April 7, 2014 Last Updated 7:49 am

Sure sign of spring: Augusta National updates their apps for The Masters Golf Tournament

Each year in the spring a few apps get released or updated that tend to show the progress being made in mobile app development. MLB at Bat’s iOS and Android app is a good example, as is the app for The Masters.

Maasters-iPad-frameThe Official Masters Tournament, released under the developer account name of the course which hosts the tournament, Augusta National, Inc., is another good example. Clearly Augusta National is not in the app development business, yet because it keeps such tight control over all aspects of the annual tournament, it made sure that its iPad app appears under its own name, rather than its development partner.

(The iPhone and Android version is simply called The Masters Golf Tournament – iPhone / Android).

The original app for the iPad was released in 2011 and cost $1.99. The next year a free app appeared. An iPhone and Android version are also available.

Last year’s update was probably the most significant as it added in a simulcast of the ESPN coverage of the tournament that begins on a Thursday. Like other live video apps, the app requires that the user sign into their cable provider account in order to access the live video.

Masters-1-carouselThis year’s update brings in new video through what the app calls the “Masters Feed” – a pull-out panel that includes blog updates and a leader board. There is also a newly designed players section.

While the tournament does not begin in earnest until Thursday, the app needs to be ready by the weekend before the tournament begins as the first of three practice rounds starts today. On Wednesday the par 3 tournament is held, with the official tournament beginning on Thursday.

If the app is to be faulted it might be that it is easily forgotten once the tournament is over on Sunday. The app does not have archived highlights from past tournaments, a feature that would make the app worth having on your device all year round. Instead, I usually delete the app once the Masters tournament is completed and only reinstall the app when the update appears for the new year.

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