F1 App Review – Part 4

21 Mar

The start of the new season has inevitable resulted in a flurry of new F1 apps being launched in the App Store. Here’s the latest round of apps.

Sky Sports F1 Race Control (within Sky Sports)

(Free with a Sky Subscription, on iPad)

This is essentially an app within another app. There had been some confusion prior to its launch as to whether this would be a stand-alone or an incorporated within the existing main sky sports app. The latter turned out to be the case.

This app is yet another part of the extensive coverage being given to F1 by Sky Sports, and it doesn’t disappoint. It provides the same live camera feeds when there’s action on the track as those available on the red button on your TV. Users can see the main feed being broadcast on the track, as well as several on board cameras and a live pit lane feed. I think this app will really come in to its own for me when I’m not at home and will most likely use this rather than Sky Go to watch the race.

There’s only two minor criticisms I can really throw at this app. Firstly, you can end up spoilt for choice and it is possible to miss some on-track action because you’re watching one of the other feeds (I know, I know, First World Pains…). Secondly, by being integrated within a Sky app which requires a login it is only available to Sky subscribers, and not to Virgin Media customers which seems a tad unfair. Not massively surprising though, as Sky have gradually been tucking more content away where only their customers can access it.

F1 107%

(Free, iPhone)

This free and simple app is a god send for anyone (myself included) wanting to keep an eye on whether the teams at the back of the pack will have driven sufficiently fast to be allowed to race, who is rubbish at mental arithmetic down to 3 decimal places.

As you can see from the image here, you set the pole position time using the scrolling wheels, and it calculates the 107% time limit for you. Simples.

Final Sector

(£0.69 on iPhone, Android)

This app accompanies the recently revamped Final Sector website, which is run by a team of bloggers and writers who I know on twitter (thought it best to ‘fess up on that one!). There’s already a significant number of F1 news apps available, so I was interested to see how this one would stand out from the crowd.

When the app is launched, you are greeted with a countdown to the next race, and a series of menu options for navigating round the extensive content within the app. There is a range of what I consider to be “standard” content in the form of news stories, the race calendar, team and circuit information, as well as standings and results information. There’s also historical information about previous championship winners, a gallery of images and a link to the official twitter feeds for teams and drivers.

Scroll further down the ‘More’ option, however, and there’s some gems which really do help this app stand out from the crowd. These gems include a direct link to the latest FIA regulations documents (both technical and sporting), and a glossary of terms used regularly in F1. Features like this really do help to make this app a one stop shop for F1 information. As if this wasn’t enough, there’s also three further features for use when out and about including a QR code scanner, and features to send a photo you have taken directly to the team, and to record some sound which can also be sent directly to the team (prepare to do your best impression of a press officer if you happen to encounter an F1 driver).

So, in a nutshell, if you’re wondering whether to invest in an F1 news app, I don’t believe there is a better one out there than this.

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