XOS Digital’s New SEC iPad App Offers More Real Estate, Video Content

The SEC Digital Network has expanded to yet another platform with the release of the 2010-11 SEC iPad application this week. Developed and operated by XOS Digital, the network released a mobile app in October that is now available on several mobile devices, including the iPhone and Android platforms.

The iPad app offers original SEC video programming, video highlights, and selected full-game replays for football and basketball, live stats and scores, schedules and standings, and game-day photo galleries. It is now available through the SEC Digital Network for an introductory price of $6.99 through the end of the year, $9.99 for then on.

Don’t Call It a Mobile App

The iPad app is similar to the SEC mobile offering on the backend, using XOS Digital’s XOS Vault for video content/archive, content-management system for news and schedules, and stats platform for live scores and statistics. The surface of the app, however, has been totally revamped with a brand-new interface and content that is not offered elsewhere, including on the mobile app and the official SEC Website.

“We leveraged the same backend infrastructure but hardly any of the elements from the frontend,” says Dan Aton, chief innovation officer, XOS Digital. “The look and the feel of the app are completely different from the mobile application. We really wanted to take advantage of the screen size and deliver a different experience on the iPad. The video content is much deeper, and the live-stats offering is much more robust.”

Video Inside a Box Score

XOS and the SEC have brought a variety of video content to the new app, including game highlights, full-game replays of selected games, and original programming; a Video Box Score feature is on its way in the coming weeks. As is the case with other iPad apps, the video player is HTML5-based (not Adobe Flash) and uses H.264 HTTP live streaming and adaptive bitrate.

Typically, the highlights packages are available within 30 minutes of a game’s conclusion. These GameDay Central highlights packages are produced and edited in-house at the SEC Digital Network and feature voiceover by veteran sports anchor Al Keck.

Original programming includes Barnhart’s College Football, SEC GameDay Central, and Countdown to Kickoff, as well as other SEC news-focused content.

Full-game replays are available the following morning for most high-profile games. These replays will soon feature a Video Box Score widget that allows users to pull up highlights of specific players, positions, or play types. Video Box Score is currently available on the SEC Digital Website and will also be used for selected basketball games as well.

“You can click on hundreds of individual or team stats, and you can see the video of the plays that made up that stat,” says Aton. “It’s a very interactive video experience for the uber-fan. If you want to watch every first-down situation or every catch by a particular player or every attempt by a QB or every big sack — anything you want to see is just a click away.”

Capitalizing on the iPad Experience

The iPad offers a host of new opportunities for developers to maximize the video experience. Whether it is the increased screen size or the touchscreen interface, XOS Digital took full advantage of the increasingly popular device.

“We really did go after a different experience on this,” says Aton. “We did a lot to take advantage of the increased real estate and the varied experience you can have with the iPad. You can consume video as well as statistical information much better. It’s definitely different developing for the iPad than the Web.

“The touchscreen interface allows you to bring in more scrolling elements and deeper live-stats pages so you can scroll particular little sub-boxes,” he continues. “For things like the drive chart, you can touch on any of the drives that give you a popup box with all of the details about that drive.”

In the SEC, iPad Apps for All

XOS has developed school-specific mobile apps similar to the SEC Digital mobile app for the University of Kentucky and Auburn, and Aton says more SEC school announcements are on the way. Expect the same for SEC school-specific iPad applications.

“We will be making iPad applications for most of the teams that we’ve done mobile apps for, as well as some of our other conference partners,” says Aton. “We really built out the whole platform, so now we have the ability to roll out individualized apps on that platform. It’s never easy, but it’s much easier than building a custom app every time.”

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