Anyone who owns a smart phone or tablet knows the wonder of apps. These days there is an app for just about anything, no matter if you have an Android device or an Apple device. When it comes to things like sports apps really shine. The official NBA app allows fans to keep track of virtually everything going on in the league, same with the official NFL app, and NHL app. NASCAR and Indy Car have their own official apps too as well and the best thing about all the apps I mentioned is that they are all free.
Last year Formula 1 used to be a part of that group as they offered a free live timing app that also included other features like track notes and weather conditions. I will admit it was a pretty basic bare bones app when compared to what some of the other sports offered but its simplicity actually made the user experience more enjoyable and it really came through when I could not watch a race on TV.
However, this year that all changed. Formula 1 enlisted developer Soft Pauer to revamp their official mobile app and revamp they did. The new app has everything last year’s app had but now with beautiful graphical representations of each track with live position markers for each driver, tire data for each driver (know who is on what tire), DRS zone markers on each track map, live news updates from race control, the ability to follow a specific driver, and pick out certain virtual (not live broadcast) corner views and such. I will be the first to say that is an impressive list of features. The only problem is that this app will set you back a whopping $30 bucks! (Actually $30.99 on Google Play and $28.99 in the iTunes App Store).
In a marketplace where most apps are 99 cents or free a $30 price tag for a mobile app to follow a sport is ridiculous! Or is it? Am I being unfair? Is there a good reason for the high price tag? Lets take a deeper look at some comperable apps (Indy Car and NASCAR) to see how they stack up against F1′s current offering.
NASCAR Sprint Cup Mobile
The NASCAR Sprint Cup mobile app gives users access to live in-car audio from all the drivers in the field, race radio live broadcasts, live timing, live telemetry, and other cool stuff like highlight videos, interviews and the like. All of that stuff is offered for free, or so it appears.
As the title says it is the NASCAR Sprint Cup mobile app. So while the app is technically free, it can only be downloaded if you are a Sprint service subscriber. Also, even if you are on Sprint if you have the iPhone 4 or 4S you are SOL since the app is currently not offered in the iTunes App Store. Some have complained that the only reason they switched to Sprint was for this very app yet they cannot get it because they chose an iPhone instead of an Android powered phone.
Although, this is where the “Free” comes from. NASCAR does not have to charge users for the app since it is pretty much subsidized by the Sprint title sponsorship of the series.
Indy Car Mobile By Verizon
The Indy Car Mobile app is pretty similar to the NASCAR app except the Indy Car App allows for live in-car camera video (for select drivers), live “race control center” video during races, and the ability to split your screen into quadrants and watch 4 video feeds at once. You also get all the live updates, live track positioning, and other stuff you get with apps of this sort.
The Indy Car Mobile app is also free but like the NASCAR Sprint Cup app the key is in the app’s title. This app is only available to Verizon subscribers, and also like the NASCAR app it seems to be exclusive to Android devices at the moment.
“Free” is not so free
Ok, so it turns out that many “free” sports apps out there including the Indy Car and NASCAR apps are only offered as such due to sponsorships and since Formula One has no “official title sponsor” it is understandable why they decided to make their 2012 app a pay for play affair. However, my argument here is not that the Formula One mobile app should be free, its that $30 bucks for the privilege is way too much!
Again I fully conceed to the fact that the F1 2012 live timing app is very feature rich, and good looking but seriously, one would be hard-pressed to find a similar paid sports app period much less one that demands that kind of coin for use. I think Formula One/FIA would make much more money and make people much happier if they reduced the price of the current app to say $10 to $15 and offered a basic version (get rid of all of the 3D modeled live representation of cars, track position, etc) and offered it for a buck.
As it stands, the F1 2012 app has “5,000 – 10,000″ installs. While that may sound like a lot, the Indy Car Mobile app has 10 times as much and the NASCAR app has at least over 5 million installs. Despite locking out the other service subscribers and millions of iPhone owners those two apps still dwarf the F1 apps usership despite F1 being the second most popular sport in the world! What does that say?
Let me paint a word picture for you: You have your eye on a particular wheel but you are unsure how said wheel will look on your car. You then go to your forum of choice and make a desperate plea that someone “photochop” the wheel onto a picture of your car. Instead, forum trolls come out from under their bridge and begin an epic flame war hurling insults such as “your car is teh sux!!11″ and “mY eG CiViC PwNs U!” then the power-drunk forum mod closes your thread and nothing gets accomplished except raising your blood pressure. All too familiar isn’t it?
Well the guys at SSR Wheels found away for you to avoid all of that grief. If you have a particular SSR wheel in mind for your car simply download their SSR Wheel app for your iPhone or iPad, take a side profile picture of your car, then use the app to apply any one of their wheels to your car with some simple touch screen drag & drop action!
If this glorious innovation has not brought you to tears yet you will certainly sob after I tell you that this app is totally free! Yes! Gratis! Now, go fourth and wheel shop ’till your heart’s content!
If you know me then you know I pretty much hate the iPhone in all its forms, but even I can recgonize a cool iPhone 4S case when I see one. If you happen to own the so-called “Jesus Phone” and you do not have a case to protect it yet I would suggest the Tech 10 case from Alpinestars. The design is pretty cool and it is made from high-grade sillicone so your precious hipster device-err I mean phone will be protected from harm. This case will work with both the iPhone 4 and the 4S so you early adopters need not worry.
