Cricket Australia 2013 App Review

Cricket Australia released a re-designed app for this year’s cricket season. Created by Outware Mobile (Australia’s fastest growing technology company according to their twitter account) and sponsored by Kentucky Fried Chicken – the freemium app has detailed scores, video highlights, radio streams and Cricket Australia vetted news.

You can sign up for a geo-blocked Season Pass for $19.99 or a Day Pass for $4.99 to stream live matches played in Australia. I didn’t do either, instead opting to watch most of it on TV, but I did use the app to follow the scores when I was out and about and I did take part in a few polls or ‘Viewer Verdicts’.

The app is solid. The subnav took me a while to get used to but, generally, it is a well designed and executed release. Here are some minor gripes that I hope get addressed in future iterations:

NOTIFICATIONS

The app regularly pushes notifications throughout matches prompting users to take part in polls (also heavily promoted throughout the TV coverage).

Notifications are, as one user below points out, in capitals which infers Cricket Australia is yelling at you. Surprisingly there is no functionality to customise notifications – I would have loved the ability to receive news of wickets or milestones as they happen. Notifications are a fine balancing act and very few brands are successfully using them well so we can let this one go through to the keeper.

Viewers Verdict

The poll questions are often really mundane without any incentive for fans. Users also have to complete a tedious survey each time capturing the same personal details which is pretty annoying (this might be for data integrity but surely this could just be done once).

Nine’s cricket coverage invented the best sponsored poll in sport – Classic Catches. It includes dynamic content and a decent cash prize. Admittedly Nine make some money through premium SMS tariffs but CA have missed an opportunity in opening up voting through their app which could have engaged fans and even brought in some dosh via iTunes micropayments.

Worm

The ‘worm’ that compares the run rate of Australia and England has Australia as the blue worm and England as the yellow worm. Minor I know but very odd.

No wicket videos

Previous Ashes series have been supported with a Vodafone app that provided a video highlight for every single wicket. This is the type of content that users want from a mobile app. Regardless of whether they are out and about or on the couch – video highlights in match context are so much more valuable than just a session reel. Lets hope this is addressed down the track.

It’s great to see Cricket Australia make such a big push to engage its fans via digital. For this they should be commended and, despite the flaws, Outware should be commended in delivering a solid and engaging app. It’s no surprise the AFL, NRL and Foxtel have also partnered with them for their respective apps.

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