SBD/September 2, 2014/Media

App Review: ACC For iPhone Great For Scores, But Works Counterintuitively

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ACC for iPhone is a useful tool for tracking conference scores and schedules, but aside from play-by-play for football games and an occasional live stream, the app could use some modernizing. Developed by SportsLabs and relaunched in July, ACC for iPhone is an ad-supported free download offering archived video, news, schedules and standings for all sports and teams in the conference. Access to live streaming of select football and men’s basketball games airing on the ACC Network is free, but that will switch to a paid model soon at $7.99 for the season. This review was conducted on an iPhone 5 version 7.1.2 with AT&T LTE service.

VIDEO STAR
: For fans of the ACC, there is a lot of good content in the app -- particularly video. Single sports can be selected to customize the experience. Schedules are available by sport and by school. For football and men’s basketball, the app offers real-time scoring, play-by-play, team and player stats. Conference standings are available for all sports in the conference. Although a paywall will go up for access to live streaming features, I was able to watch UCLA defeat Virginia in football on Saturday with no issues and no barriers to entry.

NEED FOR CLARITY: The app’s content is poorly organized with a section called Media (video) in the first position and Schedules -- arguably the most important offering -- in the second position. The Schedules section contains live and recent scores for the week, and users must scroll through past scores to get to current scores. There is no standalone section for scores, nor can full-season scores be tracked by team or sport. The Twitter section looks like an old-fashioned article feed, and tapping on a tweet offers an in-app prompt to sign-up for Twitter. Content sections are accessed by swiping left or right, and on many different occasions, a loading error occurs when moving from one section to another. Access to live games is a strong point, so where is the programming schedule? I had no idea which games would be offered live this week, and the schedule did not indicate this either so I had to keep checking back.

BOTTOM LINE: ACC for iPhone seems to have most of the information a fan might want to access, but the presentation is choppy. The app’s best features -- scores, schedules, live and archived video -- should be more prominent and intuitive. A few other asks: Rethink the navigation, call the video video, offer a more intuitive schedule and leave Twitter out if fans can’t interact seamlessly. iTunes users give the app two stars citing a poor navigation and hard-to-locate scores, and I agree with them.

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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