I’ll have to admit that my expectations for this app were not set very high. I kind of figured it would end up being a lot like other large events that have tried to stream video for free, or that there would be a hidden cost. This app is about so much more than just merely streaming live video though. You can access all kinds of great features like viewing the brackets, keeping up with all the stats and scores live, and even check out how your CBS Sports bracket is doing!
Where this app really shines is in the ease of use factor. Everything is extremely intuitive, and if you’re not as interested in the “premium” features like push notifications and live audio/video there is a free version available as well! When you open up the app you’re greeted with a familiar little sound bite from CBS Sports and taken to the main scores screen.
At the bottom of the screen, you’ll notice a menu that has several different options. You can use this to quickly access the pages to view your personal CBS Sports bracket, video highlights from the latest games and the latest news available! The scores screen that you start out on will give you a list of all the games that are going to be played and/or have been played on the current day. At the top of the screen is a little bar that will allow you to move to a different day if you want to check results or see what time a game is going to be played.
What really takes this app from being just a “good app” to a great one is how easy it is to interact with the games. Touching any game in the “Scores” list brings up a list of ways that you can interact with it. These range from posting a comment about it on Twitter/Facebook, checking out the games stats if it’s over/in progress, watching live video, or even viewing a video of the highlights if the game has already been over for a while.
The “My Bracket” tab worked extremely well when I tried it. I was able to quickly and easily log into my CBS Sports account and view how my picks were holding up as things were happening! At the top of this screen, there is a little menu bar with 3 different options: “My Bracket,” which is where it starts, “Standings,” and “Rules. ”One thing I noticed about the bracket view is that it is easier to navigate from the “Scores” than it is from the “My Bracket” area. With that said, it’s not overly difficult, I just would have preferred to have it work the same way in both places.
The best feature of this app by far though has to be the live video. I have tried a lot of apps that claimed to offer live video of things, and while most of them were “ok” over WiFi, they have all struggled over the cell network, whether it be Edge of 3G. This app is simply amazing on any connection! The app does an excellent job of adjusting the quality of your feed in real time to avoid problems, and if it loses connection for a few seconds, instead of you missing a few seconds of action it just “pauses” the live feed and then continues playing where you left off when it gets its connection back!
Another great feature is that you move into an area where your connection does not have the bandwidth to handle live video it will automatically switch you to an audio-only feed. As soon as your connection improves the video will load right back up again! The video itself looks simply incredible!I tested it over both AT&T’s 3G network and my home WiFi connection and the video was both crystal clear and rarely had any glitches or stops for “loading. ”
So what if you’re in the middle of watching the game, but you want to see how another game is doing? Or maybe you’re wondering how many points that guy that just nailed another 3-pointer has? All of this information can be accessed from a simple menu at the bottom of the screen. To bring up this menu during video playback you just have to touch the screen anywhere. You’ll be able to see a list of the five players that are on the floor for both teams, as well as view live updates on the scores of any other games that are going on!
I could go on and on about how this app works and all of the “little” features that make it the amazing app that it is, but the long of the short of it is that this is an app that every fan needs to have on their device. Whether you are a basketball fanatic, or you are just competing in a bracket with some friends, this is THE tool to keep you up to date on the road!Many people may hesitate to spend the $9. 99, but let me assure you that if you do, this app will not disappoint you. So what are you waiting for? At the very least check out the free app in the App Store today!