Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Yahoo Sports iPhone App

I saw this article today which details why Apple and Yahoo are involved in discussions.

The purpose of the talks: to make more Yahoo-branded apps default apps on the iPhone

Already, there are two Yahoo-branded apps on every iPhone – "Stocks," and "Weather."

The article goes on to describe that Yahoo Sports could be a potential content source for an app.

In short, I think that's a great idea.

Because as I started to think about my smartphone and how I use it, I started coming to the realization that I really don't do much with it in terms of sports.  I use my phone all the time, for just about everything.  But in the sports department, my experience still leaves much to be desired.  Most specifically, in the general sports news area, which I find particularly lacking.

And that seems weird to me.  Maybe I'm just not exploring new apps enough (I doubt it), but I'm a younger-ish male that's very into sports.  If you were running a marketing research study on sports-oriented young men, I think I'd fit the bill...

 - I have or have recently had digital subscriptions to multiple sports leagues (MLB, NHL)
 - I pay additional charges for increased sports programming in my cable package (RedZone, of course)
 - I have or have recently purchased a sports-related app for my smartphone
 - I participate in fantasy sports
 - I listen to online radio/podcasts relating to sports news and analysis

So yeah, I'd say I'm into sports.  But when it comes to general sports news, I really don't use my smartphone all that much and I'm trying to figure out why that is.  My theory is that it's because I don't have a good killer app for that use case (general sports news).  And so when reports indicate Yahoo might make one (and apparently their new Weather one is pretty good), that would make me happy.

But let's examine how I use my smartphone for sports...because I'm not sure I'm right.

I have a Sports folder on my iphone, and I have a couple apps in there. What apps do I have?  and What do I use them for???

 - Yahoo Fantasy Football: Technically a lie, because I delete it in the off-season.  But my fantasy league runs through Yahoo (don't they all?) and I use the app to obsessively update my scores each week.
 - 97.5 Fanatic: This is the app for one of the local Philadelphia sports talk radio stations.  I listen to it rarely, particularly when big news breaks and I want to hear what everyone back home is saying
 - Stitcher: This app also isn't technically in the sports folder, but the podcast radio application is one I use frequently to listen to ESPN's podcasts, so it's partially a sports app
 - MLB at bat: Used heavily during baseball season to listen to Phillies games, watch Phillies games, watch highlights, etc.
 - ESPN ScoreCenter: This is my general sports app.  It should be what I use to check up on scores, news, etc.  The only problem is, I hate it.

ESPN ScoreCenter has never really satisfied me as a general sports app.  If it were a girlfriend, I would've stopped calling it years ago and hoped I never awkwardly ran into it at a party.

But I still have it.  Why? Because it's ESPN...this is supposed to be their thing!  General sports news =  ESPN, it's an identity burned deep into my brain since I started watching morning SportsCenter in middle school.

But I really don't like using the app.  At all.

 - Every time I open it, it seems to take forever to load/update scores
 - I tried using their in-game push notifications, which seem like a great idea to keep you up to date instead of checking the phone every five minutes.  But I found I never really enjoyed them, and customizing when they get sent is kind of a pain
 - The thing has cross-promotions out the ying-yang.  I get that they have multiple properties/apps, but I'm really not interested in Streak for the Cash, thanks
 - There's no integration of video for each game's highlights.  MLB does this very well (and maybe leagues won't let ESPN do this)
 - There's not great integration with the ESPN personalities I actually want to hear from.  I certainly am interested in what ESPN personalities have to say.  I follow some on Twitter, I listen to their podcasts often.  Why can't I get their articles popping up in here?  What good is all this coverage if I can't access it?

From a company that once launched its own mobile phone and was at least attempting to be in the technology vanguard, why can't they do this better???

I don't particularly care why they can't, but if Yahoo Sports, who has a decent reputation as a news organization (see their investigative work into the Miami and USC cases), I'd be thrilled if they can put something together that will actually get me a more entertaining experience.  Then I could delete ScoreCenter from my app library.


Carroll Connolly said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Carroll Connolly said...

I agree with your point that some sports apps take a long while to load the score updates which can test the patience of sports enthusiasts. I also hope that the app development companies will take the initiative to make better apps.

kyle smith said...

This is great. Atleast I'll be able to keep track of the sports score. I've got a free picks from http://www.dynamitepicks.com that I need to track the scores.