SBD/December 10, 2013/Media

App Review: Yahoo Sports For iPhone Goes All-In On Scores And Stats, With No Video

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Game-specific picks are aggregated and displayed on a map by U.S. region
After a week with the Yahoo Sports mobile app, it is evident that lightning quick access to live stats, game picks, play-by-play, scores and schedules for over 25 sports is the main draw. News is offered too, but highlight seekers take note: there is no video available. Formerly branded as Sportacular, Yahoo Sports is an ad-supported, free download. It is developed in-house by Yahoo. There is no authentication required. The app leads off with two prominent sections: Favorites and Trending. Users can select their teams within Favorites to customize their experience. Within this environment, scores are available for past, present and future match-ups, making it easy for fans to view all of their game information in one place. In-game features include live play-by-play, stats and tweets. For some sports, like NCAA football, there is a graphical rendering of game play. The Trending section offers a pre-sorted listing of past, live and future national and int'l match-ups. This week's review was conducted using an iPhone 5 version 7.0.4, with AT&T service.

SURE SHOTS: Each contest offers users the ability to pick a winner. Game-specific picks are aggregated and presented in a graphic displaying trends by U.S. region. This data can then be culled down into state-by-state percentages, and the total number of picks is shown for each match-up. In addition to the ability to make picks and view national trends, the app offers a standalone Picks Tracker where users can compare their historical picks versus actual results in a plus-minus format. This is a fun, interactive feature, with one of Sunday's games seeing an impressive 32,644 picks on the app nationwide. Live game features are quick to update and simple to follow. The layout allows quick toggling between game summaries, play-by-play, stats and tweets. Within each game, a ticketing integration with SeatGeek provides a flashy experience. An interactive venue map shows available tickets by section and tells users which deals are better than others. Game alerts can be selected at various touch points within the app. Also, the in-game Twitter feature is very well done. Users can reply, re-tweet and favorite each individual tweet.

LONG SHOTS: It came as a surprise that this app offers no video features, particularly within the news and team sections. While this may be an opportunity for upside, Yahoo Sports does an excellent job delivering a quality experience without it. Regardless, users will need to rely on another app for their video, which could ultimately land this app on the shelf for some. Other than the lack of video, there are some technical issues with the Favorites feed. When viewing the Trending section during a live Flyers game, for example, there was no score summary shown. There was, however, the future 76ers game and a long list of other non-favorited match-ups. In addition to this glitch, it is unclear how the Trending feed actually works. What puts one game higher in the feed than another? Website traffic? Twitter chatter?

BOTTOM LINE: Yahoo Sports for iPhone is a well-designed, stats-driven experience for casual and avid sports fans alike. The lack of video is surprising, but not entirely missed, as the app does a bang-up job of providing live game data, schedules, scores and team information in a tightly designed interface. Other than the lack of video and a few minor issues, the app works quite well, delivering a fast-paced sports information resource for fans.

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

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