App Review: CBS Sports Fantasy For iPhone Makes Managing Your Team Easy
From a live mobile draft to player research, trades and substitutions, I have spent the past three weeks testing the ins and outs of the CBS Sports Fantasy app. I have had a great experience so far with very few disclaimers, and I would recommend the app without hesitation. CBS Sports Fantasy for iPhone is an ad-supported free download developed in-house. The product is available on Android, Amazon, Windows and Blackberry devices in addition to iOS. For drafts and team play, users can register with cbssports.com or connect with Facebook or Google+. The app currently supports football, baseball and basketball fantasy leagues with hockey coming soon. This review was conducted on an iPhone 5 version 7.1.2, with AT&T LTE service.
FANTASTIC: My first-ever mobile draft was surprisingly smooth. My previously created team was easily accessible in the app by logging into my account. For pre-draft, the app contains mock drafts, video and news to help fans prepare and research their picks. During the draft, player performance statistics are conveniently located within the app. Drafting players is simple, and a countdown clock shows users how much time they have left to make their pick. Players are searchable by name and filterable by various values. Individual players can be added to a queue, and a box can be checked to view only undrafted players. The app does a nice job of summarizing draft action with picks listed by round, team or in a grid format. As for after the draft, in-season matchups are fun to follow and roster changes can be made easily. During games, point values update instantly in the GameTracker. Also notable is the ability to chat with opponents during the draft and over the course of the season. Elsewhere in the app, users can watch live streams of CBS Sports Fantasy shows. A video-heavy section offering fantasy advice complements articles from the CBS Sports staff. Tapping a headline opens news stories within the feed for quick reading, and player profiles are conveniently accessible within player-specific news articles. Small, banner advertisements are inserted in-line with the headline scroll.
POINTERS: I did experience some confusion when accessing my league on the app at first, but logging out and then back in solved the issue. At times, the app's upper navigation disappears, leaving the user stranded. But with a few swipes and taps, I was able to rectify this issue without having to close and reopen the app. During the draft, there were no news or injury indicator icons for players as there were on the desktop site, but in week two, those were added. As time passed, more advertising appeared, but nothing too intrusive. As for the app's layout, I would have liked my league to hold a more prominent position in the app. I felt that having to use the menu to navigate to it each time was counterintuitive.
BOTTOM LINE: CBS Sports puts out a very well done product with their Fantasy mobile app. The user interface is smooth and current, creating a nice, comfortable place to hold a fantasy draft, make trades and read up on player news. The app successfully combines fantasy sports content with a comprehensive league tool to appease both avid and casual competitors. A bug in the navigation needs some attention, and a more intuitive league access point would be nice, but this is a solid four-star product. Users on iTunes rate it at four-plus stars with over 450 reviews of the most recent release, and it is tough to argue that.
Amie Sheridan (email@example.com) is a freelance writer in Philadelphia.
See Sheridan's previous App Review submissions for THE DAILY:
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