Thursday, April 7, 2011

The Masters Tournament begins today; but iPad app, sadly, remains a buggy; too late for another update?

The Masters starts today, the first of the four "major" golf tournaments, and a sure sign of spring for many northerners. This year, as TNM wrote about last week, the organizers of the tournament have released a companion iPad app. The app was released in advance of the tournament, allowing the developers to work out some of the bugs in the app, and do some live tests of the video feeds.
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Unfortunately, the app is not performing well, with stuttering video, crashes, and inconsistent performance. On the bright side, at $1.99, this app was a bargain, nonetheless.

This app is crammed with goodies, and a fully functioning app would have been worth a higher price point. But from day one users complained that much of what was described in the app description was not working. Users found that the video "flyovers" of the course at Augusta National were not working, some complained that their apps had no sound. Some of the problems may have been inherent in the video feeds -- for instance, if CBS had their cameras turned on, but were not broadcasting live, they may have dropped the audio.

Today, with the tournament starting, the app only features the play on a small part of the course. Meanwhile, ESPN is broadcasting the event live on television, and their feeds are not part of the app. Come Saturday, when CBS takes over the broadcast, more and more of the app will go live, allowing users to view the simulcast of the live television broadcast, as well as to watch the play on other holes.

Apple has demonstrated the ability to get updates through the system in a hurry when necessary. I wonder if another update, there have been two already, is possible, or whether this is it for 2011?

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