Wednesday, 22 September 2010

Some thoughts on the new Swans iPhone app

After seeing a couple of adverts for the new Official Swans iPhone app, I decided to ‘pop into the app store’ and download it. It’s been out for a week or two now, but I wanted to have a proper play around before sharing my thoughts.

Firstly, the adverts are a little misleading. I went to the app store and searched for “Swansea City”, which produced results, but no sign of the “official app”. After a few more searches returned negative, I revisited the advert where I discovered that the app is actually called ‘FL Football’ (from The Football League), and you then have to select Swansea as your home team. I visited the app store for the fifth time that day and successfully downloaded it. Annoyingly I accidentally selected Stevenage as my home team and had to reinstall the app again, but was finally ready to see if my downloading ordeal had been worth it.

As with many iPhone apps these days, it’s free to download and use most features, with the option of upgrading for £4.99. Now, I’m just giving my thoughts on the free version, as I have no real interest in the bonus features, which, from what I can tell, are: advert free viewing (I don’t really notice the ads), the ability to view Match Highlights on your phone (I watch these for free on the internet / MOTD), a score predictor (probably quite fun, but I place a few bets myself, so don’t feel the need for this) and mapping to stadiums if you are travelling away (probably quite a useful feature).

The home screen is simply set out; basically a menu with: ‘Today’s Match’, Latest News headlines, Latest results, Next Fixtures and a couple of extras, like a shop and an npower link. It’s set in the Swansea colours (for all the diehard fans out there, who would accept nothing less)! The menu screen is great for viewing at a glance for instant info, but you can click these titbits for more details. Design, therefore, is well done and smooth.
The main feature, which I’ve downloaded many other apps for, and never been completely satisfied, is the Live Text Commentary feature. Now, I was in the Liberty for the Scunthorpe match and decided to test it compared to the live action; checking how accurate and quick the response was. I was a little disappointed. The time between things happening on the grass in front of me, to it being updated on the app was sometimes 4 or 5 minutes! I also found no ‘refresh’ button, which meant I had to press ‘back’ then re-enter the commentary section for new commentary! I feel the Sky Sports app is better in this respect.

Otherwise, it’s a nice little app and certainly worth downloading for free. I would be interested in seeing another official app though, made exclusively for the Swans, but until then this will do nicely.

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