At Bat strikes out

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Update 03-01-2012 17:55pm MST: I’ve called MLB Mobile support, they are “escalating it” and will let me know as soon as possible. If it was any other app, I’d given up on it. But you know I’m dedicated to baseball when I call tech support.

I really didn’t want to post this today. But since this is breaking news, I’m going to post this, and then edit it as more information comes out.

MLB finally got smart after listening to the numerous complaints last year. See, if you had MLB.tv, you had to pay the app store (and therefore MLB’s pocket) to download the At Bat app. And if you had it on your iPhone, you had to pay again for the iPad version. But that was before the in-app purchase feature made possible by Apple. So this year, there is one version for both free and paid fans, and you can choose to “upgrade” to get the paid features using in-app purchases. So, let me walk you through the app*. Yeah, note the asterisk, since baseball loves to reference these asterisks in history. I’ll explain later. Mind you, I don’t have an android phone, and I don’t know if it is on Blackberry or Windows Phone, so I have to be biased here.

The first thing you will notice is that on the App Store, there is only one “MLB At Bat”. The wording is kind of confusing in that they try to distinguish between At Bat Lite vs. At Bat 12, but mind you there is only one download. Download that, and then open the app. After the nice splash screen, you get this screen:

The initial screen

Okay, I get this screen. You can pay the full $15 for the full year, or you can pay $3 for a month as a trial, or just on a month basis. Last year the app costs $15 for the full year. (If you’re familiar with the old Gameday Audio feature, these are the same prices for their streaming features.) So, now that I want to hit the $14.99 button, this is the screen I get:

My startup screen (page 2)

Indeed. That looks a lot like my springboard page. That’s probably because At Bat took a dump, and Apple was just cleaning it up by sending me home. I couldn’t get it! I tried again, and again, only to get the same result. I thought it was just me, since I had all the At Bat apps on my iTunes on my PC, so I deleted all of them and installed it straight from my phone. And, it still crashed. That’s real great. Looks like someone was playing with a null pointer without referencing it. It really sucks that someone forgot to test this feature properly before releasing it. I hope they get an upgrade as soon as possible.*

* (and there’s that asterisk I used earlier.) I noticed that the subscriber login screen works, though since I don’t have MLB.tv, it says I have no credits. And when one clicks on “Go to Lite”, the app works as it walks you through the favorite teams, and takes you to the home page. It looks like last year’s version, though the Stats Leaders page requires a subscription (and subsequently crashes again.) Until they fix this feature, I’ve given it 2 thumbs down. But as this is fixed, I will say yes you want this version. Like I told Tim (@Capitulate), Yes with asterisk (that you want this version).

Thanks to @gorox1983 for coordinating the release, and @Tulorado and @Capitulate for the tweets.

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