I was sorely disappointed earlier this season when my iPhone would blow a goal horn at me every time a player would score for either team ...in every game, every night. Despite the fact that I had set the New York Rangers as my favorite club, the NHL GameCenter 2011-12 app could not give me Rangers-exclusive alerts unless I went in every night and manually set alerts to every other individual game to "off."
It was a problem made all the more maddening by the fact that I was well-aware that NHLIC was well-aware of how to make an app that didn't make me work this hard. So were other puck fans, giving the app a whole two stars (out of 5) worth of iTunes customer reviews.
You see, the NHL GameCenter 2010-11 app was perfect, at least from the perspective of someone who only used the free version and not premium (with radio broadcasts) or live (with video). As October drew near, I gleefully awaited the update that would change the logo to reflect a new season, but it never came. Instead, I was instructed to download a whole new app. Perhaps that is the only way to make sure consumers are paying for premium content on a season-by-season basis.
But when I downloaded 2011-12, it was as if they had fired the guy who developed the 2010-11 incarnation and he took all of the blueprints and access codes with him. Sure, there were new features like team stats, arena maps, and the ability to purchase team merchandise; But I already have access to ESPN.com, I don't live closer than three-and-a-half hours to the nearest NHL barn, and Amazon.com is always cheaper.
I just want my phone to remind me when the Blue Shirts are on and, if I can't get to a TV set, update me on the score. But not every score, because when it comes to Florida vs. Nashville, the tail end of the rats that Panthers fans would throw on the ice in '96 accurately sums up my level of caring. Now, thankfully, that annoyance has gone the way of the two-line pass infraction. And premium subscribers will be happy to know that your radio feed will no longer cut out when the app goes into sleep mode, so you can save your phone's battery life while Dave Mishkin gives you reason to want to end your own.