Yesterday, January 10, 2015 we released Track Attack 2.2 for Windows Phone. It’s currently in the review process but should go through in the next 24-48 hours. Here’s what’s included:
1. Enhanced Track Database Functionality
There is a new Track Database Page on the first level navigation. Here you can start exploring all of the tracks on the official track database and update the locally stored track database. Each track has it’s own profile page, where you can see the start/finish coordinates, a map preview of the track, the ability to designate it as a favorite track, drive it immediately or pin to the start screen. More on this below. We are super excited about this functionality and looking forward to rolling out more features on this over the next few months.
See the full Track Database and Update the database!
See the detailed Track Profile, add them to your favorites, pin them to Start or drive them right from this screen
Add them as a favorite track!
2. Enhanced Session History Functionality
You will also see that we’ve re-arranged the History page:
All Sessions: This is the familiar view you’ve had in the past where it shows all of your sessions, sorted by default with your most recent sessions first and now we’ve included the ability to change the sorting from descending to ascending. Here you can also still synchronize your sessions with the sessions on your online profile.
Favorite Sessions: Now you can go into a individual sessions and designate them as favorite sessions and those will show up in this section.
By Track: Sometimes you just want to see your highlights and in this view, we show your top 5 lap times by track driven.
New History Page
All Sessions – same as before
See just your favorite sessions
See your favorite laps!
3. Get going fast with Pin to Start
Pin Tracks to Start: We know how stressful it can be on a track day or a race when you’re waiting for your session to come up and next thing you know, you need to be on pre-grid, strapped in and ready to go. Even the few extra seconds it takes to have the GPS engine turn on, find the tracks around you and hit start can feel like an eternity. With the ability to pin race tracks to the start menu, now you can simply select your track and get driving.
Pin tracks to start!
Pin all your regular tracks to Start!
Pin Favorite Sessions and Laps To Start: Almost as stressful is when friends want to see some of your on track greatness and you need to get into the app, go to your sessions, find the fastest lap and then bring up that personal best lap time session. Now you can pin that session or that specific lap to your Start screen so you can instantly start watching!
Pin a specific Session to Start
Pin a specific lap to Start
Folders on the Start Screen: Another really cool thing (if you have an 8.1 Update 1+ Windows Phone) is the ability to create folders on the Start screen. For example below, I’ve created a folder with all of my usual tracks, so with one click I can get going on the track. I can imagine creating a folder with all of your personal best fastest laps or the races from each race weekend of the year. Each phone platform has some really cool differentiators and this is one of the things that makes Windows Phone an awesome platform!
Create folders for your regular tracks, personal best laps or sessions!
4. Critical Bug Fix
Users of Track Attack with an external GPS device might have experienced some weird errors like the screenshots below. The root of the issue is that while these external GPS devices provide sampling at 5 and 10Hz, which is great! It also comes with bad data at some times, primarily speed values of NaN and “infiniti”. When and how often these values are provided in inconsistent but Track Attack was not effectively managing these bad values when recording or playing back sessions that had those values in the data file. In 2.2 we’ve fixed this issue and made sure Track Attack is rock solid when using external GPS sensors.
NAN Speed values causing bugs
This is the result of a session which collected a NAN or infinity value in the GPS data – unfortunately, the session is completely lost.
If a session successfully recorded with a bad GPS value, you would have gotten this error. With the fix, the session will play back correctly.
Earlier this week we released Track Attack Lite for iOS and it marks one of the last steps into a shift to what we think is a better model for our users: try before you buy.
Track Attack is focused on bringing functionality and experiences that can only be achieved with $1,000+ worth of hardware and software. In doing so we have to overcome hurdles in pushing smartphones to use most of their sensors, network connections and a good chunk of their horsepower. Sometimes a user’s device simply won’t run Track Attack well and we don’t want someone to pay money for something that can’t immediately use.
We also have to overcome believability hurdles with potential customers; can we actually pull these type of experiences off with just a smartphone and for such a low cost?
Try Before You Buy
This is why we are now going to universally have Track Attack and all future versions/SKU’s of Track Attack be free to download, try it out for three full functional sessions and then upgrade to the different levels of Track Attack. Each platform has different regulations around what can be submitted as a Free app and with Apple’s case, we’ll have only one SKU initially, PRO – the full function version of Track Attack. After a user uses up their 3 free trial sessions, they will still be able to record GPS based sessions and build their driver profile, without video.
Try before you buy!
Upgrading is super easy
To record video, upload video, store unlimited amounts of video sessions online and share instantly simply upgrade to Track Attack PRO.
Upgrade to PRO to continue recording video
I bought Track Attack before Lite was available, what do I do now?
In the next 2-3 months, we will retire Track Attack only paid version and have only Track Attack Lite (then it will be renamed simply, Track Attack). Before we retire Track Attack Paid Only, we will release an update that will include a functionality to identify all of the owners of that SKU in our database. We will ask all of those users to make sure they upload all of their videos they want to keep and delete Track Attack.
