F1 App Review 2

8 Feb
Since writing the last app review I’ve done some further rummaging around on to see what other free Formula 1 apps were out there. The Williams F1 team have just released a Facebook app which I will also be reviewing.
The Official Speed Channel app
(iPhone, Android)
This is the official app for the US motorsport channel Speed TV, who also broadcast Indy Car, NASCAR and Moto sports coverage. The app provides information for each of these forms of motor racing so is great for anyone also interested in the main US races and in Moto GP.

The Speed Channel app

There’s a variety of content within the app, including a news feed, race calendars and results, and the latest standings. There’s also a TV schedule section which I’m sure is helpful for those with access to the Speed Channel.
Best of all is the media content section. If you read my previous app review you’ll maybe recall this is something I really like to see in an app. The media section of this app includes photo galleries (this has been a really useful reference point for comparing the 2012 car launches), videos and best of all, podcasts. The Speed team do a video podcast for Practice, Qualifying and the Race from each F1 Grand Prix, so coverage is comprehensive.
The only thing about the app which irritates me is the advert banners. I can understand why an app built by an individual or small company would have these in order to help fund it, but for a broadcaster’s official app it’s unnecessary.
F1 Matrix
(iPhone, iPad)
This app is a dream come true for anyone who loves to analyse lap times and compare drivers. It is loaded with every lap time for every race from the 2009 season onwards, and allows you to compare all the lap times for two drivers for each race.

The F1 Matrix app

As you can see from the screen shot, there’s several columns of data: a list of lap times for each driver you pick, and then two further columns show the gap between them for an individual lap and the total gap between the two in the race at that point. In order to help explain lap time variances there is colour-coding for pit-stop laps, post-pit-stop laps and the driver’s fastest lap of the race. On the right hand side is an indicator to show which driver was fastest on that lap, with a tally at the top to show the split of faster laps.
This app will be really handy for anyone doing post-race analysis, and thankfully it lets you save your search in a folder so you can refer back to it later. It is simple, but an effective and powerful tool. I will definitely be using this app a great deal.
F1 Quotes
(iPhone, iPad)
Formula 1 is a sport rich in memorable quotes, not least from the highly esteemed Murray Walker, and this app is an amusing little source of quotes from within F1 and other motor sports. Quotes are included from commentators like Murray Walker, as well as from drivers and other team personnel.

F1 Quotes

Each quote is presented on a photo of a racing car. The photos don’t relate to the quotes, but they are still a good way of presenting the content. It’s not an app you’d use persistently, but it is definitely a fun way of passing a few spare minutes.
The free version of the app has adverts on it, but you can buy an ad-free version for £0.69.
The Williams F1 Team ‘ Virtual Build’ Facebook app
Having said in my last app review that I hoped F1 teams besides McLaren would bring out official apps, my wish has partially come true through the new William’s F1 Facebook app.
The app focuses on the launch of the FW34 car and its development during the 2012 winter test period. New features about the car will be released on specific dates over the coming weeks. There is also a link to a live data feed of lap times from the winter tests (data being displayed on the Williams F1 website rather than the app).

Williams Virtual Build

By opting for a facebook app Williams have gone for maximum accessibility with fans, though sadly for us Apple mobile device-users, the content doesn’t work effectively on an iPad or iPhone.
‘Virtual Build’ is a simple but effective way of engaging fans in the build up to the new season, even more so given that it is coming from a team seeking to rebuild its image after a poor 2011 season.
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