EURO 2012, or as I always used to know it the European Championship, kicked off this morning in Poland (Poland and Ukraine are the joint hosts). If you’re a fan of football – of The Beautiful Game variety – you may be glad to know that there is an Official UEFA EURO 2012 app available on the App Store.
The EURO 2012 app is an iPhone app but I’ve been running it on both my iPhone and my iPad. For me, despite not being a proper iPad version the app looks better on the bigger screen. I’m a huge football fan and love the major international tournaments – and of course the European Championship is one of the very best. So I had high hopes for this official EURO 2012 app as a companion app while I do my best to follow the tournament closely. Hit the break for my thoughts on the app and whether it is all I was hoping for …
Here’s part of the app’s description in the App Store:
The official UEFA EURO 2012 app keeps you close to all the action during the 14th UEFA European Football Championship (from 8 June to 1 July 2012 in Poland and Ukraine).
Wherever you are, stay tuned to the tournament, follow your favourite team and share the excitement with your friends on Facebook and Twitter .
– Read and share the latest articles on the UEFA EURO 2012 tournament
– Set up personalised alerts for the latest news about your favourite team, including match events
– A full UEFA EURO 2012 experience: calendar, standings, lineups, players profiles, detailed statistics and photo gallery
– Watch players and coaches give free video interviews
– Watch match highlights (available for purchase after midnight)
I’ve bolded that last line because it’s one of the disappointing things about the app right off the bat. There are no highlight videos in the app at all until after midnight – as the protocol for each day I assume. There aren’t even any highlight videos from past tournaments to enjoy – those would be a great lead-in to enjoying this year’s tournament and it just seems stupid not to include any.
The Videos area of the app offers sections for the Champions League and Europa League – but these videos require some sort of UEFA pass to watch. The only videos included in the Free Content section are news and interviews clips. Lame, and a great way to have the more casual fan tuning out of this app pretty quickly.
The app isn’t a complete disappointment – it does offer some sections that provide good information on the tournament and the teams and players competing in it. The main sections are all shown in a contents list popover that can be toggled visible or hidden with a single tap – and they include News, Matches, Teams, and the Video Center.
You can indicate which are your favorite teams to get alerts when they are playing. There is a good range of notifications options that will let you choose whether you want alerts on goals, match events, match timings and more.
The app does a good job of giving you easy access to basic information on teams, matches and players. You can see the full match schedule including details on where they’re being played and a nice countdown timer using your time zone to let you know how long it is until kickoff for each match.
The Teams section shows you the next match for each team, the current standings for their group, and their squad list with brief detail pages for each player. I’ve found that the player photos fail to show up on some of the player pages – including some notable England players.
Even the Photos gallery in the app lacks anything close to real-time updating. As I write this review the opening match, Poland v Greece, is in the 57th minute and tied at 1-1 – yet there isn’t a single match photo yet in the gallery. The ‘latest’ photos show Poland players getting off their team bus before the match. This is breaking news at the speed of the tournament back in the 1980s.
Overall, this app is a major disappointment. I’ll keep it as a basic resource but honestly this is not an app that’s going to win over any new fans to football and this great tournament. It’s just not even in the same league as the excellent apps that are produced for The Masters, Wimbledon, the NBA and the MLB. If there were a major tournament pitting these sort of apps against each other I’m afraid UEFA’s EURO 2012 app wouldn’t make it through the qualifiers.
Here’s an App Store link for UEFA EURO 2012 app; it’s a free app with In-App video purchase options as mentioned above.