They will then download Track Attack Lite and sign in to their account on Track Attack. The app will confirm you are a paid account user and immediately unlock full feature functionality. Further, users will be able to go to Session History and synchronize their session history online with their device. From then on, you’ll be back up and running with all of our session history.
We expect to roll out this transition by the end of August and retire Track Attack Paid Only by the end of September 2014.
What else is new?
While the main change is big, we wanted to include some new cool functionality. Keeping on the theme of making it as easy as possible for a new user to try Track Attack out, we also changed our initial app launch process. Now users can simply download Track Attack and start using it immediately. No need to register an account first.
Use Track Attack instantly and register an account later!
In fact, users don’t need to register ever unless they want to upload their session videos or create a user-created track. The trade-off is that all of the session data (lap times, GPS data and video) will be on the phone only and if anything happens to the phone, all the data is lost. Translation – you still want to create an account!
You still want to register an account though – don’t lose awesome footage like this!
As always, let us know what you think and spread the word about Track Attack! We have some great things planned and they will be even more awesome with a large and vibrant community of users!
Last year was so much fun, why not do it again? I got to drive some amazing tracks, met some awesome people and even got on Top Gear UK’s website when I took part in the last episode of Tuerck’d. Going into this Formula Drift season I was really looking to keep things consistent and not try to drastically change the car. The plan was to perfect what we had instead of changing for sake of change. The focus was to make the car lighter and get some more power while still overall trying to keep our program similar. With the idea of keeping things the same I thought we’d be able to get a lot of practice in.
However it always seems to come down to the final days before we finish. Yes, we had not as much on our plate and yes, we should have been ready months ago but it just didn’t happen. But we had a realistic plan along with great partners and we made it happen.
Changes for 2014
During the Tuerck’d Oregon Trail video we ended up breaking our Gforce GSR transmission. PSI was great and managed the process for getting the transmission fixed.
Turbo By Garrett was awesome to us this year by getting us the new Garrett GTX4088R turbo.
Ray from Garage Autohero worked his fabrication magic and re-did the entire rear end of my car and added in a fuel cell.
My father took on the task of removing all the factory windows and replacing them with lighter/stronger lexan.
These changes reduced the weight of the car by 130lbs and the Turbo change netted us an additional 65 horsepower.
Of course Factory 83 also worked his magic and re-did the vinyl on the car.
The all up final product was the coolest and most race ready car I have ever owned and the entire team was ready for action!
As far as the FD season, I spoke to one of my great partners, Achilles and was offered the opportunity to join their program on the big rigs. But after some long deliberation I chose against it due to a multitude of reasons. Therefore we planned to just run the same 4 events. Round 1, 5 ,6 and 7
We officially finished the car the Sunday before Long Beach. Cutting it far too close however we were 2 days a head of last year so that says something “cough” Bad planning “cough”. Taking advantage of an open drift day at Evergreen Speedway we chose to bring the car back from PSI into Washington where we would test, then my team would load up and head down mid-week for Long Beach.
It was a long winter that’s for sure. I missed driving so much, but I’m honest when I say I was pushing the car and doing things I never had done to that point in my drifting career. Still far from where I want to be but very happy thus far and great for a shakedown day. I gave a number of ride-alongs that day on the FD course and even took part in a Landslide fundraiser to raise some funds for the people who tragically lost loved ones in the Oso Landslide. Was a great day overall.
Here are a few of my runs using Track Attack for Drifting. Track Attack is one of my new partners for 2014 and excited to share video with data with you all and leverage to help me become a better driver.
Going into Long Beach I didn’t know what to think. I wasn’t having anxiety like I was when thinking about drifting the hills with Tuerck in Oregon Trail. However I was a bit nervous. Last year I came to Long Beach just hoping to leave with my car in one piece. Certainly not the mindset you want going into a place like Long Beach. This year I knew my skills were much better however I still wasn’t overly confident as this place is a challenging course.
Check out our new team shirts!
I spent Thursday going through Tech and assisting my team in getting the car ready for Friday. There was one thing I didn’t do this year and in fact I didn’t do last year. WALKTHE TRACK! This will surface its head later but once we had the car prepped we all went back to the hotel and got some much needed sleep.
Friday came and we were ready as ever. Final preparations were being made by the team as I was in the drivers meeting. I’m going to take this time and discuss one more big change to the 2014 team. We actually have a team. Ray Stonehocker, the man behind Garage Autohero is on board as much as his busy future father filled schedule will allow. He brings a ton of knowledge and ability to the team.
Additionally he really helps me calm down and focus in. Brian Kirk, who is one of the skilled hands from PSI is joining us to aid in prepping the car and making sure we are ready to go. My father is still loving this hobby and has even stepped up further by taking on the responsibility along with Brian, of driving the car to the west coast events. We also have my girlfriend, Lindsey, who is managing and will act as a spotter for a number of rounds when my spotter from last year, Lucas Perez, can’t make it.
