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Old 31 Dec 2020, 00:41 (Ref:4025947)   #1
Akrapovic
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TheRacingLine - Race Notifications & Calendar

https://www.theracingline.app/
https://apps.apple.com/us/app/therac...e/id1544668453

Up to date motorsport calendars for all major series world wide. Providing full season calendars for F1, WEC, NASCAR, IndyCar, and more. Race dates, race start times and customisable race start notifications means you'll never miss another race again.

- ALL MAJOR SERIES COVERED: Formula 1, Formula 2, Formula 3, Formula E, IndyCar, FIA WEC, IMSA WeatherTech Series, ELMS, GT World Challenge Endurance, GT World Challenge Europe, Intercontinental GT Challenge, NLS/VLN, Nurburgring 24, British Touring Car Championship (BTCC) and the NASCAR Cup Series

- CUSTOM RACE NOTIFICATIONS: Get notifications directly to your phone of race start times. Customise the notification time - any time from on the green flag time, up to a week before the event - down to the minute

- TIMES IN YOUR LOCAL TIME: All race times are converted to your local time. No more trying to work out what time a race starts. Even takes into account Daylight Savings Time.

- CHOOSE YOUR SERIES: Select which series you want to see in your app. Build your own motorsport calendar by selecting the series you want, and de-selecting the ones you don't want.

- TODAY VIEW: Get a quick glance at all the races happening on any given day. Don’t miss any of the action and plan your motorsport viewing for the entire day.

- THIS WEEK VIEW: Get an overview of the entire weeks worth of racing with the 7 day look ahead of scheduled racing

- LIGHTWEIGHT: TheRacingLine is a lightweight app, designed to take up as little space as possible on your phone

- PRIVACY FOCUSED: TheRacingLine is designed with your privacy in mind. The app does not track your usage in any way and I store no information about you. Your data is your data.

-----------------------------------------------------------

Now that the sales pitch is over. One of my 2020 goals was to release an iPhone app into the wild. I started learning iPhone development in February and finally completed the app on the 23rd of December. App Store Connect closed for submissions on the 23rd and re-opened on the 27th. I submitted it on the 27th and it was finally approved by Apple and released.

I think like many here, I watch a lot of series. Like, a lot. If it has 4 wheels and an engine, I tend to watch it. Some weekends I settle down and I have an entire BTCC meeting, GTWC, F1/F2/F3, ELMS and IMSA to try and fit in. It isn't always possible, but I give it a go. And even after I find out when races are, I sometimes forget.

TheRacingLine app is meant to solve a few problems for me:

- Give me a list of races for that day with minimal effort
- Give me the race start in my time zone (no more time zone conversion!)
- Give me a notification of when the race is about to begin
- Get me the calendar for each series

The app currently lets you set visible series. So if you don't care about Formula E, you can turn that off and never see that in your list.

It also lets you set custom notifications for series. For example, you can have NASCAR races in your visible list, but you might not want notifications for these, so you can turn off notifications whilst leaving the races visible.

You can also set a time for your race notification. There's no use in a notification that pops up as the race starts. By the time you've turned on the TV or found the stream, you've already missed the start. You can configure the time to the nearest minute for any time up to 7 days before the event. I'd recommend on the day notifications, for obvious reasons.

It converts it to your time zone, and takes into account the Day Light Savings state in both your country, and the country of origin. No more trying to work out in the ELMS website have remembered to adapt the clock or not!

I've chosen the list of series that I think are the biggest and most popular ones, and the ones that are most relevant to me. However, the list is completely dynamic. I can add or remove series from the server side without needing to update the app. So if this is popular I can take series requests and add them too. As race calendars continue to change due to the COVID-19 situation, I'll do my best to update the race data and keep on top of it.

I've tried to keep the cost of this down. The top subscription is set at £2.99 a month (AppStore adjusts this for your local currency). For the price of a single Starbucks Coffee or a pint of beer, you can get a months worth of motorsport notifications to your phone. The subscription works with the Apple Family Plan. If you have kids/spouse/others on your Apple Family Plan, then one subscription gets you all the app.

