Thursday, December 11, 2008

iPhone app review: Fanball.com Fantasy News

So I took my fantasy winnings from last season and bought something I've been wanting for a while now: a shiny, 16-gig Apple iPod Touch. And like all Touch and iPhone owners, I find myself needing to fill the thing up with as many cool apps as possible. Being a fantasy junkie, the first one I downloaded was the Fanball.com Fantasy News app, which allows you to remotely get up-to-the-minute scoops on fantasy baseball, football, basketball and hockey without having to navigate fantasy sites using the built-in Safari web browser, which can be extremely frustrating. (The touch screen normally works great ... until you find yourself trying to click around a busy website with it.)

But with Fantasy News, the interface is clean, simple and easy to use. A majority of the screen features a scrolling list of players who have updates available, each accompanied by the date and time the update was posted. Clicking on the player's name will expand his box to include both the bit of news as well as an "Our View" portion which features a fantasy recommendation from Fanball. Click the box again to close it up and continue scrolling. Everybody is sorted by sport, and along the bottom of the screen are quick links to NFL, MLB, NHL and NBA news. (Easy enough, though the app does always feature NFL news upon opening.)

When I first purchased Fanball.com Fantasy News, I had a fair amount of connection issues, but a recent update seems to have stabilized the app. For the last week or so, as long as I had a local Wi-Fi signal, everything's worked smoothly. Until something more impressive comes along, this is a must-have app for fantasy-baseball aficionados with an iPhone or iPod Touch.

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