When we first profiled Map My Tracks, a web service which provides real-time GPS tracking for cyclists, runners and other sporting types, we liked the concept and user experience but were critical of the subscription model employed. That was back in February 2008 and since then the service, developed by UK-based digital agency Tinderhouse, has ditched premium for a combination of free for unlimited live tracking and a one-off fee for its iPhone app.
This week also sees the fruition of its first major partnership: An official iPhone/iPod touch app for Team Sky that helps fans stay up-to-date with all of the pro cycling team’s activities. Additionally, and this is potentially the clever part, the Team Sky app includes a feature called ‘pro rider tracking’, which as you may have guessed is a white labeled version of the training aspect of Map My Tracks.
Specifically, this element is based on the company’s existing iPhone app ‘OutFront‘ and lets cyclists share their rides live via the web. It isn’t free either, unlike the fan features of the Team Sky app, but needs to be unlocked via an in-app purchase costing £2.99. As I understand it, those that do choose to upgrade are essentially signing up to Map My Tracks, including having a profile on the site, so it’s potentially a great way to acquire new users for the long term.
Inevitably, there’s a social media element too. The Team Sky app integrates with Twitter and Facebook so that ‘pro team riders’ can notify their social network when they begin a ride so they can follow in real-time via Map My Tracks. Another neat aspect of the service is the option to ‘replay’ rides that have already taken place.
The full list of features offered by the Team Sky iPhone app, which should be available from the iPhone App Store any day now (once Apple gives it the green light), include: team news and all the latest cycling news from Sky Sports, team and rider profiles, training tools powered by Map My Tracks with real-time tracking, blog posts and photos from Team Sky, and Sky Ride event information details.