Many players carry smart phones and they are naturally interested in using a smartphone app for measuring. Smartphone apps are not accepted for use in FIPJP-sanctioned competitions, but of course you can use them in friendly games.
[Updated 2018-10-30] (See also our post on Measuring boule to jack.)
There are several questions that can be asked about any measuring technology.
- How quickly can a measurement be made?
- How likely are you to accidentally move a boule or jack when using it?
- How accurate is it?
- How easy is it to use?
- How expensive is it? How much does it cost?
Smartphone apps can make measurements quickly and they involve no risk of touching and moving boules or jack. For players that already own a smartphone, the cost is essentially zero. For players with knee, back, eyesight, or stability issues, a smartphone can be a great tool— you can measure without squatting or getting down on your knees. (Or you can leave measuring to a team-mate with younger knees! 🙂 )
The real issue with smartphone apps is accuracy. Note that accuracy depends on both hardware and software— on the kind of smartphone that you are using, and on the app that you are running. If you are considering using a smartphone app, our recommendation is to test it. Play a few games and, in situations where you need to measure, measure with the smartphone app AND a tape measure. Compare the results. If you find that the smartphone app gives the same results as the tape measure, then use either one. If the smartphone app gives different results than the tape measure, don’t trust it; use only the tape.
Here are some links to petanque measuring apps. I haven’t personally used any of these apps. If you have, please leave a comment and tell us about your experiences. What apps have you used or experimented with? Which one worked best for you? How well did it work (pros and cons)?
Google app store (Android) Obut: mMesur (free) Who has the point? A qui le point? Metre Petanque
Apple app store (iPhone, iOS, iTunes) Obut: mMeasure (free) Booble
Appshopper app store (iPhone) Petanque BoulOmeter