Sports Geekery

Following Sports with Mobile Apps, Computers, & Gadgets

NFL Mobile App: 2011 Review

Once again in 2011 the NFL Mobile app is available to Verizon Wireless subscribers. Verizon added the iPhone to the list of compatible devices since last year along with some new Android offerings. We detailed our experiences with the 2010 version of NFL Mobile app, and we’ve decided to do it again in 2011 detailing updates and new features.

Last year, there was a lot of confusion and it seemed almost random which subscribers got video access for free and who was required to pay a monthly fee for access to video content. Verizon seems to have a bit more clarity this year when it comes to fees associated with the app. According to the company, subscribers on 4G LTE devices will get all video content for free, but those on 3G will have to pay $10 / month for the video after the free period ends on September 30th.

Note: Review and all images below are from the Motorola Droid.

The layout of the app gets a complete refresh for 2011 with a strong focus on video content. On the Home screen you can scroll right to left through the featured videos or jump right into the current live video offerings. Select the Menu button on your device to pull up the other sections of the app.

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Live Streaming Video Features

We mention that Verizon has clearly pushed the video content front and center in this app, and for good reason. It’s truly the killer feature. Back again are live video of NFL RedZone, NFL Network (24×7), and Sunday & Thursday Night games. The big new addition this season is live streaming of Monday Night Football.

  • NFL RedZone
  • NFL Network
  • Live Sunday Night Games
  • Live Monday Night Games
  • Live Thursday Night Games

We had trouble with video and audio sync issues with NFL RedZone & NFL Network throughout last season. At some point in the off-season the video issues with NFL Network seemed to clear up, but the RedZone issues returned in Week 1. It’s a little different than last season, though. We found the video would lag behind the audio and and at times the video would seem to speed up in an effort to catch up to the video.

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Another great feature of NFL Mobile is the ability to listen to live radio play-by-play of every NFL game. This is a completely free feature that you’ll get even if you don’t have video access.

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Some of the other features include news, stats, alerts, and even a way to follow your fantasy players.

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Overview

I’m not a big fan of the new layout, but the content, specifically the video content, is the big selling point of this app. In addition to the obvious awesomeness of the live RedZone, Sunday, Monday, and Thursday Night Football, and the NFL Network 24×7, you’ll get loads of highlights and other videos. Just looking at some of the games from last week, a lot of them have as many as 10 or more highlight clips.

As we mentioned in the opening, everything is free this season for those subscribers on unlimited data plans with 4G LTE devices, but those on 3G will have to pay $10 / month for the video after the free period ends on September 30th. It would seem that Verizon is using the app as a way not only to bring new subscribers to Verizon, but to coax subscribers on 3G devices to upgrade to 4G LTE. Personally, I hate upgrading when my current device is working fine, so I’ll have to decide whether or not I want to pay the $10 / month come October 1st. It doesn’t seem like a terribly unfair price considering the amount of provided content, but It can leave a bit of a bad taste in your mouth when developer release a “free” app except that all the awesome features requires a premium upgrade or additional fees. Let us know your thoughts and opinions in the comments.

We’ll update this post with any additional experiences or pertinent information throughout the season.

Download

Text NFL to 8915 or Download NFL Mobile from the Android Market.

Download NFL Mobile – Verizon Wireless IT from the App Store

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  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_VEPAMDIZJSMGNAUGYQMNXLX36A Dave

    Out of curiosity, where do you see the “free video preview” through September 30? I have an iPhone 4 (obviously 3G network) which is giving me video access. I have an unlimited data plan, but no VCAST video plan. Just want to confirm that I won’t be randomly charged without signing up for a plan / agreeing to upgrade my plan. I never saw a 9/30 reference in the marketing material (http://sponsorship.verizonwireless.com/nfl/nfl_mobile.html).

    • Anonymous

      I got a message about the “free video preview” thru Sept 30 after my initial login following the last update right before the season. I thought I took a screen grab of it, but apparently I didn’t.

      My understanding is that you actually have to specifically sign up for vcast rather than just incurring an added charge when you access video. If it works as was reported last year, you’ll get a message when you try to access video that you need to sign up for vcast.

      Having said all that, I don’t trust the billing practices of any of the mobile carriers and if you’re concerned about charges I’d recommend calling Verizon.