MLB’s ‘At Bat 11’ Provides Baseball for the Mobile Fan

(By Gregger)

Just in time for baseball’s Opening Day, Major League Baseball has released an updated version of its At Bat 11 app which is available at its MLB.Com site. The program will come in several versions, each tailored to different platforms and offering similar, but not entirely the same features. Platforms supported include Apple’s iPads, the iPod touch and iPhone, as well as Blackberry and Android devices.

The $14.95 app is not a gaming program but is designed to bring a wide range of facets from current games and the season to fans who need to access the games using a their mobile devices. For all platforms it allows favorite team designation, the selection of in-progress game video highlights and the option of home or away broadcast teams.

A free trial period for live streaming of all out of market games via MLB.TV is available, sponsored by Volvo, for the opening month of the season but only for users of Apple devices running its iOS. You can watch streaming video of out of area games on Android devices running at least OS version 2.2 (with Flash support and at least an ARMv7 processor) but you do not get the free one-month trial.

It should be noted that if you are planning to subscribe to MLB.TV, it is for out of area games only and you should check to ensure that you are out of area, because some teams claim an interesting cross-segment of the country as their own, and in some cases more than one team claims an area so you might not be able to see the games that you wish. For instance one segment of Nevada is claimed by Arizona, San Francisco, San Diego and Oakland.

The level of sophistication on what is supported varies by device with Apple coming out on top and the Blackberry coming in last. For Blackberry users running at least OS 5.0 the app offers condensed games, notifications on game time starts and news features on all teams.

For the Android platform a minimum of OS version 2.1 is required and its additional features include a widget for an in-progress scoreboard, a pitch by pitch tracker, a customized home screen, expanded highlights and a video library archive that is searchable by player, team or keyword and the ability to access MLB.TV.

The iPhone and iPod touch are much the same as the Android platform but also include live look-ins at key plays for any game in progress, in area or out, and the ability to watch any archived game from 2011 on demand. The iPad also has an enhanced Gameday feature.

While baseball’s first attempts to control online media were a bit halting such as its consolidation of all teams web sites under a uniform banner in a dull and sometimes confusing site, it seems that it really now understands that fans are seeking multiple options to follow their teams and it has made a great effort to support them with its At Bat 11 and other programs.