SBD/February 11, 2014/Media

App Review: Boston Bruins For iPhone Covers All Essentials, Brings A Few Extras

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Fantasy Five allows fans to choose five fantasy players for each Bruins game
The Bruins' official mobile app covers nearly everything a fan might want in an off-ice companion: scores, stats, tickets, fantasy and arena information. The only things missing are highlights and live game footage -- which are not permitted on independent NHL team apps. Loading the app reveals a countdown to the next Bruins game including opponent, date, time, TV and radio broadcast channels. Users can swipe backward or forward to see past game recaps and future matchups. Team news and video listings sit below the game information. Tapping on a past or future game cues up the In Game section which houses game previews, scoring summaries, a Bruins Twitter feed, key player matchups, play-by-play, stats and a live game companion feature dubbed Ice View. Future games offer in-app ticketing via Ticketmaster and a Seat Upgrade option. Player information, standings and a full season schedule are available in the app's Game Center section. Other features include a media center complete with news, video, photo galleries and familiar Bruins sounds like Zombie Nation's "Kernkraft 400," the song played after each Bruins goal during home games. News content is sharable via Facebook, Twitter and e-mail. Fan Zone offers access to Twitter, Instagram, Bruins Wallpaper, Ice Girl profiles, team promotions and an in-app fantasy game called Fantasy Five. There is also a section for TD Garden Arena that offers information on seating, concessions, upcoming events and parking. Push notifications can be set for game start, goals, period ends, breaking news, tickets and special offers. The Bruins app is an ad-supported free download developed by B3Connect. I conducted this week's review on an iPhone 5 version 7.0.4, with AT&T service.

HAT TRICKS: Standout features in the app are the Seat Upgrades and the Fantasy Five game. Fans wishing to upgrade their seats can select the game they are attending and the number of seats they would like to upgrade, then sign up to receive text notifications when inventory becomes available. Fantasy Five offers another compelling reason for B's fans to download this app. For each game, users can drag and drop five players into their lineup and collect points based on player performance. Points are accumulated for the season, the month and the night. I did not see a prize offered here, but bragging rights are cool. In addition to these two features, the In Game offering is also impressive. I enjoyed reviewing the key matchups as well as the “what to watch” information. These content items set the table nicely for upcoming games. The ability to add games to your iCalendar is also convenient.

TWO-MINUTE MINOR: The In Game Ice View feature appears to work, but I felt that this feature was sort of lackluster. The information it provides is not clear. There are X’s and O’s on the ice, but there is no key or legend telling fans what those symbols mean. There is also no way to tap on an X or an O to see play information. Elsewhere, the app’s Twitter integration is good but not great. It feels dated, and there is no way to attach images or video to a tweet. Finally, while the arena map does a great job directing fans to concessions, it does not include restrooms -- something that fans might expect to see.

BOTTOM LINE: Fresh and functional, this app brings Bruins fans essential information and some outstanding features. Seat upgrades and an in-app fantasy game take the product from run of the mill to highly compelling. Combing through the basic and advanced tools did not uncover a single broken feature. While areas like the Ice View tool could use a little more sizzle, I enjoyed my time with this application and found the offering to be solid and fan-friendly. 

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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Media, Boston Bruins, NHL

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