BBC to show World Cup on smartphones

It’s an interesting day if you’re a football fan who owns a smartphone. The BBC has announced it will make all England’s World Cup games available live if you have the right phone.

Fans will also be able to watch clips of other matches whenever they like. If you don’t know whether you have a smartphone or not, here’s the definition of one from a Telegraph report:

“The smartphone is a mobile phone with 3G Internet connection, typically with a 3in or larger touchscreen display capable of browsing the web and viewing video”. So forget about it if your phone doesn’t match this spec.

Apple users will get the chance to try the new “app” out on their iPhones and iPods before it is offered to anyone using Android and BlackBerry operating systems. Speaking as a confirmed Blackberry user I think this is a pain. Apple users always tend to get the first go at these new innovations, while the rest of us have to wait. Worse still, this BlackBerry site isn’t even sure the app will be up and running for us come June.

That said, the current BBC apps I know of (Sport, Mobile and News) work very well on my Bold 9700. I expect the same standards will apply on the new app. Anything which improves the flow of mobile information to fans is, in my opinion, a step in the right direction. And at least using a phone is a truly mobile experience, unlike using a laptop.

This is where I’m in danger of being hypocritical. Last autumn I took offence at the England - Ukraine internet game horror. Football watching is meant to be a communal experience. Fans huddled around laptops in groups of one just doesn’t seem right to me. But it’s OK for them to do the same thing on their fancy smartphone, is it, Mr Fancy Smartphone owner?

Yes, because people will use the new app on the bus or train, or even as they run to the pub having missed the first ten minutes. It’s meant to help, not cut them off from the rest of the fanbase. That’s the difference between watching footy on your smartphone and balancing a laptop on your knee.

Of course you could try this collection of odd stuff if you want something a little more off the wall than your average gizmo. I thought a World Cup 3G dongle was something John Terry uses to attract the ladies. Apparently not.

No comments:

Post a Comment