Being a displaced Boston Red Sox fan, I am always looking for ways to either watch or listen to my hometown team while living elsewhere in the country. Not to sound Apple like, but being an Android G1 user, there is now an app for that in the form of MLB at Bat 2010.
For $14.99, baseball fans can download MLB’s app for their Android powered handset. The app provides a lot of statistical information, box scores and standings as well as baseball news, but the killer aspect of this application is the fact that users can listen to every single game played in the MLB this 2010 season via MLB’s Gameday Audio built into the app. This includes the playoffs and the World Series. Using a data connection, an At Bat user can be anywhere they have data connectivity or wifi access, and listen to their favorite baseball team live and in real time.
This is the first time this application will be appearing on Android handsets, it debuted last year on the iPhone and iPod Touch, and was one of the top selling applications. It has already been selling very well on the Android Market, and is a sign that major developers may be finally making the move to develop for Android as well.
The app itself is a pretty small one, about .9 meg, which was nice to see a lightweight app with this much functionality.
The user interface is pretty straight forward, when you launch the app you see all of the games that are on the schedule for the day in the MLB, you can skip ahead and back days to see past scores and future games. Upon pressing a game box, you get an info screen about the stats of the game, along with tabs to select different information sets. You can get the pitch by pitch description, box score, field positions, play by play or video information. Unlike it’s iPhone counterpart, you cannot watch live video on the Android version.
To listen to Gameday Audio, you use your Menu button, which brings up another screen with more options. During the pre-season, some games do not have an audio feed, or if they do, you may get just one of the teams broadcasts. During the regular season, you will be given an choice to pick the home or away teams broadcast, which is pretty classy.
At Bat feels like a polished beta version. All the buttons and information feeds work pretty well, where the app skips a beat is the audio. It will lose the data stream pretty regularly, and you have to reconnect it manually to get the game going again. This problem however is not Android specific, as I own the app on the iPod Touch and that app has the exact same issue of dropping the stream forcing a manual reconnect.
Major League Baseball has always been ahead of the curve technology wise, so I think that they will be working to fix the issues that they are having system wide, and by the time the first pitch of the regular season is thrown out, the app should be humming along then.
At $14.99, At Bat seems a bit pricey, but when one thinks about the fact that you can listen to every single game played this year, it becomes a pretty good value if you like baseball. For displaced fans, this is a dream come true, giving the ability to listen wherever and whenever you want. If you are a baseball nut who lives in a different town your favorite team, pick this application up now. If you live in the town your team plays in, perhaps waiting until all the bugs are worked out may be the best course of action. Overall, this is a great application that has a lot of realized potential as well as future possibility in it. A must have for baseball fans!