I don’t need much from an AFL phone app. I’ve made do with the awkwardly-named “AFL Live Scores Footy Now“, which does everything I need it to do. That said, I’m willing to try something new when fancy takes me and I will be giving Telstra’s “AFL Live Official App” a crack, now that it’s available on the App Store and Google Play.
Opening up Footy Now takes me directly to a list of scores for the current round, while Telstra’s app dumps me at its news page, which is a negative in my book. That said, the layout for headlines is better than Footy Now’s bland RSS-like presentation.
Also immediately apparent is the user interface clutter and prominent ad spots. Footy Now features ads as well, but it manages to fit most of the team match-ups on its score screen with only mild scrolling to see everything, while the AFL Live app demands a little more effort (though not annoyingly so). The ladder view is nice and streamlined, but I do miss the win/loss streak stat in Footy Now. Admittedly it’s something I could live without.
I also don’t mind AFL Live’s ability to show team compositions, a feature I can’t find in Footy Now. Knowing whether your star / up-and-coming players are being fielded is nice to know, especially during critical matches.
The video tab is a nice addition, but the categorisation could do with work. The press conferences are just dumped in the main view, with no rhyme or reason readily apparent. Even if they were tucked away in a “Conferences” option, I’d be much happier. As I said, I’m not really interested in being able to access extra stuff (like after-match pressers) on my phone, but it’s still a plus over Footy Now.
The headline feature of the video tab is the AFL.TV function, which allows you to watch games on your phone, as they’re being played. Sadly, this is limited to Telstra customers, and those who are signed up with the telco still need to pay $5, $10 or $50 depending on whether they want to watch a single game, a month’s worth or the entire season. I can’t say I’ll be signing up soon (Vodafone user), but for the dedicated it’s probably easier on the wallet than arming your TV with Foxtel for the sole purpose of watching AFL.
I realise I’ve only compared AFL Live to one other app, but it is one I’ve gotten use to and am happy with, so the argument stands that if the new app is good enough, it should be able to displace whichever one is your favourite. Currently, I can’t see myself using Telstra’s option going forward without, at the very least, some work on condensing the user interface.