Mobile Apps

App Review: 2011 French Open (iOS)

20110523-104343.jpgMy wife and I both consider the French Open to be our least favorite of the tennis Grand Slam events. Personally, I have to say the same for the iOS app. While the mobile apps for the Grand Slam events of the tennis world are designed by IBM, the French Open app, sponsored by European wireless carrier Orange, has a completely different feel than the apps for the Australian Open, Wimbledon, and the US Open. Unfortunately, those differences result in an app which comes up short compared to it’s siblings.

Opening the app brings up the News section. This is actually a nicely designed section with photos you can scroll across the top of the screen and news items below. Each news item has a Facebook share button and the open to increase or decrease the font size for easier reading.

The live section is where the disappointment begins. While you can scroll between the various live matches occurring, you cannot zoom into any of those matches for stats or point by point updates, a great feature of the other Grand Slam apps. The scores also tend to be at least two games behind the matches, which can be a problem if you’re listening to RG Radio or watching Tennis Channel/ESPN2 coverage. You can also watch video clips from matches as they are posted.

The Progress/Results page gives you the math results by court. This means that, during the early rounds, there are up to 15 pages of results, none of which give player rankings or seedings. This section could use a lot more organization, not to mention the lack, once again, of match stats, something tennis fanatics definitely are interested in.

The videos page is broken down into interviews and highlights for the day. There is also a “before” section, but there was nothing from Day 1 posted there at the time of this review.

All in all, the French Open app just feels half done and sloppy. This is surprising considering IBM’s efforts on the other Grand Slam apps, as mentioned at the start of this review. The app is free, so there’s only so much to complain about, but this app does little to promote the French Open or tennis in general.