SBD/May 6, 2014/Media

App Review: Air Jordan's J23 Great For Brand Die Hards, But Lacks Consistency

For those interested in being the first to know about Air Jordan sneaker releases, this app is worth a look. J23, released in February '12 and developed independently by Matt Berg, contains photos and information on every Air Jordan sneaker released for sale in '85 beginning with the Jordan I. Interestingly, the app resides on the iTunes top 10 paid sports apps list and has been there for over a year. The app is available in iTunes and Google Play. It is a $1.99 download with no advertising for the iPhone and $0.99 for Google Play. This review was conducted on an iPhone 5 version 7.1.1 with AT&T service.

MARK YOUR CALENDAR: On the home screen, J23 presents users with upcoming Jordan release dates through the end of '14. Releases are broken out by month, and each listing includes a photo or graphical depiction of the sneaker with its name, price, colors and release date. Elsewhere in the app, users will find a lengthy list of historical releases. Each listing includes a brief history of the sneaker, and individual releases can be tapped to reveal a month-by-month summary of individual sneaker releases by name and color. Tapping on a sneaker brings up additional photos and information. Fun facts accompany many of the listings. For example, by tapping on the Jordan V, I learned that the sneaker’s most distinctive innovations were its reflective tongue and clear rubber soles. I also learned that although the Jordan IV was first sold in '89, “retro” iterations of the sneaker continue to be released as recently as August '13. While most do not, some listings offer a link to purchase outside the application environment. Individual shoes can be favorited, and a news section offers up to 15 days of useful information and relevant video like “A Look at the Design Behind the Performance-Woven Upper on the Jordan XX9” on YouTube. Finally, the app includes profiles of the Jordan brand team members. These offer basic information along with links to the athletes’ Facebook profiles and Twitter handles.

SLAM DUNKS: Sneaker images are what make the app sing. Anyone with a hankering for Air Jordans will quickly lose themselves inside the app, and with all of the information available, the sneaker geek-out can continue for days. Push notifications offer convenient reminders of upcoming releases, and the app can place reminders on the user’s calendar seamlessly. Some community building tactics like daily shoe giveaways are in play; unfortunately, users have to leave the app to enter these contests.

BACKCOURT: From sneaker to sneaker, the app does not provide consistent information. Some listings offer links to purchase and others do not. Some include a lengthy description of the release and others include only basic information. Although cited, sneaker history is pulled from sites like Wikipedia, and surprisingly, there are no sharing tools available within the app.

BOTTOM LINE: While not perfect, J23 is definitely doing something right to have appeared on the iTunes top 10 paid apps for so long. The app adequately serves the Air Jordan faithful by providing release dates and historical information on the internationally famous sneaker. Lack of consistency is the main criticism, as not every listing includes the same information, and the app’s written content comes from questionable sources like Wikipedia. The addition of links to purchase for each shoe is a no brainer, and sharing tools would aid in building audience and revenue. There is some clear room for growth here, but for Jordan junkies, J23 will definitely serve the addiction.

Amie Sheridan (amie.sheridan31@gmail.com) is a freelance writer in Philadelphia.

See Sheridan's previous App Review submissions for THE DAILY:
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