NFL iPad App Review Roundup

Like every other football nut in the country last Sunday I was glued to my TV watching the opening slate of NFL games. At the same time I had my ipad out to help track all the games. Did you know that there are a handful of all-new apps out from NBC, CBS and of course DirecTV?

There are. And I take them to task and tell you which one you have to get and which one fails miserably. And I even throw in the Notre Dame app for the heck of it. I assign a rating out of 5. So 5 DadTherapy logos for the best and 1 for the worst.

CBS Sports Pro Football
If you’re just after live scoring and stats, the CBS Sportsline app is the one you have to download immediately. It is graphically well done, provides all the data you want on demand. The games are listed at the top of the page and you can swipe the scoreboard side to side to see the entire week’s slate.

When you pull up a teams box score it overlays onto the live game tracking which shows a field, directions, score, time outs et al. You can then move the box score anywhere you want to.

Having this on your couch while watching a game is a terrific way to keep up with fantasy action and simple scoring. I did find that the live scores at the top of the page for each game were a bit delayed versus the in-depth information that pops up once you select that game. It should be up to the second like on the TV.

There were various other delays like that during the day but I wonder how much of that is due to testing. I haven’t seen an update from iTunes yet though. If that issue was fixed I’d give it a perfect score. Even though there are videos to watch and highlights, this app shows that keeping it simple and clean in appearance is the way to go.

Grade: 4stars

NBC Sunday Night Football All Access
It’s tough grading this app because it’s literally supposed to center around just one game instead of the entire week like the CBS app. However, because the update shows that buffer the game are basically a SportsCenter for the day’s earlier NFL action you’d like the app to do everything the CBS app does. That way, folks would be looking at your Sunday NIGHT branding all DAY Sunday on their iPad and remember to tune in o your broadcast on TV. Nope.

Not only do you lose out on the live updates of the other games, why would you want live updates of the game you’re watching live, when it’s the only game to watch. The app doesn’t have any additional camera angles, extra commentary, updated replays, nothing, regarding the Sunday night game.

When you do click on game scores to get stats a window pops up to show you a plain webpage from MSNBC’s sports site. Sigh.

It’s a horrible waste of all the capabilities the iPad has to offer.

Grade:  Twostars

DirecTV Sunday Ticket
Last year I watched a second game on my iPhone using Sunday Ticket’s app while keeping the Dolphns on the big screen. I also grilled watching my phone’s feed etc.

The iPad app is as good and the main focus is a large, video screen that shows high quality feeds of the games. Now, you have to subscribe to DirecTV’s Sunday Ticket, which isn’t cheap, but you basically get a second TV set along with it. You can also just watch video, taking up the entire iPad screen and it looks great (below).

Either iPad orientation looks good with the Sunday Ticket app too.

The only downside is that the focus on video takes away from viewing stats, which the iPhone version did a great job of if you didn’t want to go through the trouble of waiting for the video feed to load. However, the video on the iPad seems to load much faster.

This, along with the cost, is the only reason I don’t give the Sunday Ticket app a top score.

Grade: 4stars


NBC Notre Dame Central
I’m not going to say much about this app because the only thing it offers is a live video feed of the Notre Dame game that week’s NBC televised Notre Dame game at a cost of $1.99. Throw in a couple of preview videos and a scoreboard and you still have crap. I don’t even think the blind devotion of the Notre Dame faithful will like this app.

Grade: 1star