The Masters apps rocks the iPhone and iPad (Updated)

The problem with The Master's is that it tees off early on Thursday on Friday, when most of the world working. If you've got an iPhone, you're in luck, but the iPad version is known to be crashy.
Written by Jason D. O'Grady, Contributor on

I don't know about you but I love watching The Masters on television. I might not watch any other golf all year, but I'll find time to watch The Masters. There's nothing like kicking back and watching it on a nice HD screen from a comfy couch.

The problem is that The Master's starts on Thursday, when most of the world is at work. And today is day two -- same problem, the action starts early when most people are working.

But if you've got an iPhone or iPad, you're in luck!

The Master's iPhone app (free, App Store) allows you watch five live streams of video content (including the Featured Group channel) directly on your iPhone over WiFi and 3G. It also includes a live scoreboard (as you'd expect) and a Course Overview packed with detailed information and flyover videos of each hole. I tested the iPhone app late yesterday and the streaming video performance was impressive.

The Master's app comes in two flavors, there separate iPhone and iPad apps. The Master's iPad app ($1.99, App Store) has been marred by a raft of one-star reviews (most claiming that the app crashes every few minutes) but that hasn't been my experience so far.

Update: I initially wrote about some problems with the iPad app, but it's been solid for me all day today so I updated the headline and added some color below.

I've been testing the iPad app today since 10:45 (iPad 2 using WiFi) and it's played for 3+ hours solid without crashing. Performance has been excellent overall, although video quality on the live feeds varies.

For example, the Amen Corner channel (holes 11-13) is crystal clear, but the Feature Group 1 channel is a little compressed at times, although it's completely watchable and nothing to complain about.  The compression could be due to bandwidth rationing on higher demand channels.

Oh, and the live video feeds are completely commercial free. So, instead of being bombarded with ads like you would on the boob tube, the iPad video feeds cut away to a live shot of the beautiful trees and flowers at Augusta (complete with requisite bird calls) and gentle background music. Bonus!

With the proviso that I haven't tested it over 3G yet, I'm giving the The Master's iPad app ($1.99, App Store) high marks and don't agree with the absurd one-star reviews on the App Store.

It's well worth the $2.

Featured Group 1 for Friday: Fred Couples, Luke Donald and Steve Stricker (9:24 a.m.) Dustin Johnson, Adam Scott and Nick Watney (11:47 a.m.) Tiger Woods, Graeme McDowell, Robert Allenby (1:48 p.m.)

What's you favorite sports app?

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