iPlayBook Hockey Free 5.018 Review

Create new plays or review old ones with the digital playbook tools in this iPad app.

If you've ever seen a hockey coach's playbook, you know that he's carrying around a lot of plays and notes on a relatively unsecure format -- paper. For that reason, there have been multiple attempts to take playbooks into the 21st century with a digital format. One of the most recent such attempts is iPlayBook Hockey Free. With numerous menus, pre-designed plays, recording features, and playback and share buttons, iPlayBook is a solid playbook app for the iPad, even if it is a little cluttered.

The app, itself, is straightforward, but the interface does have a lot going on. You are presented with a standard formation upon starting and can manipulate the X's and O's to your heart's content, load up formations for offense and defense, or look at different formats for scoring plays. Overall, the controls are all very intuitive, but the menu system and the much too prominent ads tend to get in the way. With a lot of screen space lost to the ads and a steep learning curve to simply find every feature you could want as a coach drawing up plays, iPlayBook is for the dedicated only. If it is going to be used by players as well, additional training may be needed.

All that said, if you are looking for a robust playbook for your iPad that has a low entry price (free with a small paid upgrade to remove ads), iPlayBook is well worth looking into. The app is easy to use once you get the hang of it, has an attractive interface (ads excepted), and provides the basic tool that any hockey coach will immediately look for when drawing up the next game.

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