Time to Drive (or Crash)
Remember when I mentioned the track walk and how I forgot to do that? Well first run out of the gate. I jam down the straight really calm and collected (not focused at all) and decide I’m going to look for tire marks to use as an approximation for initiating my drift. This caused me to completely overshoot the initiation point and go into the tire wall square on my driver’s side. There I sat, brand new awesome car with all the good stuff and I put it in the wall on run 1 in turn 1. I thought about waiting for the Aid car or tow truck but when I turned the wheel, the car seemed to move ok. I saw the tow truck turn the corner but I moved the car forward and proceeded to call off the tow truck as I drove the car into the pits.
My Team did a quick check of the car. I didn’t get out of the car as the door was caved in and I had concerns we would not be able to shut the door again. So after quickly removing the bumpers which were hanging off I was told to go right back to the front.
The cool thing was that I wasn’t shaken at all. I knew I had the ability to drive this track and that I made a miscalculation and didn’t realize how fast the car was in its new form. I warmed up the tires and proceeded to lay down run after run. Each getting better and better. I hot lapped the course as much as possible until my run group was done.
Once back in the pits my team proceeded to rebuild my car before qualifying. Hammers, zip-ties, cut off wheels, and tape were put to use and soon enough the car looked almost as good as it did before the hit. All that remained were a few dents and some scuffs. I actually liked the look. The car had some character.
Getting better and better.
Leading into qualifying I wasn’t nervous or thinking what could be? I was excited and ready. I lined up and launched the car. In the latter half of my run I actually thought “This is a good run!” But I spoke too soon and lost focus. On the final hairpin I pushed the final clipping cone and there went my good score.
I was disappointed but didn’t feel the pressure. I was ready for my second run.
I would need to wait awhile before I gota second run at the track. Leading up to my second run I started to think about Texas last year where I qualified for Top 32 and got to run the awesome Texas track over and over. I kept thinking about how awesome that was and how much I want to keep driving the Long Beach track. I didn’t want Top32 for glory or Facebook likes. I wanted top 32 simply to keep driving and having fun.
So leading up to my run I had a mindset that I never had before. I was willing to wreck my car if that’s what it took to qualify for this event. The car I had owned since 2002. The car I truly cared about. I’d write it off if need be. I was finally ready for Formula Drift.
I launched into my second run however it was over before I knew it. I got too much angle to start my run and I was moved off-line. I kept on the gas as hard as I could and was able to pull out the run and even bettered my first run with a very whacky line. However it wasn’t good enough. Honestly, my first run was much better and if I didn’t hit the cone in my first run I would have likely qualified.
But of course I would let it go right!? Just accept defeat and move on for the weekend? Yeah, that’s not happening. I watched the videos of my runs over and over. Nitpicking mistakes and being hypercritical. I could accept defeat for Long Beach but I HATED the idea of waiting until Formula D round 5 in Seattle as I wasn’t planning on running the east coast events.
So I talked with my team and ran a few ideas by everyone. We wanted to go east. I reached out to a driver I really respect and have known for a while. He just so happened to have a spot available. So my trailer ended up coming back to the NW empty as my S14 headed east. This is my whacky way of saying we are running 6 or possibly all 7 rounds. We may by pass Jersey, as most of the team won’t be there and the track honestly doesn’t look fun. But that is a call we will make in a few months.
Right now myself, Ray from Garage Autohero, and my father are working together to get my S13 practice car running. Some brand new Rays Gram Lights wheels are on the way along with some sticky Achilles 123s tires. I’m excited to get to drive my SR20engine again and hope to get some great practice before Formula D Atlanta.
Some of you may have noticed that a few weeks ago, www.trackattackapp.com went from being a place holder single page to something completely different.
Makes us look more legit right? Haha.
We have a big vision for what the Track Attack experience should be via a web browser and this is our first big step towards that vision.
What’s the big change?
The “ME” page.
What is it?
It’s the beginning of your driver’s log and session history. With Track Attack 1.1, as soon as you end a session, the session details get saved to your profile. Once you get home or to a reliable Wi-Fi hot spot, you go to the Upload Data page of the app and hit upload any one of the sessions or all sessions.
Once the upload process is complete, our servers go to work to slice and dice up your session into individual laps so you can view them lap by lap.
Note: expect uploads to take only a few minutes for sessions recorded in Standard Quality and up to 30-40 minutes for those recorded in High Quality.
How do I see my sessions online?
First, you have to log on. If you created your account on the app through Facebook Log in, click on the Facebook button to get logged in.
If you created an account from scratch, use your driver tag and password you used when you originally started using the app.
Once you’re logged in, you’ll see all your sessions along the left hand column. If you’ve uploaded the video, you’ll see the play button next to each lap and also the status of that video should be “available on website”. Choose a session and hit play!
There’s a few things we have lined up for the next few weeks:
Sharing your laps! Finally! We’ll have a small update to the Track Attack app going out soon which will link the Facebook posts you create from the app of a specific lap, to the video on the site (assuming you’ve uploaded the video).
We will also be creating a Facebook share button the site you can share directly from there.
Don’t worry, viewers will be taken to just that video and not be able to see all your other, not-as awesome videos!
Full iPhone 5 update: Time for us to make better use of that extra screen space.
User Profile and Race Car Profile management on the site.
Let us know what you think and hope everyone had a great Christmas and looking forward to 2013!