ESPN has launched a new version of its sports info app that’s been optimized for iOS smartphones and iPads and Android handsets, with plans underway to extend that work to Android-powered tablets as well.
The new, customizable ESPN App, not to be confused with the WatchESPN authenticated TV Everywhere app, features up-to-the-minute scores, news and video highlights. Among other new features, it lets users share content on Facebook, Twitter, via email and SMS, and offers a “NOW” view that blends ESPN updates on any sport or team with the latest available photos, videos and social media content. Via its On-Air tab, the app also integrates free access to the live ESPN Radio stream.
The overhaul, versoin 4.2 of the app, also drops SportsCenter branding, which had earlier been tapped to replace the app’s original ScoreCenter branding.
In a post about the changes and the new app, Ryan Spoon, ESPN’s SVP, digital product placement, noted that the sports programmer is in the process of creating a consistent look and feel across the ESPN Website and ESPN app.
“With today’s release, we begin the process of unifying those experiences through a single brand, a common aesthetic and consistent interface,” he noted. “As we redesign ESPN.com and build all of these products globally, we are excited to have ESPN be the consistent brand across a unified suite of products.
And the new approach will probably play better on the international stage. "SportsCenter means a lot here. It doesn't mean as much when you get out of the United States," John Kosner, ESPN's executive vice president of digital, told The Verge.
Spoon added that the new iPad release is actually an extension of the iPhone app, enabling what amounts to a universal app that runs across iOS devices.
“And we of course have several enhancements and new features coming in the subsequent weeks, including a version for Android tablets,” Spoon said, noting that the app will share aspects of the new version of ESPN.com, coming in April.