The website pattern for tennis slams events seems pretty stable with the Wimbledon strawberries being the only major addition I can remember recently.
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.
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.
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 Frequently I would sit puzzling at screens before I realised they were a day out of date or sometimes just labelled with the wrong day.
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.
To it’s credit the app was much more upfront that play had been suspended but this was the only bright spot for me.
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?