Bobby Labonte’s ‘B Lab’ iPhone Application Hands On Review
I downloaded Bobby Labonte’s ‘B Lab’ iPhone application today and took a look at the first iPhone application for a NASCAR driver.
Here’s a quote from driver Bobby Labonte, “We’re creating an app that will give fans in-depth information of everything that I’m involved in each day,” continued Labonte. “The B Lab is more than just race information, but rather unique content including video and audio updates, race day previews, and contests for app only users, that will help draw race fans closer to what it’s like for everyone that touches my life. It’s going to be pretty cool and I’m looking forward to it.”
After downloading I ran the application. The first thing that happens is that it downloads a set of images and content. This seemed a little slow but I don’t know exactly how much it downloaded. The initial ‘Welcome’ screen is a little confusing. You see a picture of Bobby and two buttons at the top (Skip & Begin). There’s a button at the bottom with a headphone icon, but the audio there is a ‘test’ file. Not sure how that got left in the application. I’m guessing there was supposed to be a greeting from Bobby.
If you click Begin you receive a Opt In message for Coke. No matter how many times I filled out the form (and even saved my contact info in the preferences) this option is available. It seems unfinished, as I would expect this to go away after one load and an option to Opt Out in the preferences.
Clicking Skip brings you into the application where you can find a lot of information about Bobby. The menu items are:
- B Lab Bio
- B Lab Career Highlights
- B Lab Schedule
- B Lab Interviews
- Go Behind The Scenes
- Latest B Lab News
- B Lab Partners
- Bobby’s Facebook
- Bobby’s Twitter
- B Lab Contact
- Email Bobby
The first few menu items link to simple text and image sections. Basically short web pages in the application. They contain some good information about Bobby. I’m sure most fans know it all but you can always educate your friends. The B Lab Interviews contain a couple recent videos that were online – Bobby’s Sonoma interview (audio only – volume was a little low) and a video where Bobby is talking about the difference between the Wing and the Spoiler. Will be nice to see more videos here later on.
Latest B Lab News just points to a news page on BobbyLabonte.com which is kind of disappointing for an iPhone app. Facebook and Twitter links also link to those websites. The developers didn’t link to the mobile versions of the pages either. Luckily Twitter picks up on the fact that I am on an iPhone and redirects me to their mobile version. Personally I think the application should link to the Twitter and Facebook apps – if that is possible.
Contact B Lab tells you all the name and address information for Bobby’s fan club and email Bobby brings up a customized email form that allows you to mail the fan club.
When I first started using the application it crashed several times. After about 5 crashes it seemed to stop crashing. Not sure if there was something conflicting on my phone or if the application is just a little buggy.
There’s also a lot of additional application pages about Bobby’s other activites:
- BL Racing – Bobby’s dirt track team
- Bobby Labonte Foundation (I played at his annual golf tournament in April… OK ‘played’ is a stretch but I was there LOL)
- Breaking Limits – Bobby’s marketing company
- Other – email address storage and settings
So while this application has some cool features, its pretty simple. The best parts is that is consolidates a lot of Bobby Labonte information into one place for his fans, it costs $1 and it should in the future have some good insider content (one would hope – paying fans can at least get content first).
Cons – right now the app is a little buggy. Having 5 crashes right off the bat wasn’t fun. It does not have much real unique content and has a lot of weblinks. The coke sign up form does not have a “Next” button to get your through the fields so it was awkward to fill it out has half the fields were covered.
In the end I would give it 3 out out 5. If you are a Bobby Labonte fan you need to get this application, even if its just to show your support for Bobby. If not you can probably skip this application.