Michaels Won't Focus On Deflategate During SB NFL Network Reporters Walk A Fine Line Many Former Patriots Currently In Media Jobs NBA Extends Rights With China's Tencent Daily Fantasy Sports Participation Booming Back9Net Trying To Raise "Significant" Capital Pro Bowl Audience Down On ESPN Media Notes Rogers Wins World Cup Of Hockey TV Rights MLS Sells YouTube Channel KickTV
Upcoming Conferences and Events
SBD/September 5, 2013/Media
U.S. Open 2013 App For iPhone Hits Winners
Published September 5, 2013
WANT MORE GREAT STORIES LIKE THIS?
CLICK ON ONE OF THESE BUTTONS
OTHER FEATURES: Among other notable features is Trendcast, a dynamic heat index displaying the top five trending topics on Twitter. With sponsors in mind, the USTA smartly includes pre-populated hashtags #AmexTennis and #USOpen in this feature. Nice touch. By noon yesterday, @RafaelNadal crept into fifth position as fans and news outlets anticipated his 7:00pm ET quarterfinals match. Coolness aside, TrendCast is a nice-to-have, not a must-see. It feels more like a social media experiment than a practical feature. For fans at the event, the final standout in this app is the interactive map of the venue. The Billie Jean King National Tennis Center can be a sprawling and crowded experience, and the USTA nails it with this feature. The map actually tells you which live matches are being played, on which courts and -- get this -- the live scorecard and serving player are included. It does not get much better than this.
ROOM FOR IMPROVEMENT: The '13 U.S. Open app’s home screen contains a timeline with tournament events, promotions and Twitter chatter. This feature feels like wasted real estate. It does not meet a practical need for fans and is more of a jumble of information. A dedicated live scores section, upcoming matches or live video are better suited for this prominent position in the app. Other features include:
* Fans can opt to receive push notifications by player. I signed up for alerts on Serena Williams and received pre-match tune-in reminders and final scores each time she played. A nice, usable bonus feature.
* USOpen.org Radio delivers a crisp listening experience within the app that remains on until paused. This is code for: listen while you work. A nice add-on for those who cannot watch.
* A bracket-style draw section outlines tournament play. This is fun for looking at the tournament in the big picture.
* Highlights, interviews and on-demand mini-series are available within the video section. Here you will find plenty of advertising.
* While not available in-app, event tickets are offered for purchase through a link to Ticketmaster. Good, but bringing these transactions into the app would be better.
BOTTOM LINE: U.S. Open '13 for iPhone is very well done. While some features provide greater value than others, each piece of the puzzle works. During my time with this app, I did not run into a single bug. No waiting for feeds to render and no trouble navigating through the sections. Where other apps stumble, this app soars. Nice work, IBM.
Amie Sheridan (firstname.lastname@example.org) is a writer in Philadelphia.