The Times – Goals App was reviewed as a Football News, Info & TV App
Price – 5/10
For the The Times – Goals App you will need to be a Times subscriber to use this free app – packages start from around £8-per-month but there are plenty of promotions floating around at the moment to make it cheaper.
Sound – 8/10
No complaints here. The superb Jim Proudfoot leads the way on commentary duties for highlights packages and he’s supported by an able cast of deputies. Sound quality is crystal clear.
Graphics – 8/10
Once again there are no issues here – all packages, previews and extras such as ‘Ahead of the Game’ and ‘Moment of the Week’ look slick and professional. Video quality is superb – although you may want to avoid streaming over 3G/4G.
The notifications can be a little bit too much and can grate, while there are a few gremlins in the works when it comes to playback.
Gameplay/Usability – 8/10
So the concept here is simple – it’s not 1966 any more and no one has time to hang around for Match of the Day on Saturday evening. The solution? Instant Premier League highlights delivered straight to your phone or computer within minutes of them happening.
This can be a god send. As soon as your team scores a goal you know it won’t be long before a notification pops up with a video waiting for you. Halftime packages and notable incidents are posted quickly for your viewing pleasure. The Times says you can watch the goals quicker than anyone else unless you’re in the stadium and they’re not wrong.
This means that if Twitter lights up because a brilliant goal has been scored you don’t have to seek out a dodgy low-fi version of it to surface on YouTube – give it a couple of minutes and a perfectly legal, HQ version will come along soon enough.
It also means that rather than sitting around for your team to appear last on Match of the Day you can become your own TV director – not long after full-time lengthy highlight videos are available meaning you choose what you want to watch, when you want to watch it – subject to a few restrictions from UEFA.
This really is quite a leap forward. Although ESPN did this last season, the Times (and the Sun) have taken it to the next level by producing top-class apps that deliver top-class videos. That extends to the previews and reviews which get the superb Times football team involved to offer their thoughts.
SM integration – 5/10
Somewhat understandably, there isn’t a function to share videos via social media platforms. After all, Mr. Murdoch is highly unlikely to fork out millions for mobile highlights just to give them away for free, right?
Longevity – 7/10
This is a brilliant football app that every fan should have – but there are a fee issues.
For example, from next season clubs will be putting their own highlights of matches on YouTube for you to watch and as ESPN showed last year, video rights can go as quickly as they come.
So if you are a Times subscriber anyway this is a nice little perk. It may not be worth signing up just for the sake of this app though.
The Times have done a superb job with this app and it is a vital tool for any discerning football fan – but there are a few doubts about its long term viability and actual price.