The speedometer in my Alfa is... Italian. Despite being sent off for very expensive repairs... twice... it is still pretty nonchalant about giving actual speedometer numbers. Which is to say it is rarely bothered to display over 50 MPH, and that is usually only when I’m going 90+.
So, for track day I was sort of interested in what actual speeds I was achieving and figured I would use a GPS speedometer app. I’ve used them in the past and they’ve worked fine.
But why not a track day app? Surly those exist?
Well the answer is because they all want money, data, or both.
Before I launch in, if anyone reading has used a track app (Android) and would like to contribute without hearing me shit all over these two chosen apps, please go ahead and comment now and skip the rest. You’ll be better for it.
So... the first one that came up in my search was RaceChrono. The app was reviewed well and seemed to offer some impressive telemetry and data. AND IT PROBABLY DOES, but three things immediately turned me off on this app:
1) The app really, really wants you to create an account and sign in.
2) The app immediately and continuously has its hand out for money. I’d say 60% of the things I clicked on were “pro version only” with no indication of such, or even what they did. Just a little pop-up text to tell you to give them $20 and they promise the app will be good.
3) The default, uncustomized interface (i.e. free interface) looks like ass. Not sure where all those pretty screenshots came from because the app itself looks BAD.
Furthermore apparently you can only really start setting it up by starting a lap and then, of course, giving them the $20 they so request.
It appears to support OBDII (not that the Alfa does) as you’d expect and allegedly has some cool features, but I didn’t stick around to find out.
Like.... look. I get it. Apps aren’t free to make and developers need to get paid. But like the news industry, if you put everything behind a paywall I’m just not going to use you! I’ll move on to something else, even if it is inferior because how would I know!?
Maybe I didn’t give this app a fair shot... but my attention span is not unlimited and we’ve only really got one shot at this.
So, back to the well I selected....
Unironically the #1 “Similar” app to RaceChrono, TrackAddict is yet another lap timer.
Unlike RaceChrono, TrackAddict has the majority of its features available without sign-in or money giving. In fact, according to a random list I read, the free version is quite full featured, with additional add-ins requiring you pay to play.
This one seems a little more full featured and has several customizable displays and alarms, which is neato. You also have some settings for adjusting tolerances and stuff on the track waypoints, which is cool too. It will let you video as you go which seems... fine. Not sure it is required but also doesn’t hurt anything.
Overall this one appears to be the winner. It does everything I want, didn’t hit me up for money, and has the track pre-made. My only concern is making sure it is set up right and if we happen to be doing the track in reverse it doesn’t appear to have a map for that.