Price: Free ($3.99 in-app purchase for live games)
Version Reviewed: 2.0.3
Device Reviewed On: iPad 2, iPod touch 4
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Another March, and another three weeks of March Madness are upon us. And with that, the NCAA March Madness Live app with live video of all the games is here. For a $3.99 in-app purchase, every single game can be watched on any iOS device. As well, there's scores of all the games, customized local channel displays, tweets about the game, and a variety of stats.
The video is very high quality on a fast connection, which is good because the app supports AirPlay for playing on a TV. This is perfect for those who have 'cut the cord' but still want to enjoy games on a bigger screen. The in-app purchase can be tied to a separate login that can be used to watch on the computer as well. The app is pretty much a one stop shop with live scores, live game audio with multitasking, and live alerts. $3.99 goes a long way with this app.
The app is about 10 seconds behind live game action on TV, so do not expect to see everything exactly as it happens in reality. Compared to the experience of WatchESPN on the Xbox 360, where it's up to a full minute behind, this is nothing, but it is annoying given the real-time nature of Twitter, being behind is a curse. Ads do sometimes play before jumping in to the live video, though it does not appear to interrupt live action. Still, advertising beyond those aired in timeouts for a paid service seems anathema to good user experience. Pulling up the multitasking bar does stop the video feed, which is annoying for when trying to set up AirPlay.
While an app like this is less necessary thanks to all the games being aired on four different channels, for those on the go or wanting to track multiple games at once, NCAA March Madness Live is invaluable. It's an impressive display of what can be done with mobile technology and wireless broadband. Madness is everywhere!