Tuesday, July 03, 2007

Cricket scores on a mobile

Ok, I love Cricket, I have a mobile and I prefer free over paid. I have an unlimited data plan with T-Mobile and I don't particularly like the unstructured nature of SMS-based updates.

Yahoo Cricket India
I've tried to use all of the above attributes of my environment to try and find a mobile cricket service that really works for me. For a while I hung out at Yahoo Cricket India (YCI). This site has good content: news, columns, schedules, scores and rankings. You can read Sunil Gavaskar's column or listen to a podcast. Unfortunately, YCI is ad-supported and terribly organized. The ads are a only mildly annoying since they don't take too long to load and if you have a decent browser like Opera Mini, you'll get the content even before the ad fully loads.


But the organization of the site is such that a set of links come first before the content. So each time a page loads, you have scroll through sets of links to get to the content you want to see. Its enough to drive you crazy after a page or two of viewing.

Plusmo
Plusmo's cricket widgets seem promising. There are two. Cricket Live shows you the CricInfo scorecards of all the latest games and is a handy scorecard browser. Another called just CricInfo which shows you a list of pictures you can click to view - labeled rather uselessly as "Photo 1", "Photo 2" and so on. Again, Plusmo is a WAP client that mimics the look of an On-Device Portal - so it still requires a few clicks and doesn't update itself automatically.

IndiaTimes' CricketStation
So an IP-based application seemed the best choice for me. I tried several - some not supported that I couldn't get to work (I tried even after a warning from the application vendor that my phone wasn't supported). At least once (with Indiatimes' CricketStation), I couldn't get the download page to load at all.

Willow.tv and Plusmo's CricketCast
I finally settled on Willow.tv and Plusmo's collaboration - CricketCast, which is free, Java-based and works really well.

After you first start CricketCast, it shows you a list of games - either ongoing or recently completed (in which case the result is also shown). Clicking on the link takes you to a ball-by-ball commentary. The commentary is pretty basic - bowler, batsman and score.

If these guys can deliver Cricinfo-style commentary, their service will rock although there are some issues. I can easily see enough traffic over the data network that it will attract the attention of your operator who will promptly make plans to block the service URLs.

You can also choose to just view the scorecard of a game. In this case you get the standard innings-based cricket scorecard. CricketCast is great for score updates when you are on a mobile. And the ball-by-ball is pretty good if your favorite batsman is about to score a century of a close game is nearing its finish.

11 comments:

Anonymous said...

Aspi -

Plusmo cricket widget is a live streaming widget without any clicks - This widget is created in partnership by Willow TV. The widgtet is used by Yahoo India. In fact the flashing six is the sceen shot of plusmo widget :) You can more information at http://cricket.plusmo.com

Aspi said...

Anon, quite right. I've updated my post to indicate that the widget is built by Plusmo. The main Plusmo app - offered from their web site - still operates the way I've described it so I believe those comments hold.

I couldn't find the same widget for download on Yahoo India when I used it.

Anonymous said...

Aspi -

Plusmo is an on device widget portal that works on WAP as well. If you point your phone to http://plusmo.com you can download the client and expreience it

cricinfo photos are labeled because that is the label they give.

Plusmo is not a WAP client, it supports WAP. pl. get your facts right

http://plusmo.com/tour/tour1.shtml

Aspi said...

Anon, I've tried using the Plusmo ODP. If your intent is to direct me to something less usable than the Plusmo WAP page, I'll be happy to review my experiences here. But I tried to focus on cricket.

> cricinfo photos are labeled because that is the label they give.

Ok, its their fault not yours. I still don't understand why that is relevant to the end user experience.

Anonymous said...

Aspi -

I thought you were talking about main Plusmo's main app, which is an always on push-based on-evice portal/widget engine. You can also get their cricket widget seperately

I use plusmo everyday on my BB perl/Window mobile phone. I love it! Their widgets come personalized with location preferences.

Regarding your comments on CI commentary for their cricket widget ; try their Yahoo IM widget plusmo.com/getcy. Quite cool!

I read your blog on my mobile. You might want consider adding +plusmo button to your blog from http://plusmo.com/badge/badge_welcome.shtml


Cheers and keep up the good work!

BEst,

Aspi said...

I've never gotten the plusmo ODP and widgets to work consistently on my Q - which is a Windows Mobile device.

My experience with Plusmo CricketCast has been a good one generally - on the Q and my previous RAZR.

And the plusmo/wap page has been very useful too but it just takes me too many clicks to get anyplace.

Thanks for the yahoo link. Will check it out.

Aspi said...

Hmm..I tried downloading CricketCast from plusmo.com/getcy and installed in on my storage card. And I got the following error after the startup screen:

Sorry, your application ID is invalid. Please download CricketCast again.

When I chose to download again, Opera seemed to hang at "Sending request...".

I can't get my older version to work again either (assuming it was an older version). Eeek! I wish I knew more about how mobile apps worked so I could hack a fix.

Anonymous said...

Aspi-

I sense that you just don't read documentation on web pages. plusmo.com.getcy is for Yahoo IM plug-in for your desktop IM client; says it requireds Yaho Messenger version 8.0 or later for windows

http://us.gallery.yahoo.com/apps/1454/locale/en

Aspi said...

I'm pretty sure I'm guilty of not reading the documentation properly.

But here is what happened. The link took me to the plug-in. Below it there is something that says Mobile Version. Which to me would be the safe thing to click on because it tells me there is a mobile version of the plug-in for Yahoo IM. (Given that I don't have a mobile client for Yahoo IM, I decided to worry about that right after my download). So I ended up installing the Willow.tv/Plusmo.

Anonymous said...

Hi everyone,

Although this post is a bit old now , but i think one application is worth mentioning here and request the author to review this one. It is available from wap.crick.cc

Website www.cricketcompanion.com

The app is a bit different from the usual ones.

Regards,
Mehdi Raza

Aspi said...

Mehdi, I've used CC before (although I currently get an error in the JAR when downloading it). I like it quite a bit. Let me see if I can find some time to add it in here - it would be unfair not to do so.