The app store is full of a lot of great apps in many different categories, but in my experience it’s really been lacking a really good sports scores and statistics app. I tried using ScoreCenter and CBS Sports, but found both to be lacking a quality experience.
Luckily, I had ScoreMobile available on my iPhone, which I found overall to be a good app. But when it comes to looking up scores, standings and statistics, you simply can’t beat the screen real estate you get from the iPad versus the iPhone. Fortunately, ScoreMobile was recently updated, bringing with it iPad optimization and a brand new moniker — theScore Mobile. Hit the jump to find out if the “holy grail” of sports scores and statistics apps has finally come to the iPad.
In order to be a quality sports scores and statistics app, the first thing it needs to offer is coverage for a wide range of sports and theScore Mobile doesn’t disappoint. Besides your basics (NFL, NBA, MLB, NHL, NCAA Football, and NCAA Basketball) the app offers coverage for the CFL, MMA, NASCAR and Formula 1. In addition, you can add coverage for multiple soccer leagues (MLS, Champions, EPL, Serie A), Tennis (ATP and WTA), Golf (PGA, EPGA, LPGA), NCAA Women’s Basketball and even ICC Cricket.
Scores & Standings
The main use for theScore Mobile is looking up scores and standings, which can be done in multiple ways. The main method is accomplished by tapping your league of choice in the left navigation bar. Once tapped, the navigation bar will animate and display subcategories for the league you chose; typically the subcategories will include Scores, Standings, News and Leaders. When you tap a subcategory the corresponding information will display in the pane immediately to the right of the side navigation bar.
The Scores subcategory displays scores for the current date (or week for football), and you can change the date/week by swiping left or right in the header displaying the current date/week. You can select any of the games displayed below to view more detailed information about the game. If you select a game that’s in progress or finished you can view basic game information (score, team/player stats). The Plays section includes a breakdown of each individual play in the game, and the Recap section provides a detailed analysis of the game once it’s finished.
If you select a game that hasn’t started, you’re offered up some general pre-game stats (records, win/loss streaks, injuries). In addition, you can utilize the Follow This Game feature, which adds the game to the My Score section and gives you the option to set up alerts (e.g. start of the game, end of the game, end of quarter/inning/period score updates) as well as add the game to your iPad’s calendar. I found alerts to be a great feature that allows users to passively follow games when they’re not able to actually watch the game.
The Standings subcategory is pretty straight forward, offering up the current standards for a particular league and playoff clinching information when applicable. The News subcategory provides recent stories from around each league, and you can even turn on alerts for league breaking news. Leaders is great subcategory for statistic junkies (like myself), providing league leaders in various categories (e.g. passing TDs in the NFL, points per game in the NBA, home runs in MLB).
The My Score section in theScore Mobile is a feature that really helps the app stand out in the crowd. The premise is that you can follow your favorite teams and information about said team will be displayed in the My Score section. Since I like the Dallas Cowboys, I can go into the Team subcategory under My Scores section, tap the Follow a Team button, select the Dallas Cowboys and hit the Done button. From this point forward, every Cowboys game will be displayed in the My Score section, which means I don’t necessarily have to sort through the list of all NFL games if I just want to learn the Cowboys score.
Following favorite players is a very unique feature in theScore Mobile (ScoreCenter offers the ability to following favorite teams [like theScore Mobile] but it’s not as well executed). It appears offhand that the premise of this feature is geared towards fantasy sports, because in order to follow a player you first need to create a group. So, say you create a group for your fantasy team, you can then add all the players on your team and use the feature to track each player’s performance. But you can use the feature anyway you please. I like the idea of just tracking some of my favorite players, who may not be on a team I necessarily care for.
The Bottom Line
After the long wait theScore Mobile finally brings the sports scores and statistics experience I’ve always wanted. The app’s design isn’t fantastic, featuring a somewhat dated pre-iOS 6 feel with the wide use of highlights, but it’s simple and not over the top, which is always good. The app is ad supported, but ads are infrequent and must less annoying in comparison to the app’s iPhone counterpart.
Speaking of the iPhone, there’s one major feature that’s severely lacking between the two devices — syncing. Say you already have theScore Mobile on your iPhone and you’ve set up My Score to include your favorite teams and players. When you use the iPad app, there’s no way of syncing the information from the iPhone app (or vice versa). While not a deal breaker, it’s definitely an issue that makes user friendliness across multiple devices extremely worse for wear.
However, if you’re strictly an iPad user, or simply want an app to look up scores, standings and stats without any extra features or flair, then theScore Mobile is in a league of its own.