Sidepodcast // All for F1 and F1 for all

There's an app for that // More live timing information for mobile F1 fans

Published by Bassano

Whilst Bernie doesn't seem to be embracing 21st Century technology for F1, some of us are trying to.  The iPhone is a perfect conduit for F1 related info and we were given an Official F1 App this summer. This doesn't come cheap in a store of free and inexpensive timekillers but there are alternatives out there. If you're willing to experiment a little, there are a few gems - as well as a few that are not so polished.  I've tried a few of the free F1 apps and these are my thoughts.

Eurosport iPhone Application

F1 2009 - Go Go Go! Lite was the first to reach my device and I was initially impressed.  At my fingertips were news articles, championship standings, an F1 calendar as well as team and driver profiles. Once these were browsed I soon figured out what I most wanted from a free F1 app: convenient, up-to-date, F1 related news. This is where Go Go Go! let itself down. All the stories came from one source (gpupdate.net) and sometimes there would be many days without a single update. There's the option to upgrade to the enhanced, paid edition of this app but on this demonstration, I felt no compulsion to try the full version out, even for small price of £1.19.

Verdict: Thumbs down

Go Go Go! Lite: Download

Formula 1 Live Racing was next on my list. Quite similar in style to the previous app, this ad-supported offering included basic circuit profiles but had the additional bonus of a gallery of some nice, full-screen photos. I had hoped these would be updated as the calendar rolled on, but sadly this was not the case. It promised in-race updates which I never tried because it wasn't on my handset long enough. Nothing terrible here, just not particularly noteworthy.

Verdict: A firm average

Formula 1 Live Racing: Download

Eurosport is an eponymous app from the sports channel that has a decent background in Motorsport. Whilst it is not as comprehensive as some of it's rivals, it is executed well. It has regular, bitesized news updates, practice, qualifying & race results as well championship standings. The live lap-by-lap updates are a handy substitute if you can't see the action first hand. However, the biggest selling point of this freebie is probably the fact that F1 is only a small portion of its abilities. It covers MotoGP, World Rally and Touring Cars as well as a handful of other non-petrolhead sports. (They really exist?) The home screen can be customised with any 4 shortcuts to your chosen sporting field as well as an "All Sports"  news reel. Verdict: A big thumbs up for this one which has stayed on my handset since it landed

Verdict: A big thumbs up

Eurosport: Download

F1 Insider iPhone Application

F1 Insider is the final, as well as, my most-clicked F1 app. Simplicity works here, large full screen displays that scroll rather than squeeze in too much info. Countdowns to all the practice and qualifying sessions for the year, as well as the races themselves.  It's best redeeming feature is the news feed. This is user defined by allowing you to select (and more importantly, de-select) where you receive your news from.  Nine popular F1 News sites are listed; including AUTOSPORT, GrandPrix.com and the BBC F1 pages. Being able to ignore the sites that shall not be mentioned is a nice touch. This feature is essentially a pretty RSS reader that gives you the pages of some of your favourite sites in an iPhone configured page. However, this is the app that I like the most and chose to fork out some hard earned cash (well, just over a pound) for the feature added, paid edition. For £1.19 you also get live qualifying and race updates and a nice feature that let's you tag your favourite driver and team which highlights them in the points haul (for better or worse!). This app does pretty much everything that the others do, but is presented well, has regular, plentiful news updates and for me - it passes the finish line in first place.

Verdict: Passes the finish line in first place

F1 Insider: Download

That covers some of the best and worst that the AppStore has to offer, but don't forget to give us your F1 App recommendations, we're always keen to try out more.

All content in the series F1 on the iPhone