CBS Sports Mobile
Release Date:September 25, 2009
Summary:A good and reliable sports tracking app - just has a less than stellar fantasy sports league ability.
After playing yesterday’s Real Tennis 2009, I developed a hankering for some real tennis. If there’s any sport I truly enjoy watching, or actually look forward to, it’s tennis. There are plenty of sports-tracking apps in the iTunes Universe, but I heard some good things about CBS Sports Mobile. Naturally, I thought I’d give a try. A good recommendation is a recommendation, after all. It turns out CBS Sports Mobile doesn’t cover tennis. *Jackie fumes, turns beet red and instantly boycotts the app*. Review over. Okay, not really. If you’re a tennis fan, then CBS Sports Mobile won’t make the cut, but it’s a pretty good app otherwise, for those fans of football, basketball, hockey and baseball (oh, and toss in College Basketball for good measure – yet, no College Football).
The app’s opening screen made me chuckle a bit. Sports channels tend to be glossy nowadays, with immaculate special effects and dazzling intro scenes – it’s just marketing at its finest, building up anticipation for the actual event, which is all the fans care about anyway. In the same vein, CBS Sports Mobile opens to this glossy, glamorous page, with blue jets of light shooting in all directions, and the faded blue silhouettes of sports players in the throes of their action plays. I half expect to hear the American Idol theme song ring out, the cheese factor is so overwhelming. But, at least it’s not boring.
Like other sports-tracking apps, this app gives you the latest headlines in sports news of the NFL, the NBA, CollBK, the NHL and the MLB. Four headlines appear at a time, accompanied by a photo, and tapping on the story will link you the full story. A tab at the bottom of the screen will take you to the next page, with four more headlines. The news stories are easy enough to read, printed with blue letters on a white background, but the app curiously lacks a zoom feature. If you’re someone who squints frequently and zooms iPhone articles until they reach the numeric size of 14, then CBS Sports Mobile is not for you – at least, not without a magnifying glass, or monocle. I was a little annoyed at the bright banner at the bottom of the screen, always reading “IS YOUR CAR BATTERY OUTRAGEOUSLY DEPENDABLE?” in glaring, offensive green caps. This is my own quarrel, but the large, green letters are so bright and loud that they overpower the fine, blue print of the sports article, and so I found my eyes involuntarily drawn down all the time, magnetized to the heavy pull of the banner ad. It’s pretty distracting, but, since many apps rely on banners for additional income, my rhetoric will probably fall on deaf ears.
The app is pretty easy to nagivate, despite slower than average loading times, and I really appreciated the tab setup at the top of the screen, with a quick tap on the Sports tab revealing all the different channels (NFL, NBA, and so forth), allowing for quick switching of sports. There’s even the option to tap into your Fantasy sports team, should you have an account set up. I, myself, am not a fantasy leaguer – unless you count Magic, The Gathering (go ahead jocks, laugh it up) but just from perusing the review comments on the iTunes page, I could ascertain that perhaps the Fantasy sports option wasn’t quite up to snuff. There was plenty of negative commentary to root through, ranging from high crashing rates to poor execution, and there were enough low ratings to reduce the app’s iTunes rating to 3 stars – I can confidently guess that this substandard rating is predominantly from those let down by the Fantasty Sports. However, much of the negative feedback on the app is just drivel nonsense. The layout isn’t terrible, and I have yet to experience any crashing – should frequent crashing ever happen to me, then I’ll happily update this post to reflect that. In the meantime, this app is at part with other sports-tracking apps, and is completely functional, with an adequate layout – maybe not as intuitive as others, but it gets the job done. I think we’ve reached a point in the app universe where after being inundated with millions of apps, we expect stellar results each time – otherwise we’ll just find a better one. Something to work on for the next update, I suppose.
But, regarding regular sports tracking, it’s hard to beat Sports Mobile. Scores, videos of plays, player stats, and more are included in this app, and should you wish to learn more about specific sports (teams, W/L), then CBS Sports Mobile will provide a tab that will link you to the app store so that you may download another sub-app (part of the whole CBS Interactive) that will provide you with that additional information. This might deter you from checking it out, having to download additional parts, but hey, it’s free. Plenty of the live-streaming sports apps require purchasing, so it’s always a breath of fresh air to get quality information at no cost. CBS Sports Mobile may not be the greatest app – our fellow Appstruck writer Ocie is pretty keen on this one – but a lot of these sports-tracking apps are just a matter of preference; someone may just like the fact that one app is bare bones, while another may prefer a flashier app with more panache, despite the apps providing the same essential information. At least CBS Sports Mobile is a quick study in sports news, at a free cost, with an good setup. Who can argue with that?