In terms of running costs, there are a few bits of infrastructure this app requires to run. Not least is a host for pulling the race data, and a service for converting time zones. The running costs of the app are not insignificant, which is why it simply cannot be a free service. In addition to this, it takes me a few hours a week to compile the data for start times, on top of the 10 months of work on the app. I work full time, so this was built completely in evenings and weekends. Given all this, I think the £2.99 is incredible value.

I'm planning on adding more features to this as time goes on. First one is taking advantage of iOS14s new widgets. Also custom sounds for the notifications and more themes and icons. I'll also adapt this to working on an iPad and macOS in the future. Your subscriptions should carry over between devices too.

If anyone wants to know more about the geeky technical side of things I can post more about that. But I made a few design choices with the architecture to keep the operating costs down, which in turn allows me to keep the subscription cost down too. For example, the notifications are generated by the device rather than being pushed by a server. The down side of this is that you need to open the app once a week or so, to allow the app to pull the latest data and rebuild the notifications. The upside is it means I don't need a service to push notifications to you, keeping the cost down. The app itself requires iOS14, which is available for anything from the iPhone 6S onwards (including the iPhone SE). Unfortunately I am unable to offer it to any iPhones older than this as I use frameworks only available for iOS14.

I'm also going to explore the option of adding live weather reports for any races happening that day - I think we'd all find that useful. Unfortunately, weather data is not cheap, so it may not work with the current pricing model. If I do that there may have to be another tier added. I'm not overly keen on making this more expensive, but at the same time, I need to cover costs.

As it currently stands I'm unable to offer an Android version. I learnt Swift, which is Apple specific (Android being Kotlin, a different language), and I lean heavily on Apples frameworks for learning. It's not impossible that this could one day be an Android app too, but currently it isn't planned.

This is my first app. I suspect there will be issues and I don't expect a completely smooth rollout. But, yeah. Here's my 2020 work for you to all enjoy. 10 months. 3544 lines of code. Countless coffees. 1 app.
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Old 31 Dec 2020, 10:13 (Ref:4026014)   #2
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Old 31 Dec 2020, 13:19 (Ref:4026049)   #3
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gert has a real shot at the championship!gert has a real shot at the championship!gert has a real shot at the championship!gert has a real shot at the championship!gert has a real shot at the championship!gert has a real shot at the championship!
Congrats for your efforts

The feature list looks very interesting, I'm sure it will be very usefull.
(I won't be be able to comment, I'm not an Apple user)


BTW: Big thumbs up for your privacy statement.
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Old 1 Jan 2021, 19:50 (Ref:4026340)   #4
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Thank you I am rather proud of my privacy statement! Your data is your data. Please don't give my your data!

Early indications are that it is more popular in the US than I expected (I guess it's just a larger market). The app is currently a little light on US data (has IndyCar, IMSA WeatherTech and NASCAR Cup currently). So I'll address that first.

I'll add NASCAR Xfinity, GT World Challenge USA and IMSA Pilot before the seasons begin. Also looking at MotoGP, V8 Supercars. SuperGT/Super Formula, British GT and German GT soon.
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Old 2 Jan 2021, 13:28 (Ref:4026427)   #5
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Great work, well done matey!
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Old 2 Jan 2021, 21:35 (Ref:4026494)   #6
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Thank you, Ayse

An update has been pushed to sort a couple of bugs. (V8) Supercars have also been added to the app. Those on 1.0, you'll have to turn on visibility of the Supercars series in settings manually. Those on 1.01 (your app will auto update over the next day or so), it'll be visible automatically.

From now on, all new series added will appear in the app automatically.
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Old 2 Jan 2021, 22:20 (Ref:4026499)   #7
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Dani Filth should be qualifying in the top 5 on the gridDani Filth should be qualifying in the top 5 on the gridDani Filth should be qualifying in the top 5 on the grid
maybe think about an android app too
we do not like to be discriminated you know
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Old 3 Jan 2021, 11:07 (Ref:4026554)   #8
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maybe think about an android app too
we do not like to be discriminated you know
I wish it was that easy I will investigate Android more in 2021 as the iOS Version stablises I learn what works and what doesn't work. I have a set list of features I want to go in, and some stuff I need to clean up (the server side of this is still running in proof-of-concept mode, tbh), and then I'll investigate Android more.

