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Skycaddie Mobile review Options
#1 Posted : Thursday, February 12, 2015 9:17:48 AM
Handicap: 12
North London
Pro Member

Joined: Oct 2013
Posts: 89
Executive summary: quite staggeringly bad.

Skycaddie mobile is a golf GPS app for smartphones. It's similar to golfshot or freecaddie. Or at least that's the idea. It costs £20 per year unless you already have one if their premium subscriptions.

Skycaddie boast that they walk every course with high precision GPS kit, and indeed their maps do seem to be quite a lot more accurate than those on golfshot (where they are just working off satalite images). So this app has an inherent advantage over the competition, an advantage it manages to squander with what must surely be the worst software design since .... well since skycaddie's last mobile app, sky 360.

This is how software design is done at skycaddie.

Q: Should the game setup default to 9 holes or 18 holes on an 18 hole course?
A: 9 holes of course

Q: Should the user be able to adjust that setting in play?
A: Certainly not

Q: Should the app download all the hole maps in the background?
A: No, it should only download the current hole and make the user wait a few minutes at each tee to see the hole they're about to play

Q: But what if there's poor mobile coverage?
A: Tough.

Q: If the user selects, for example, hole 14, and enters a score which hole should we default to next?
A: Hole 1 of course.

Q: When allowing the user to enter the length of their drive, should we give them a number pad?
A: No, we should make them swipe a ribbon of numbers which is 400 numbers long to select the exact yardage

Q: After the user has entered scores for 9 hole and discovered that we're not letting him play the back nine so he has to start a new game, should we let him see the scores he entered for the front 9?
A: No, he should only be able to see the current score, or if he leaves the game, only the last game he entered. The front nine score should be permanently lost

Q: Shall we let the user zoom in a bit so they can take advantage of the extra precision of our maps?
A: No, the user's finger should not be able to select any distance more precise than about 20 yards 

Believe me I could go on. The actual process of entering a score is almost impossible - you have to swipe a ribbon but there's no indication of which number is currently  'under the cursor' so it can take several attempts.

Golf can be a very frustrating game at times and what Skycaddie thinks we need is something even more infuriating to take our mind off our missed 2 ft putts and sliced drives.

Avoid this app, even if, like me, you have a skycaddie subscription and can use it for nothing. Here are two alternatives that are les painful:

1. Golfshot
2. Poking yourself in the eye with a pitch mark repair tool
 
#2 Posted : Tuesday, February 17, 2015 11:07:13 AM
Handicap: 13
Essex
Pro Member

Joined: Jun 2014
Posts: 80
Great post Steve, made me laugh.  To be serious though.  I played in a competition last year where a player was challenged for cheating when he used a mobile phone for range finding.
If the device is capable of giving you wind direction or wind speed you can be disqualified. The R&A ruling is below.

Rule 14-3

A very important clarification to this change to the Rules by the R&A and USGA, that became effective in January 2006, is that the device must measure distance only; it must not be capable of measuring other conditions such as wind speed or direction, the slope of the ground or the temperature.


 My understanding is that all iPhone, have a hardware feature that provides a compass reading to complement GPS data (a magnetometer) and that this cannot be deleted. Decision 14-3/4 states; that is is an unfair advantage


So technically if you are carrying a switched on i phone capable of giving you compass wind/slope information you are running the risk of been disqualified.


#3 Posted : Tuesday, February 17, 2015 11:52:06 AM
Handicap: 12
North London
Pro Member

Joined: Oct 2013
Posts: 89
It's true that iPhones have a compass and that they might mean you are disqualified from an official competition.

Quite why knowing which way is north gives me any kind of advantage is not clear. If I can get my 7 Iron within 30 degrees of the target I'm very happy.

The day I'm in any danger of winning a competition is the day I'll worry about strict rules compliance ;)

 
#4 Posted : Tuesday, February 17, 2015 4:31:45 PM
Handicap: 13
Essex
Pro Member

Joined: Jun 2014
Posts: 80
Just to add another funny story.  A couple of years ago I shared a buggy with a chap who as soon as we drove off the first tee produced a radio and plugged in ear phones.
He sparked up a fag and off we went.

I thought it a bit rude but really liked the guy.  Turns out he was listening to the Test match.  After a few holes of him, saying what did you say....pardon.. I can't hear you, I gave up having any conversation.  Just pointing towards where my ball was (He was driving).

Suddenly I felt a burning sensation, it felt like a wasp sting.
I looked down to see my polo shirt smoldering, my buggy partner was so engrossed in the cricket, that he had not noticed the ember of his fag he had inadvertenly stubbed into my shirt.

I shouted in a loud voice for fecks sake Steve I'm on fire!  Looking straight at me he said  320 for 3, Cooks not out on 99!!

Golf and other devices just don't seem to go together
#5 Posted : Tuesday, June 23, 2015 8:48:34 AM
Handicap: 28

Joined: Jun 2015
Posts: 1
Paul Houghton wrote:



 My understanding is that all iPhone, have a hardware feature that provides a compass reading to complement GPS data (a magnetometer) and that this cannot be deleted. Decision 14-3/4 states; that is is an unfair advantage

A compass became a permitted device in January 2014. Decision 14-3/4
#6 Posted : Saturday, October 22, 2016 11:34:13 AM
Handicap: 28
Kent

Joined: Mar 2010
Posts: 1,409
I cant find any reference to permitting compasses in the Jan 2016 14-3 App IV-5 & App I-7. It does clearly say that "a Smartphone may be used as a distance measuring device, but it must not be used to gauge or measure other conditions, where doing so would be in breach of rule 14-3", so a compass is surely out, as this is measuring or gauging direction.

It seems to me the term "used" is most important, it appears clear that even if my phone has a separate compass function or App, but I am not "using" the function while gauging distance, then I am not in breach of rule 14-3.
#7 Posted : Saturday, October 22, 2016 1:38:57 PM
Handicap: 12
North London
Pro Member

Joined: Oct 2013
Posts: 89
Alan Crookes wrote:
I cant find any reference to permitting compasses in the Jan 2016 14-3

You're not looking hard enough :)

A compass only provides directional information and does not gauge or measure variable conditions or assist the player in his play.


Link to decisions here


#8 Posted : Sunday, October 23, 2016 7:54:15 PM
Handicap: 28
Kent

Joined: Mar 2010
Posts: 1,409
Hi Steve,

Thanks for the link which is very useful!

To be honest, I cant really see what use a compass would be anyway, so I don't suppose it matters one way or t'other!

As a beginner, Im finding the rule book incredibly detailed and am guessing that one is likely to commit some infringement without realising most of the time, still it makes for good bedtime reading!

Cheers, Alan
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