Sunday, April 4, 2010

MLB AtBat for iPad: First Impressions

It's opening day, or should I say night(?), and in about 90 minutes I'll start cheering the Yankees on to yet another championship.  That will be their 28th, Red Sox fans... :-)

I've been a huge fan of MLB's AtBat app for the iPhone.  I spent $9.99 on it this year and I didn't mind spending 50% more than that this year.  I was a bit surprised that I'd have to fork over another $14.99 to get the iPad version, but hey, I'm hooked.

I gotta say though, so far I'm underwhelmed with my purchase.  In all fairness, the first pitch of the season has yet to be thrown, but why does it look like I get access to more content in the iPhone version than the iPad version?!  For example, I see all of the latest video highlights on my iPhone, so where are they in the iPad app?  Am I missing the link somewhere?

Secondly, when I envisioned an iPad implementation of this app I thought it would have a lot more sizzle than what I've seen so far.  One obvious feature is to let you watch the pitch animator for more than one game at a time.  The screen is huge, so why not let me have a couple of in-game views on at once?  It also looks like you're limited to the audio feed for the game you're watching the pitch animations on.  How about letting me listen to one game while I watch another?  It seems like MLB has taken Apple's lack of multitasking a step further, unfortunately!

Finally, I had visions of getting lost in the app, touching one image after another and going deeper and deeper into it.  I get the impression you can only go about one or two levels deep before you've reached a dead end.  Maybe they're trying to avoid too many pop-up windows.  If so, that's too bad.  I was hoping to truly discover the depths of the season and I just don't feel this version will let me.

I hate to say it, but at this point, if you've already invested $14.99 in the iPhone version I don't recommend you double your investment with the iPad version.  It's just not worth it, at least not yet.

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