Wednesday, 23 March 2016

Windows 10 System Apps Review: Sport

Note: This page is a review which forms part of the post Windows 10 System Apps Review

What’s this app for?

For all the latest news from the world of sport, this app gives you access to sports articles from a variety of news sources and allows you customise the app to choose your favourite teams/sports.

Does it do the job it was primarily designed for?

Hmm. Essentially this app is the sports version brother of the News and Money apps as they are all news aggregators. Therefore you get access to a whole mass of sports stories from your region, which for the UK is the likes of the Daily Mail, Mirror, Guardian, as well as more global sites like and The Press Association to name just a few. There’s undoubtedly a lot of content in this app and some customisation but does that make it any good?

The menu options down the left vertical pane provide access to a mixture of default sports for your region and your favourites. Football, Tennis, Golf and Rugby seem to be there no matter what you’ve selected as your interests, with the main default being ‘Today’ which gives you a stream of all the latest sports news, although not just from your favourites. Pretty much every selection gives you the same look by providing a breakdown of articles from that chosen sport. The only option that is mildly different is ‘Today’ which gives you three options of ‘News’, ‘Match Centre’ and ‘Slideshows’. As you’d expect, the former is all the most recent sports news. ‘Match Centre’ gives you a list of fixtures, but strangely they are not related to your favourite sports. Despite having Formula One and MotoGP in my favourites, I’d expect to see the latest races in this list too, but alas no. The last option under ‘Today’ is the tablet friendly ‘slideshow’, which gives a list of all articles that are more for browsing photos than textual content.

Away from all the various sport sections of articles, the only other significant feature in this app is the ability to customise it to show your favourite sports and teams. Well, the ability is there although it doesn’t always feel like you are really in control in this app. Sure you can click on this section and then get quick access to your favourites but the oddity is that these customisations don't really impact the content of the app that much. This makes it almost feel like it’s not worth putting any customisation in as you still get sports you’re not interested in within the ‘Today’ section and the main menu doesn’t reflect your customisations. What’s the point here?

This app feels like the developers have made an attempt and then got bored when it came to tidying everything up. Some articles open up in the app's news template (which is a bit like reading mode in Microsoft Edge) which is nice and neat, but then plenty of articles open up in their respected website which is then embedded into the app. It’s a right mess to look at anything being force embedded into something else. This is supposed to be an app, not a glorified web browser. On top of all that there’s the usual adverts in places, just like in the money and news apps, but unlike those two, there’s only one option under ‘Settings’ which is to change the edition of the app to a region of your choice.

What’s the alternative?

Sports wise there are plenty of apps in the Store you can use, as well as news apps that will be much more appealing and tidier for sport than Microsoft’s offering here. Alternatively, even the news on a sport website is better than this misfiring app.

Hit, Miss, or Maybe?

Miss; if it provided proper customisation and had better formatting for reading all articles, this app might have something on the way to being half-decent. Instead it’s just a mess with weak customisation and lacking any reason to exist as an app when sports news websites provide better service than this does.

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