BlackBerry Finally Gets a Real Version of MLB At Bat…with a Few Caveats
BlackBerry today released a full version of the MLB At Bat '13 baseball app, but it's only available for the brand new BlackBerry Z10 device, and it doesn't offer all of the same features as its iOS and Android counterparts.
By Al Sacco
Managing Editor, CIO
I’m a huge baseball fan, so I was very pleased when BlackBerry officially announced in January that the MLB At Bat ’13 app would be coming to BlackBerry 10. But I immediately had one big question that neither BlackBerry nor MLB provided information on at the time: Would the new BlackBerry 10 app support live video streaming of out of market games for MLB.tv subscribers, as the Android and iOS versions of the software have for years?
MLB At Bat has been available for BlackBerry for a long time, but it was “crippled” in that it did not support live video-streaming of baseball games. For me, the live-game streaming is the single most valuable feature because it lets me watch Red Sox games on my smartphone when I’m traveling. So even though I’ve used a BlackBerry for years, I’ve always used the Android MLB At Bat app.
Thankfully, the version of MLB At Bat ’13 released today for BlackBerry 10 supports live-game streaming. Finally. And it even has a cool “Classic Games” feature that lets you watch notable games from the past, including classic World Series games and a number of pitchers’ perfect games. The Classic Games features is not available in the Android app. (I don’t use the iOS app, so I’m not sure if it’s available in that version.)
At Bat ’13 for BlackBerry 10 is a native app, and it’s built to take advantage of the BlackBerry “Peek” and “Flow” interface, which is nice to see considering how many large app makers are choosing to port their app from other platforms instead of developing native software. The Z10 can also easily be connected to your HD TV or monitor using its HMDI port, so you can watch baseball games and clips in HD on the larger screen.
However, I do have a few complaints about the BlackBerry 10 At Bat ’13 app. My biggest gripe is that MLB.tv subscribers, who pay a monthly or yearly fee for the ability to stream live games online, have to pay $20 for the BlackBerry 10 app and then request a refund to their MLB.tv accounts, which can take a month to process. Android and iOS users don’t have to pay any fee for the MLB At Bat app; they just download a “lite” version of the app and then login to access all of the At Bat features.
At Bat for BlackBerry 10 also doesn’t seem to support the At the Ballpark features built into the iOS and Android app that let you “check in” to games you attend to receive exclusive deals and information and share your location with friends on social networks. I like using At the Ballpark, because it logs valuable data including how many games you attend each year, the ballparks you visit and your team’s record when you attend games. So I’m disappointed not to see At the Ballpark support in the BlackBerry 10 app.
At Bat ’13 is also only available for BlackBerry 10 at the moment, so BlackBerry users with older devices are out of luck.
Al Sacco was a journalist, blogger and editor who covers the fast-paced mobile beat for CIO.com and IDG Enterprise, with a focus on wearable tech, smartphones and tablet PCs. Al managed CIO.com writers and contributors, covered news, and shared insightful expert analysis of key industry happenings. He also wrote a wide variety of tutorials and how-tos to help readers get the most out of their gadgets, and regularly offered up recommendations on software for a number of mobile platforms. Al resides in Boston and is a passionate reader, traveler, beer lover, film buff and Red Sox fan.