Added Asian Le Mans Series 2021 last night. MotoGP and WRC should go in at some point this week.
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Old 5 Jan 2021, 07:48 (Ref:4026892)   #9
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Great stuff. App is now on my phone. Look forward to when / if you get Supercars online.
Another fan here of your privacy statement.
Edit: just noticed that Supercars is there already.
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Old 5 Jan 2021, 08:39 (Ref:4026902)   #10
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Great stuff. App is now on my phone. Look forward to when / if you get Supercars online.
Another fan here of your privacy statement.
Edit: just noticed that Supercars is there already.
Yes, added Supercars a couple of days ago I've had a lot of tweets saying "I'll subscribe if you add X", so that's the plan now for early 2021 is adding lots of series.

I've set the app up so I can push new series to the apps without having to do an app update. There is an exception at the moment - I need to do an app update in the next couple of weeks before I can introduce more series. I need a way of signalling TBA events (of which there is a lot) and the subscriptions need to be simplified.

As it's my first app, it was too easy to get carried away with options and stuff that don't end up being useful or relevant.

Thank you for the download! Every download is important to get it off the ground enough to cover its own costs!

Last edited by Akrapovic; 5 Jan 2021 at 08:45.
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Old 5 Jan 2021, 12:05 (Ref:4026930)   #11
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Just a note, if you search for 'The Racing Line' in the app store, you won't find it. Leave out the gaps - 'TheRacingLine'


Edit - I'm just getting the opening splash screen with 'more coming soon'... Nothing else.....?
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Old 5 Jan 2021, 12:16 (Ref:4026935)   #12
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Just a note, if you search for 'The Racing Line' in the app store, you won't find it. Leave out the gaps - 'TheRacingLine'


Edit - I'm just getting the opening splash screen with 'more coming soon'... Nothing else.....?
I tried "The Racing Line" during testing, and annoyingly it's too long for the app to display on the phone. It ends up with "The Racing ...". I may need to find out how to display a shorter name on the phone than in the AppStore for searching purposes! Thank you for that.

Regarding the splash screen. There should be a button saying Get Started below coming soon. If that doesn't display then let me know (and let me know what kind of iPhone it is and I'll look into that one specifically!)

Edit: I'm going to do an update, hopefully this week but it may be next, to add more stuff to the Free tier, and remove ads from free. I don't like ads. Why should my users have ads.
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Last edited by Akrapovic; 5 Jan 2021 at 12:22.
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Old 5 Jan 2021, 13:15 (Ref:4026957)   #13
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OK, sorted. I installed it on my iPad, but the get started button doesn't show in landscape mode. A quick rotation to portrait and it appears......
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Old 5 Jan 2021, 13:24 (Ref:4026960)   #14
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Ahhh.

Ok so iPad is an edge case right now. I did not actually release the app for the iPad. I selected iPhone only. But Apple insists that any app released on an iPhone must be released on an iPad as well - so it appears automatically. However, it's a bit rough on an iPad it appears.

I will do a full update that makes the iPad experience better. Hopefully soon. Any subscription carries over between iPhone and iPad (no need to resubscribe), and the subscription also works on Apple Family accounts for those who use those (so kids get it off the parents account). There will be a macOS version after iPad too - subscriptions carry over on those too.

I'm going to make some changes to the subscriptions based on feedback.

Free:
- Remove ads (I hate ads. Why should I also serve ads?)
- Add more series to free (probably IndyCar and NASCAR)

Subscription:
- Gold, Silver, Bronze just get consolidated into 1 subscription. Premium or whatever.
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Old 5 Jan 2021, 13:33 (Ref:4026963)   #15
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I think one sub is definitely a good idea....
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