Why I might download an ESPN app again

Here is why I don’t use an ESPN mobile app right now.

When I bought my first Android phone a 5 years ago, I wanted a sports app that did the following 5 things:

  1. Live scores for football and cricket
  2. Gave me team details
  3. News & Transfer updates
  4. NOT take up much space on my phone’s limited storage capacity (ever get that message ‘insufficient storage’ on your phone?)
  5. NOT use all the RAM my phone had

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I watched a lot of my sports on ESPN, so logically I looked for an ESPN app. But there were a few problems:

  • Searching the app store for ‘ESPN’ left me with a list of over 30 apps to choose from.
  • Each sport had more than one app for it – one for news, one for scores, one for fantasy league games, etc.
  • I had to install four apps instead of one.
  • Two of the ESPN apps weren’t efficient, took up took much RAM, and my phone gave me the ‘insufficient memory’ message. I had to delete some ESPN apps so my old phone could work normally again. Out of frustration I deleted all of them.

I knew what I wanted, but ESPN (seemingly) didn’t. I now have a new phone, with much more storage space and a 3rd party app that checks all the 5 boxes.

So when I read this Gigaom article about ESPN changing their mobile strategy, it gave me hope of once again downloading an ESPN mobile app.

Less is more

The ESPN Digital team are going to change things. One app instead of many. Less is more.

  • The SportsCenter app will be called the ESPN app and will be relaunched next year
  • There will no longer be specialised apps for different sports, the ESPN app will have it all
  • Based on the user’s location the app will default to a specific sport – American sports in America, football in Europe and the UK, and Cricket in India
  • The app can be personalised and will provide more options to the user, like picking their preferred sport, etc.

Redesign for website & videos without audio

While the news about the app redesign is what appealed to me the most, the Gigaom article also said that the website was getting a redesign.

  • The new website will feature a lot of the same personalisation that the ESPN app has
  • It will have responsive design with the use of cards
  • Short-form and long-form content get more reads than the 800 word articles, so the type of content will be based on those stats

ESPN apps also show videos, but watching video with audio on the phone is kind of pointless when you are out and about. In the article, it says that ESPN will be focussing on short video without audio. This means advertisers will also have to come up with solutions on how to get their message across. I like this, loud ads that play before your video are always irritating. This should take care of that.

I am really looking forward to ESPN’s new mobile app and will download it when it comes out. I want to see what it does in terms of news, scores, notifications, video and connections to social media platforms. I’ll be sure to put my thoughts down when it does. Watch this space.

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