BBC Sport mobile app brings news and results to iPhone, Android coming in weeks
The BBC has today launched a BBC Sport app, bringing all the latest sports news and results to your mobile device. The Apple iPhone and iPod touch are first to see an app, with an Android app expected within weeks.
The app builds on the success of the BBC's Olympic app, which was nominated in the best app category of the Pocket-lint Gadget Awards 2012. Lucie McLean, executive product manager for Sport at BBC Future Media, told us that the experience gained from the Olympic app helped guide the creation of the new all-inclusive BBC Sport app.
The app breaks down content to cover all sports, with greater emphasis on the more-prominent sports. Football, for example gets a huge range of options, from breaking news to live scores to fixture listings, and also has features such as one-page-per-match pages where you can see information unfolding on that crunch match.
In many cases, sports content has been repackaged for the app, but where content hasn't been completely integrated, the app links through to a simple browser window to display content from the recently reworked BBC Sport mobile site.
The app also links to other outside sources, utilised heavily in the Gossip section. Rather than repeating gossip verbatim, it simply deploys that light browser again to let you glance at the source, read the story and then return to the app.
Navigation around the app is simple and we had no problem getting to the stories we were looking for in our quick play with the app before launch. There's a right-hand menu that can be customised to a certain degree, so you can add or remove sports for quicker access. It uses familiar iOS app components, so it's simple to customise in a flash, with easy to recognise controls.
McLean also told us that individual teams would be added to the selection in the future, so you'll have quick access to whichever teams you choose, and not just the one. So if you support West Ham and Leyton Orient, you'll be able to get news on both.
There's a link through to BBC 5 Live radio, with plans to make this background compatible in the future, so you can start it up in the app and then navigate away and continue listening.
One of the big elements of the BBC Olympics app was the video content. Video will be coming to the BBC Sport app in the future, but it's heavily tied into rights for each sport so there's none at present. However, with Wimbledon coming in June, we should see plenty of video content, so you can watch live matches, switch cameras and so on all through the app.
Android users needn't fret, as there will be a version hitting Google Play in the coming weeks. McLean told us that the Android app has been designed to accommodate the differing sizes of Android displays, specifically catering for screens up to 7-inches, but is in the final stages of development.
We had the chance to play with an early release of the Android app and can confirm that it's much the same as the iPhone app. The look and feel is mostly the same, except that navigation switches to the left, accessed quickly with a swipe, although the app isn't final and may change before launch.
The BBC Sport iOS app is available here on iTunes.