I promised myself no more iPhone posts for a while for fear I might start sounding like an Apple fanboy, but I feel compelled to respond to a baseless attack on one of my favorite apps, MLB.com At Bat. I will also preface this with the fact that I work for MLB.com, although I have nothing to do with the department that developed or maintains the At Bat app, and to be honest, I don’t even know exactly who they are.
The problem is that I when I buy a new gadget I like to read up as much as possible on it and follow developing news. Basically my RSS reader is filled with a ton of geek blogs.
After I bought my new iPhone 3G I did a scant bit of research and came across TIPB. The scant bit of research was my first mistake. This blog is to quality like Bush is to diplomacy. They spend their time asking questions they should be answering, scooping stories after about three other non-iPhone specific gadget blogs and littering their site with ads for iPhone accessories. My first clue should have been when a blog has more ads than content on it’s front page, it’s probably not a very reliable source of facts.
Since buying my iPhone and many, many apps, I can say that without a doubt At Bat has consistently been one of my top three (usually top) used apps. As a baseball fan this app is absolutely indispensable to me and now that I have it couldn’t imagine going through a baseball season without it.
TIPB seems to take umbrage with the fact that MLB has dropped the price of at bat from $4.99 to $2.99 for the remainder of the playoffs. Their headline warns, “buyer beware”.
Why is it a bad deal? Because you have to buy MLB At Bat again next year! The current version of MLB At Bat will expire after the end of the season which is in approximately the end of this month.
MLB.com’s At Bat app is one of the few apps I’ve come across that actually uses the iPhone to it’s full potential. At Bat not only gives you access to Gameday right on your phone but delivers full box scores, play by play summaries, video highlights of each game in practically real time and more right to your phone. If you’re a baseball fan there is not even a question of whether or not this app is worth it.
Yes, you will have to buy At Bat at the beginning of each season but if you really expect video on demand highlights of 162 games to be delivered to your phone indefinitely for less than the price of a Starbucks cup of coffee then you’re not much of a business person and probably shouldn’t be putting your blog in the uncomfortable position of having to defend your baseless rantings. Or maybe that’s presumptuous on my part. Maybe they don’t care at all about the quality of articles they turn out as long as people are dumb enough to buy one of the fifty iPhone accessories ads littering their site.
Unlike many app developers out there that are pushing anything they can into the app store to try and capitalize on the demand for them, MLB has actually come up with a sophisticated, well thought out application that uses the iPhone 3G to its full potential.