The BBC Sport app is slightly better than the website, but it has some way to go before it’s essential, says Matt Warman
The BBC first launched its official Sport app on iOS, and now a month later it has come to Android. Fans, however, couldn’t wait that long and so there were already several apps that took publicly available BBC content and reorganised it in app form. That means there’s already plenty to compare this version to.
Unfortunately, the new Sport app remains fairly basic. Although the BBC has clearly learnt lessons from its excellent Olympics apps, the belated addition of video footage to the Sport app feels like an afterthought. There’s not a lot here that users can get on the mobile website, and it you’re interested in minority sports and want to customise the list of top sports, there’s not the option.
What there is, however, is a neat swipe across to the left for the main menu and a flashy splash screen. Anything beyond that, such a pre-caching of content to watch read it out of range of a network, for instance, isn’t here yet. The app does, however, come more to life during live fixtures, with F1 and the Six Nations available to watch on the move live, and live scores available for sports where the BBC doesn’t have the rights. And it works on devices with screens up to 7” in size.
In that sense, this feels very much like the BBC’s first version of the app, which is currently more like a cover to the mobile website, improved slightly to feel like an app, rather than to actually benefit from being one. As more video becomes available, it will no doubt improve and feel better. But until there’s comprehensive integration with the iPlayer, archives and all the content on BBC Sport online, it’s hard to recommend the app over the Sport website.