Review: MLB At Bat 2001 (iPhone), by MLB.COM
MLB At Bat 2011 (iPhone), by MLB.COM
• Live game audio and video (if you pay)
• Gameday allows for live action updates
• News feed to keep track of favorite teams
• Video highlights
• No “league leaders” and limited team/league statistical information
• Gameday mode doesn’t provide as much information as the iPad version.
Last week I posted a review of the MLB At Bat App for the iPad (http://forum.tipb.com/tipbs-ipad-app...1-mlb-com.html). This week I decided to look at the iPhone version of the app. Yes, unfortunately the apps are separate, so you can’t buy a universal binary. Overall, there are a lot of similarities, but I will mostly focus on the differences, and then identify which you should buy.
The iPhone app offers the same basic functionality as the iPad version of the app – live in game “Game Day” action, updated news, standings, live audio, live video (if you pay for an MLB.TV subscription). So in terms of content delivery, there is very little difference. If you want to see what you actually get, take a look at the iPad review. So what are the primary differences between the two.
Well, the major difference has to do with the GameDay mode, where you can get live, pitch by pitch results of the game. In the iPad version of the app, you can overlay a lot of detailed information on screen (although still not as much as I would like). These include matchup screens, game progress, and even detailed information about the various pitches that were delivered. In the iPhone version, this information is not available to see on the main screen. You do have tabs at the bottom to view things like box score, defensive alignment, but you can’t see those at the same time as the pitch by pitch tracking.
And really, this is a good thing. With the limited screen size on the iPhone, you don’t want to clutter the screen anymore the needed with excess information. Having said that, however, I don’t see why you don’t have the same information options as you do with the iPad. Specifically, the pitch information – you can’t see what kind of pitch, the break of the pitch, the speed – all of which are available on the iPad. Beyond that, however, there is really no difference between the two. The video was still good quality, the audio feed is present; all the other features are basically the same. So which should you buy? Well, it comes down to what you are looking for.
If you are going to want to physically watch the game with a video feed, I recommend buying the iPad version. This screen is much larger. Even if you plan on just using the Game Day pitch by pitch feature, the iPad version is better – it is more polished and has more features.
However, if you want to be able to follow a game on the go (especially if you just want the radio stream), then the iPhone version is for you. This is also true if you are going to be somewhere that may not have a wifi connection – you are already paying for data on your iPhone, why not use it! The small screen makes the iPhone version less suitable for following a live video feed, but beyond that the two apps are basically interchangeable.
All in all, this a good app for a baseball fan, but it hasn’t really improved that much since it was originally released. It would be nice to see some new features or improvements added each year (especially since the price has gone up!). I had said in the iPad review that this app is a must buy for any baseball fan. I will modify that somewhat to say that either the iPad or the iPhone app is a must buy for a baseball fan. Buying both of them doesn’t make much sense, and so it really comes down to what you plan to do while listening to the game. The price is the same as the iPad version, despite slightly fewer options ($14.99). My rating is decreased because of the cost, the lack of new features, and the couple of features that are found in the iPad version but not the iPhone version. Four out of five stars.
* = No redeeming qualities or features, probably not worth it even if it is free
** = Few redeeming qualities, or is simply isn't worth the price
*** = Some good features but also some clear flaws.
**** = A solid app, worth the money if interested, a few flaws or problems or slightly overpriced
***** = Top of the line app, no problems or drawbacks.
Price is factored into the ratings. Ratings are lowered if I feel the price of the app outweighs the benefits/enjoyment/features it provides. Likewise, an app that is a good value for the money will have a higher rating.