Welcome to a new series on the Flightpath blog: Mobile App Reviews. We’ll be exploring all different kinds of apps, both paid and free, and for a wide variety of subjects. Today we’ll be looking at the app for a certain local sports team.
The App: New York Rangers Official App
The Platform: iPhone & Android
How Much: Free
The Deal: I love hockey and I’m a big Rangers fan. I try and watch every game, go to a few every season, and my jersey collection is getting bigger than it should be. (That Cyber Monday deal at FansEdge for a Brandon Dubinsky home jersey was too good to pass up.) So when I finally got my iPhone 4S (my first iPhone), the first thing I did was download the Rangers’ official app. It’s branded as part of “Blueshirts United,” which is the organization’s catch-all for online Rangers fans.
Features: There’s actually a pretty robust set of features. The home screen, dubbed the “Featured” tab, looks as follows: the last game’s score is up top, with the next game info (opponent, day, time) listed right underneath; below that, in the center of the screen, is a tool that lets you track the stats of any player on the roster, game-to-game; at the bottom is a wheel of “Recent Updates,” mixing scores, videos and news. Other tabs include “News,” “Videos,” “Schedule,” and “More,” which links to photos, standings, stats roster info and tickets. All are updated daily and easily navigable.
What We Think/Like: If you’re a Rangers fan, it’s a must-download. I’m trying not to be biased, but I’ve honestly used it every day since downloading. I check the schedule often, the video content updates frequently, and the news covers everything from roster updates to game recaps. Just yesterday, the Rangers held their 18th Annual Toy Drive; this morning, I can access photos and reports from the event. The app was also the first place I saw, via video, the Rangers’ unveiling of the team’s new Winter Classic jerseys. In addition, the “News” tab is divided into “Rangers” and “Social.” The “Social” tab aggregates all Twitter updates using the hashtag #NYR; it’s a surprisingly fun, effective way to connect with fans and stay current with what people are saying about the team. But it’s not just the features that make it essential; it’s very, very cleanly designed and easy to use.
What’s Missing: For whatever reason, the app appears to offer no in-game alerts – meaning notices for goals, penalties and end-of-period and game score updates. I have to use the NHL Game Center app for all of that, which is odd. It seems like no-brainer functionality for a team-specific app.
Overall: This is an excellent app. It’s user-friendly, and the content strikes a balance between being deep enough for the diehards yet easily digestible for those who may want to learn more about the Rangers but don’t know where to begin. Highly recommended.