iLineUp HD is app designed to assist baseball coaches and/or players to quickly create and manage a player lineup.

Let me preface this review by saying I’ve never actually coached a baseball team, but I have certainly played the game.

You can enter in your list of players, assign their field positions and even setup a batting order. There is also the option of adding substitute players as well.

For the most part the app does what it is supposed to, but I question the workflow chosen by the developer for entering player information. There are some decisions made when it comes to the UI that confused me, maybe they make sense to a coach? Overall it just felt like the whole process for entering player info could be streamlined a bit.

Initially I had some severe issues with the UI, but I just downloaded the latest update and it appears that a number of these have been resolved. Unfortunately some issues still exist, for instance, when you try to reorder players they automatically get resorted back the next time you view the players list.

You can only enter a single player at a time and it gets to be a bit tedious when entering an entire team’s data, with a lot of unnecessary jumping back and forth between menus. It would have been much nicer if I had the ability to add multiple players at a time without having to exit the ‘add player’ screen each time. When adding a player, you can assign him/her a uniform number, a name and a field position. However when you exit back to the player list, that field position changes to a number that internally in the code must be linked to that particular position. Since this position to number mapping has no meaning to me (the end user) it is just confusing, why not just show the field position I actually selected? I believe this is going to be addressed in a future update.

There were other small UI things that bothered me as well, like when entering a player’s name it’d be nice if the field defaulted to a capital letter for the first letter of each word, instead of all lowercase. At first I thought I couldn’t assign a position to a sub, but it is because there is both an ‘ok’ button which closes screen w/o saving and a ‘done’ button which saves and closes. I suggested to the dev that it’d be better if ‘ok’ was changed to ‘cancel’ or just not shown at all in the edit dialog. It is these little useability things that should have been caught before the app was ever released. If I had to guess, I’d attribute it to a lack spent in front of fresh pairs of eyes before its submission to apple. All too often devs get too familiar with their work and don’t see these types of things.

Right now you have the ability to print (via AirPrint), email or tweet your lineup, but it is not as useful as it could be, it is simply a screen cap of the field view, no batting order data. Since it is a universal app, it would be even more helpful to have iCloud saves. That way you can build up your list on your iPad before you head to the field and this data would be automatically in sync with your iPhone when you get there. Then if you make any roster changes while on the field, these would then be available to you when you get back home, without having to make changes on multiple devices.

There are a number of alternative apps available which offer much more robust feature sets than iLineUp HD including things like player photos, player stats, notes, multiple lineups, better exporting and even the ability to attach videos of games. In comparison, the functionality in iLineUp HD is really just the basics, but generally those other apps come with a higher price tag.

In Conclusion

If all you need is the basic functionality of building a team list, assigning players to positions and building a single roster, then iLineUp HD may be enough (once the current bugs are squashed). The app is currently priced at $1.99, however I think that 99¢ would be a better price, especially given that support for multiple lineups is being planned as an additional in app purchase. The app still needs work, but I’m interested to see how it evolves with updates addressing real-world users’ feedback.

Finally, I should mention (though it pains me as a Red Sox fan) that Caruso Apps is currently running a giveaway for pair of Yankees tickets. To enter you will need to purchase the app and leave a comment (good or bad) in iTunes. More details are available here.