June 6, 2013

Bigger, better: ESPNcricinfo's new iPhone app

Sambit Bal
A screenshot of ESPNcricinfo's new iPhone app
A screenshot of ESPNcricinfo's new iPhone app  © ESPNcricinfo Ltd

While pronouncing change as the only constant in life, it is unlikely that the Greek philosopher Heraclitus would have foreseen life a millennium and a half ahead. His words, however, now ring truest in the digital world: change is not merely the constant, but the leitmotif. And it is the most exciting part of the ride.

The cricket world has been gloomy recently but life would be morbid without optimism. A new tournament is about to begin, and we are delighted to present to you a new version of our iPhone app. The Android one is due to follow in a few days.

It seems like only yesterday that we launched our first iPhone app, but two years is about time for an upgrade. The website has changed, as have technology and your expectations. With the latest version, we bring not merely a new design but, as you would expect from the new product, a far better user experience and many more functionalities.

More significantly, though, we bring you much more of the site. The biggest challenge in designing a mobile version of a website as large and as deep as ours has always been in crunching it to fit a smaller screen, but our designers and building partners have managed to pack in a lot more while not compromising on the aesthetic quality and the ease of navigation. Consequently, these mobile apps are now much closer to the full-site experience.

We know that when you are on the go, scores are what you look for the most. We have put them on top of the screen with an easy sideways scroll. Crucially, the scores panel is a mix of editorially curated content and your preferences. As on the website, you will always find international matches up front, but the domestic matches will be based on your preferences. The default setting will be based on your geographical location, but you can set your preferences based on the teams you support.

The live scorecard itself has been improved significantly. There are easy navigation buttons for full scorecard and commentary, and the commentary is now on an infinite scroll. You can, of course, like I do, simply swipe across these pages seamlessly. We have brought back the lean-back mode, an old favourite that puts the live scores on screensaver mode. And, in keeping with our commitment to take the app closer to the full site, we have added a full-match coverage module that makes available all the match-related content - stories, photographs, video - on a single screen.

The home screen has been neatly divided into familiar sections. The main headlines are followed by the Specials, which scroll sideways. The main navigation scrolls sideways too, and we have added the blogs section, which incorporates The Cordon. Bringing up the bottom are the daily regulars - Quote Unquote, Did You Know? and Number Crunching.

The story pages have been enhanced significantly. They carry the little niceties like pull-quotes and sidebars, and related stories are at the bottom. For those of you who like interacting and sharing, you can now post comments using your Facebook id and post the pieces you like on Facebook and Twitter. Of course, all your comments can now be read on the app.

For idling away time, there is a quiz game and for the curious, there is a glossary section to browse through. The search has been made more efficient and, to give you quick access to content that you like, there is a star icon that allows you to save stories and sections to your favourites folder.

Those of you who have the app already will receive an update notification. In case you don't, here's the link.

As always, we are keen to hear from you. Tell us if you like it. And tell us what you don't like. You have the right to expect the very best from us, and it is our obligation to be worthy of your expectations.

Sambit Bal is the editor of ESPNcricinfo

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© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.

Posted by   on (June 7, 2013, 12:56 GMT)

Thanks, Cricinfo! Now I have to be careful while crossing roads and walking.. But great nonetheless.

Posted by   on (June 6, 2013, 17:03 GMT)

Please update android as well. Because we cant see warm up matches scores and it is really slow. Also getting forced stop.

Posted by   on (June 6, 2013, 16:12 GMT)

To be honest the last one on android was horrible. It was incredibly slow.

Posted by voyager on (June 6, 2013, 12:23 GMT)

App or no app, we still manage to get the scores, but running audio commentary is what we need and miss from yesteryears.

Posted by   on (June 6, 2013, 10:27 GMT)

ok good work. But would you guys pls improve the Android app, which has far more usage??

Posted by Lawro on (June 6, 2013, 10:11 GMT)

Android app definitely needs this ugrade/update as well - rather short-sighted by ESPN considering Android has a vastly greater global market share compared to iOS.

Posted by Raiyan24r on (June 6, 2013, 9:05 GMT)

y no android app?? cricinfo should introduce the android app.

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Sambit Bal
Editor-in-chief Sambit Bal took to journalism at the age of 19 after realising that he wasn't fit for anything else, and to cricket journalism 14 years later when it dawned on him that it provided the perfect excuse to watch cricket in the office. Among other things he has bowled legspin, occasionally landing the ball in front of the batsman; laid out the comics page of a newspaper; covered crime, urban development and politics; and edited Gentleman, a monthly features magazine. He joined Wisden in 2001 and edited Wisden Asia Cricket and Cricinfo Magazine. He still spends his spare time watching cricket.

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