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French Open app

The website pattern for tennis slams events seems pretty stable with the Wimbledon strawberries being the only major addition I can remember recently.

The Championships  Wimbledon 2013   Official Site by IBM2013 US Open Official Site   Homepage   US OPENHome   Australian Open Tennis Championships 2013   The Grand Slam of Asia Pacific   Official Site by IBMRoland Garros   The 2013 French Open   Official Site by IBM

The apps on the other hand evolve quite dramatically for each slam. As the slams happen every January, May, June  and September they can be an interesting model for an app business that refreshes itself on a predictable and quite rapid cycle.

Last year’s US Open iPad app seem liked a significant move forward with a main social screen but Twitter and Facebook interaction have been resolutely buried again in this year’s French Open app. There is a social area but nothing ever seemed to load there.

Roland Garros in the buzz screenshot

Instead of the social screen the default view is an aerial of the ground with a scattering of scoreboards for matches going on. I imagine this could be a helpful first view but it rarely seemed to be  up-to-date when I launched the app.  The space dedicated the viewing the main match was a waste for me (and most users?) as live video was only available to Orange mobile customers in France.

Roland Garros home screen

The whole app is slow and often takes an age to actually load today’s scores. Frequently I would sit puzzling at screens before I realised they were a day out of date or sometimes just labelled with the wrong day.

2013-05-27 10.01.37

The app prompted me to set my favourite players as soon as I installed the app but never seemed to do anything with the information. I presume it is only used for notifications if anything (and I had them switched off).

The draw seemed to be either very oddly conceived or just never loaded. I’m not sure which.

Roland Garros draw screenshot

To it’s credit the app was much more upfront that play had been suspended but this was the only bright spot for me.

Roland Garros no play

I wanted to try the Android version too but it wasn’t available for the Nexus 7.

Disappointingly it seems this slam’s app is too slow to be usable, a bit buggy  and a backwards step in many ways with no real innovations to compensate. Wimbledon can’t do worse that this. Can they?


Written by Karen

May 28th, 2013 at 2:53 pm

Posted in apps