Posted by Matt Egan 09 August 2013
FTBPro - The Football News App review: read the best fan-generated content about your favourite team
We review FTBPro - a good way to get your fix of football news. (See also: 5 of the best apps for instant messaging.)
The summer is here, the cricket is in full swing. That can mean only one thing: yup, football is back. Now, I don't know about you but even as a life-long footie fan I don't really have a need for more football news in my life. It's not as if you have to search to find it. And I could live with fewer apps that are in essence shells for RSS feeds from websites - just use the website, right? Fortunately FTBPro adds something different on both scores.
In terms of content, the significant difference here is that FTBPro is written by fans for fans. It sounds like a nightmare - anyone who watched Sky's ill-fated 'FanZone' or ever listens to 5Live or TalkSport will know that the opinions of other fans are like cold calls: unwanted and irritating. But fair's fair, a lot of the content on FTBPro is interesting, in particular when it is a fan of your team who is opining.
It's probably best to think of FTBPro as the offspring of the rich tradition of fanzines such as The Onion Bag and When Saturday Comes. Not exclusively, mind you, there is a smattering of flame. And reading about my team Leeds United (I really am sorry) it struck me that some of the pieces are simply fans getting their hurt off their chest. Same as it ever was. See also: Best Ashes apps for iPhone, iPad and Android.
FTBPro: compelling content
But the content is strangely compelling, and I found myself reading piece after piece. And this is not the haunt of the angry miss-spelt blog rant. The app showcases the content of regular contributors who are able to gain 'pro' writer status by consistently submitting high quality content to the platform. So you are reading the best fan-generated content. A minor boast, I appreciate!
The other difference between FTBPro and other sports news apps is that once you set your team your personalised feed is full of a variety of types of content. There's real-time news from professional sources, articles, twitter updates and video to enjoy, as well as live match updates and polls. And you can get the hard data you want with up-to-date scores, league standings, fixtures and stats.
The app itself is simple in design with decent fonts. It's easy to share your favourite content and, of course, if you sign up you can always write your own articles. Trust me, the novelty wears off.
For the completist footie fan who wants something different to the average sports news feed FTBPro is well worth a look. And it's free. You can get the app for iPhone or Android. See also: Best sports apps.