December 29, 2014
With only a couple days in the year, wanted to take some time and reflect on a challenging but overall really good 2014 for Track Attack.
When we started out the year, we had finally launched Track Attack for Android officially out of the beta stage and were in the midst of moving Track Attack for Windows Phone out of Beta as well. By May, we had Track Attack commercially available across all three platforms (Windows, iOS and Android) with in large part the same features on each version.
Throughout the year we rolled out updates, just about once every other month for each platform. Most of the time our goal was to introduce one or two new features and fix bugs that cropped out. While we had a ton of bugs (and there are still some that exist, known and unknown) these are some of the features we are the most proud of:
We all know how nerve racking it can be when you’re at the hot pits, gridding up or pulling up to the start line for your race or session. The last thing you want to worry about is ‘hitting start’ before you get going, especially if you have gloves on or have positioned the phone behind you for a more complete video angle. With auto-start, you simply go into the Settings screen, enable Auto-Start, set the speed that you want video and timing to begin at and start your session. That’s it! The app will automatically start recording and timing as soon as you cross the speed threshold you set for more than one second. Here’s a quick video where we demonstrated how it works.
External GPS Compatibility
Related to the video above, making Track Attack compatible with external GPS systems that will sample at 5 and 10Hz was also huge. Smartphones, with their internal GPS systems sample at about 1Hz (or one reading per second) which for simple calculate of lap times, works perfectly fine. But for those who want to really dig into their data and figure out how to shave tenths of seconds or less, sampling at 5Hz is a minimum. Throughout the year, we took on this challenge and have made Track Attack on Windows Phone and Android compatible with the main external GPS system accessory, QSTARZ line of Bluetooth products. These products are well priced and have worked really well. For iOS, we are working on the compatibility but are constrained due to the iOS certification process but expect to have this out by the end of January. Below is a session recorded on an Samsung Galaxy S4 and the Qstarz 818XT, sampling at 5Hz.
We know sharing is one of the top reasons people want an app like Track Attack and we spent a lot of time and efforts in enabling that through www.trackattackapp.com but thanks to your feedback, we realized that we needed to give our users options. This meant enabling you all to select a lap or full session and export the video with the data overlay at once so you can share wherever you want and create new videos. We heard you loud and clear and made efforts to make it happen. Unfortunately, this feature sounds a lot easier than it really is. In 2014 we made this happen for iOS, got 90% there with Android but hit some real roadblocks and have started exploring how to make it happen on Windows Phone. In 2015, we’ll get Android done and make it happen on Windows Phone, if it’s possible. Check out how it works on iOS below:
There’s a lot more that we did in 2014 but these are some of the highlights and we couldn’t have done it without your feedback and usage. We also couldn’t have done it without the great team of developers we’ve been able to assemble over the past year from all over the world. These guys are passionate and work tirelessly, usually in the evenings after their day jobs are done to make progress. Thank you to them in Canada, Italy and Ukraine!
Over the next week we’ll publish our plans for 2015 and hope you all will not just like them but give us feedback on how to make using Track Attack the must have app for when you hit the track, whether it be an oval, a drag strip, a road course, the cones or a dirt trail!