The Official ING New York City Marathon Mobile Spectator App Presented by Subway was supposed to allow marathon spectators to track up to ten runners in real time and watch a livestream of the races this weekend. Oops. While the $3 app worked fine before marathon day, it seems to have been overloaded during the actual event. Users are demanding refunds and the app’s ratings have plummeted in both the Android Market and iPhone App Store. Of the 120 Android reviews viewable on the web, 106 are single star; the current version of the app has a one-star rating in the App Store after 940 reviews.
“Did not work. Drained battery. Crashed phone.”
“Bought it to track my wife run nyc marathon and it failed despite constant attempts. Refund is least the developer can do”
“What a rip. Everyone but 1 person I talked to could not get it to work. Ought to be a total refund. Never again.”
“Getting past the login was fine for me … but the runner tracking functionality first was extremely slow, then stopped working entirely on race day! Did the developers do any load testing??? The app also should cache the marathon information instead of reloading it every time – doesn’t work when I’m in the subway! The route map also did not display mile markers, which would have been very useful. With some improvements, this could be a decent app, but as is it kinda sucks.”
Another wrench in the game: iPhone users were able to download the app for free, but had to download a $3 in-app package in order to get it to work. “Sad! It didn’t work for anyone I spoke to,” said MessageParty’s Amanda Peyton, who thinks she may have been overcharged for the app as well.
We reached out to the app maker, Map My Fitness, which makes other popular, well-rated apps such as Map My Run. We’ll update if we hear back.