER_TAG_RESET.bin

If you used PowerTag with TagMo before, everything would be working great as TagMo is using the same approach as Ally.

Keep in mind that legally you should only duplicate Amiibo you own. You are fully responsible for using the writing function and where you get the keys from.

If you still have questions about the app or need support, there is a Twitter account — @allyamiibo (https://twitter.com/allyamiibo). Please follow it for the app updates, use it for feature requests and all other inquiries you might have.

Learn more about the app on the app website: https://ally.ninja

AppStore Link

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Igor Anany

Igor Anany

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茶 ॐ  🎮 | CEO at 7 glyphs — the number one mobile and web development studio in New Zealand 🇳🇿 | CTO at Vibe Media | iOS Developer | Father of 👦🏼 & 👧🏻