These days smartphones are getting smarter. There are so many things we can do on our iPhones and Android phones that it is hard for most people to keep their hands off their mobile devices, especially while driving, which tends to have dangerous results. Enter Pioneer’s “AppRadio“. Essentially AppRadio is an in-dash device that ports compatible apps from the users smart phone onto its touchscreen in a more driver friendly format. This way when a user wants to navigate their Pandora account they don’t need to pick up their phone to do it, they can just use the large touch screen on the AppRadio unit. We think this is pretty awesome and could potentially save lives or at the very least save someone from a ticket. The only downside is that it is only available for iPhone 4 users. Hopefully Pioneer will develop this for Android and Blackberry users in the near future. Check out the video below for Pioneer’s explanation of exactly how AppRadio works.
In case you didn’t realize it, the 2011 Formula 1 season starts this weekend in Melbourne, Australia. For us hardcore fans a new Formula 1 season means more late nights and early mornings watching the races live on TV. However sometimes you just can’t wake up, stay up, or just be around a TV when there’s a race on. Luckily for just such occasions Formula 1 has released an official app to help you keep up on events each race weekend. The app gives live timing, circuit data, results, news, and session alerts. There is even an archive feature that will give you race results all the way back to the 50′s! The best part of all is that this app is available in the Android Market, BlackBerry App World, and the iTunes App Store. No one gets left out!
Want to test drive the Audi RS 3 without flying to Germany? Well you can if you own an iPhone/iPod touch. Audi just released a game featuring the RS 3 that not only lets you virtually drive the car but race, drift, and crash it should you feel so inclined. Although you may want to focus on the racing part since this game a part of a international contest in which the winner will get their very own Audi RS 3!. The contest runs from March 3rd to the 16th. Scroll below for some screen shots of the game and the contest details in the press release.
Asphalt Audi RS 3 racing game offers exclusive driving experience
International competition – grand prize is an Audi A3 Sportback
Free Asphalt Audi RS 3 game for the iPhone
Just in time for the exhibition debut of the Audi RS 3 Sportback at the Geneva Motor Show, a new app will arrive on March 3rd that allows all iPhone owners to take the new Audi model for a test drive. With the free racing game for the iPhone called Asphalt Audi RS 3, players can choose between two tracks (Bahamas and Tokyo), both of which feature thrilling graphics.
The iPhone app, which is available from the Apple App Store, was designed in partnership with Gameloft. Gameloft is the world’s biggest developer and publisher of video games for mobile devices. The sixth edition of the Asphalt racing game series, which has sold more than 20 million copies worldwide, has been available since December 2010.
Winning in the Asphalt Audi RS 3 game involves more than just driving over the finish line: with skilled driving maneuvers players can beat their competitors or explore hidden short cuts. “This is a way for our customers to get to know the new Audi RS 3 Sportback even before the official market launch,” said Lothar Korn, Head of Marketing Communications at Audi.
In the game, the youngest member of the Audi RS family can be controlled using the touch-screen or via tilt control, which the iPhone allows to be used as the steering wheel. Customized configuration of the car is also possible.
For people who want more than just virtual driving fun, there’s a link that leads to Audi’s mobile website as well as to a page with an overview of all Audi apps (www.audi.de/apps). From there, iPhone owners can download numerous other Audi apps.
In the Asphalt Audi RS 3 Contest players can climb their way to the top of a worldwide online list. In this international competition, the player with the fastest time after three rounds on the Bahamas track will win an Audi A3 Sportback 2.0 TFSI quattro with the S line sports and exterior package, quattro drive, leather trim, xenon plus headlights and a BOSE sound system. The contest runs from March 3 to 16.
Starting March 3, the Asphalt Audi RS 3 iPhone racing game will be available worldwide at no cost from the Apple App Store in German, English, French, Italian, Spanish, Portuguese, Japanese, Chinese and Korean versions. After installing the program players can use all of the content of the app with an active Internet connection. The game is designed for the iPhone, but also functions on an iPad and iPod touch.
The contest is being offered in Germany, Australia, Belgium, China, France, the United Kingdom, Hong Kong, Japan, Canada (except for Quebec), Mexico, the Netherlands, Austria, Russia, Switzerland, Spain, South Korea and the United States (including the District of Columbia). Participants must be of full legal age and possess a valid driver’s license.
Car people like car calendars. However, there are only so many ways to present a calendar, especially a car calendar. Sure, you could throw in some models or use interesting backgrounds but that is about it…Or so we thought! Audi decided they wanted to do something that has never been done before and create a “car calendar without cars.” See how they did it in the video below.
Just as the new iPhone 4 hits Apple stores nationwide GReddy has released their very own iPhone App called “GReddy Simulator“. What does it do? Basically, it lets you experience what its like to have various GReddy bits in your car. By mounting your iPhone in your car the app utilizes the phone’s accelerometer to give accurate representations of what types of read outs you would get if you had say, a GReddy boost gauge. The app also knows when you shift so if you have it in Type RZ Blow Off Valve mode, you can expect a healthy pressure release sound! You can do all kinds of fun stuff with this app if your phone is mounted in your car or not. And to top it off the GReddy Simulator only costs 2 bucks! Just head to the iTunes app store to download it. My only gripe is that this app wasn’t developed for Android or Windows Mobile powered phones.