Sports radio done right

Though only in its infancy, ESPN's sports radio app gets it right with play-by-play calls, podcasts galore, and a clever workaround for playing the app in the background.

Though only in its infancy, ESPN's sports radio app gets it right. It loads quickly, with ESPN's telltale ticker along the bottom that spits out headlines and scores for one sport after another. You can read stories in full-screen mode while you listen to one of 15 stations. There's the SportsCenter, too, serving up the latest news every 20 minutes, the PodCenter for accessing ESPN podcasts, and a nifty button for sending a text to the station you're streaming. Apple won't let apps run in the background, but ESPN Radio gets around that with a Background button that transfers the audio stream to the Safari browser.

Conspicuously missing are on-demand scores, schedules, and news; you'll need a separate app to get those at the moment, though hopefully ESPN Radio will join forces with ESPN News to get this taken care of. Regardless, for those listening to games on the go, ESPN's love of the game in iPhone form is worth the installation.

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