Almost a month to the day since the BBC launched a native Sports app for iPhone and iPod touch, the British broadcaster’s commercial arm, BBC Worldwide, has launched the app for international users.
For now, the app will be available optimized for iPhone and iPod touch only, but as with the UK version of the app, it will be landing on Android shortly – though no exact timescale has been given.
The global version of the app is pretty much a replica of the UK incarnation, except it doesn’t have on-demand video/audio for the time-being. The domestic version of the app rolled out live and on-demand video in late January, around three weeks after launch.
The main homescreen displays the main top stories from across the sporting sphere, with dedicated pages for football (soccer), Formula 1, cricket, rugby union, rugby league, tennis and golf. There is a page for all the other main sports, and other big-news sporting events.
In addition, there is detailed live football scores, match statistics, league tables, fixtures, text-based commentaries and dedicated pages for football clubs, including the English Premier League.
The live scores section provides a league-by-league overview of the latest scores and goal scorers at a glance, with dedicated match pages for more in-depth data, including starting line-ups, match stats, live text commentary and the post-game report.
Similar to the UK version of the app, pages around the ‘less popular’ sports will have links to the mobile version of the BBC website at first, though these will eventually all be brought in-app.
As things stand, there’s not any major reason why you would adopt the native app over the existing mobile site, which automatically scales itself to suit your device’s form factor (up to 7″). However, the very fact that mobile accounts for a third of all traffic to the international BBC Sport site (increasing at weekends), means that a native app was inevitable. Plus, there is room for many more features to be added which could make this a more worthwhile proposition – such as push-notifications for live scores, and on-demand video. And let’s not forget about Android either, which should be coming shortly.
“Now with the launch of our international sports app for iOS devices, we are giving users another simple way to get the content they love, whether it’s checking out how their team have got on, following live text updates on the day’s sporting action or catching up with the latest news,” explains James Montgomery, Controller of Digital and Technology, BBC Global News.
It’s also worth noting here that the BBC Sport app isn’t optimized for iPad – the mobile version of the site being deemed adequate for those using Apple’s omnipresent tablet.
The BBC Sport app is available to download for free now for international users.
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