IPL 7 has already begun and even though I am not sure if it is going to be as big a spectacle as the previous ones, hardcore cricket fans all over the country are wired in to the action. These fans are looking to share their love of the sport with other like minded individuals across the country. Champion Wave Limited, a startup based out of Bangalore is aiming to connect cricket lovers in the country by giving them a social platform to participate and engage actively during game seasons.
Their app called The Big Toss: Cricket, which is available on iOS and Android, is designed to be a one stop hub for all things cricket. The Big Toss is an amalgamation of cricket news and social media engagement. Cricket fans can use this app to be informed, engage in fun activities and discuss matches with fellow fans.
Here’s a rundown of the app’s features:
When you fire up the app, you will be asked to login. You can do this via email or social sign-ons such as Facebook, Google and Twitter. Once you are done, the app pulls up your data from the social network you have signed up with and populates your profile.
There are 4 different tabs/sections in the app namely – Play, Discuss, Read, Me.
1. Play: Play is the main section in the app when it comes to cricket matches. This section lists all the upcoming cricket matches. Since it is IPL season, you will see those matches listed. You can choose to follow these matches by tapping a button. Clicking on a match takes you to a screen which has the scoreboard and many user activity options. These are prediction based activities which allow you to bet on every aspect on the match. Instead of betting with real money, you use the app’s in-game currency called Karma.
Karma are the points you get by undertaking activities within the app. You can buy Karma separately with real money or just choose to grow your karma count in an organic fashion. For your Karma to grow, you have to be glued to the app and this is exactly what the app wants you to do.
Each match listed on the Play section has a list of prediction based questions which you can play and you will be awarded points if your prediction turns out to be right. Doing things right gets you badges just like the Foursquare. This gamified approach towards cricket is new in the country and it might just catch on.
2. Discuss: This section is basically a newsfeed for all the activity on the app. It is divided into Friends and Everyone. The friend feed will only get you updates from your friends whereas the Everyone feed will provide you with news about everything that is happening on the app. You can add your own update to the feed and let people engage with you. Posts on this section can be cheered, boo’ed, commented upon and shared to other social networks.
3. Read: This section has all the news articles related to cricket. It can definitely become the go to spot for your cricket news fix. News articles in this section are aggregated from CricInfo, Rediff, Cricbuzz and others. The app also has its own reader for these articles so that you don’t have to leave it to read these news bits. Basically, it is webview container which loads the web page within the app. This is a good move and can lead to a lot of engagement.
4. Me: This section has all your profile details. It shows you your friend count, your place in the leaderboard, the stats from your prediction activities and the different badges/trophies that you have unlocked.
Perfect app for cricket geeks?
The app does provide very good value to a cricket fan and definitely has a serious chance of blooming into a social cricket community, if it scales well.
That being said, it is not without its problems. The design sense is dated, UI is barely okay and it crashes frequently when it runs on the Moto G. Champion Wave needs to make the app faster and smoother than it is now. They have to make sure that it runs on as less data as possible, since such performance lags will hamper it in its effort to grow.