With the UEFA Champions League tournament over, the attention of soccer fans now turns to the upcoming 2012 UEFA European Football Championship tournament, more commonly known as “Euro 2012,” being held in Poland and Ukraine, starting June 8.
UEFA, the administrative body for European soccer, has created a Euro 2012 app that should make it easier for fans who have to go to work during this period, instead of joining revelers in bars and cafes across the city. This upgrade allows users to follow the ‘beautiful game’ while offering up-to-the-minute updates on all the action from your smartphone.
This free app, available for iPhone and Android, is not to be confused with the Carlsberg-sponsored Euro 2012 app, but allows users to follow their favourite team(s). Once you’ve selected a team, or teams, almost everything on the app is geared towards ensuring you get the most up-to-date information on your favourites.
For example, I selected Croatia as my favourite team. I get the full team roster, their schedule of games and then can tailor the settings menu for what kind of information I’d like to receive through a push notification.
Users can choose to receive notifications on goals scored, penalties and substitutions, alerts on kick-off, half-time, and extra-time as the game progresses. In-game highlights are also available, but full highlights are only available after the game. In addition to this, the app offers a live ticker for all games being played and a library of news and videos on all teams as they play.
However, this app allows users to access other information from Champions League and the Europa League, but splits all content up into free and paid content. Videos and highlights are generally in the paid content section, unless it is an interview or press conference, items only hardcore fans may be interested in.
Once the matches start, the full video highlights will also find their way into the paid content section. In order to access the paid content section, users need to purchase a mobile season pass from UEFA for $10.99. I do not see casual fans paying this fee nor do I see why anyone would want to pay this when they can watch highlights online or on television after the game has concluded, for free.
The amount of notifications one can get from this app is concerning. On the one hand it is great to receive consistent team notifications any time your favourite team does something. On the other hand, if your smartphone’s battery life isn’t the greatest to begin with, this app will not help you conserve energy.
The UEFA Euro 2012 app is a good addition to the overall soccer experience. If you are nowhere near a television, but need updates, this app will do the job. To get a better experience, it may be best to continue watching games and highlights, whether that is at home or at a bar or cafe in the city.
Rob Kirsic writes the App of the Week column for Toronto Standard. Follow him @robertkirsic.