Two days, two ESPN Apps: Serving the sports fan anytime, anywhere
After Wednesday’s launch of an all-new ScoreCenter app for iOS and Android, on Thursday ESPN introduced a native app version of SportsCenter Feed for iPhone and iPad.
Like the web and mobile web version launched in September, the SC Feed app is a new way for fans to consume the hundreds of pieces of content produced by ESPN.com every day. Delivering sports news and information to fans in real-time, SC Feed can provide a “fire hose” of everything produced by the site, or a more narrow, personalized stream focused on favorite teams and leagues.
As for ESPN’s highly popular ScoreCenter app, it’s been completely redesigned and optimized for for iPhone 5, iPad and new Android devices. With a simplified navigation, as well as live, integrated Gamecasts and links to WatchESPN, the new ScoreCenter makes it easier than ever for fans to follow up-to-the-minute sports news and information wherever, whenever. The app also includes personalized scoreboards, alerts, breaking news and video highlights of their favorite teams and leagues from around the world.
We asked Ryan Spoon, ESPN’s Senior Vice President of Digital Product Development, to tell us more about the new apps.
What’s the most important thing for fans to know about each of them?
I believe that fans will recognize that each app serves a specific need beautifully, quickly and personally.
With ScoreCenter, we have redesigned the experience and look with an absolute focus on delivering scores, stats and information. Users can customize ScoreCenter with favorite teams and set alerts for breaking news, scores and so forth. It is available for both iOS and Android and tailored nicely for each platform.
The SportsCenter Feed is a brand new application and available on iOS for both iPhone and iPad. It focuses on delivering a real time, personalized sports feed across the wide array of ESPN’s content: articles, scores, blogs, videos, highlights, radio clips and more. Again, there’s a focus on personalization and an experience designed to thrive on each device — whether being used on iPhone, iPad or iPad Mini.
With each new app or major update it seems like we add more functionality and content, yet the navigation is simplified. What are the development challenges to making that happen?
Fans deserve scores, videos and content to be available instantly and wherever they are. To achieve this, each application needs to get fans directly to the content they are looking for: scores for ScoreCenter, live video for WatchESPN, news for SportsCenter Feed, and so on. Furthermore, these applications are becoming more consistent from a navigation and visual perspective. This creates familiarity for fans and makes the experience more cohesive and more rewarding.
Without disclosing too much, what can fans expect from ESPN Product Development in 2013?
You’ll find a greater focus on three themes which you hopefully have already seen marked improvements in:
– Personalized: Our applications and digital experiences will be more personal and allow users to really customize the content, alerts and experiences.
– Cohesive: Our suite of applications will continue to become more consistent from an experience perspective and there will be a focus on having them interact with one another.
– Accessible: We continue to be driven by the mission of serving sports wherever they are and however they want to interact.