The ESPN application will come pre-installed with every Nokia Lumia smartphone sold here in the U.S. Nokia has also made a big deal out of it by advertising it heavily and generating a hype about this “exclusive” partnership between ESPN and Nokia. But how good is the app really? Here’s a video review followed by some comments.
The app is generally good. It’s interface is clean, the app is really fast, and there’s plenty of sports to follow. The option to pin a specific sport to the home screen is also nice, and the live scores are a dream for hardcore fans. However, for the amount of noise and expectation that Nokia generated for this app, I am afraid to say it’s not quite there. The app feels like a link launcher at this stage. Literally every piece of content that is served through the application takes you to the web browser. Why is this bad? Because it creates confusion and it’s not a practical approach. Once taken out of the application, the user will continue browsing ESPN’s mobile site rather than using the exclusive ESPN app. The user will ultimately end up using ESPN’s web site and not Nokia’s application, kind of a bummer. My big question is, why didn’t Nokia provide a solid experience? I think everything should be executed inside the app! A simple news story should be served in the app, while providing user-friendly options such as sharing through email, Facebook and Twitter, saving a picture to their phone, and even providing custom font-size for those who need it. I am not saying that the content that is served on the web browser is irrelevant, it is perfectly fine, but it should be provided inside the app to create a better user experience. I really hope that Nokia fixes this before the 900 launches, otherwise they could be creating an expectation for an experience they won’t be able to deliver.