The NHL’s mobile app and NHL GameCenter are about to upgrade

You’ll be getting a lot more bang for your (nonexistent) buck on the NHL’s mobile platform this year.

Starting today, the NHL has rebranded their iOS/Android app, NHL GameCenter as just the NHL app. NHL GameCenter (which comes with a bit of an update on desktop platforms this season) will maintain a presence within the app, but now it will be a lot more devoted to providing content. Overall, the NHL app — from what I saw at a test run at NHL HQ in New York City last week — should provide a lot cleaner, easier, and more convenient user experience.

First of all, one of the best upgrades will make that experience tailored to users of both iOS and Android-based devices. If you have an iPhone, you’ll have buttons on the bottom of the app that make it more familiar with other iPhone apps. With Android, you’ll see those options at the top of the page as part of the NHL’s efforts to work with both Apple and Windows on developing this rebrand.

The goal with the new look is to optimize content and make the content each individual fan wants more easily available. Every team will have a customized page with their individual app and Twitter feed embedded inside the main NHL app. Every player will have an updated page within the app as well.

The biggest bonus for free subscribers to the NHL app: free, live radio feeds of every league game this season, something that used to be only for premium subscribers. In-game video highlights will also be much more readily available to free subscribers.

Another thing emphasized within the app: events. Something members of the development team expressed frustration with was that, in the past, Winter Classics or All-Star Games or even just opening night events weren’t properly embedded within the app. Now, things like that, the NHL Draft and the NHL Awards will all have their own little hubs within the app when those events are relevant.

As for GameCenter Live, a slight graphic update underlines the new things you can do within the service. The multiscreen experience now includes access to multiple camera angles so fans can watch and re-watch a play from a different perspective. There will also be bonus features for Xbox One customers with the service looking to amplify their second-screen experience. 

Everything looked very impressive and it looks like a big step forward for the league’s digital presence. I think the option of having the above-the-goalline camera allows for a lot of people to play one-man hockey ops dep’t and having everything on the app run smoother will make it a more likely go-to for my hockey-related readership. It’ll be intriguing to see how they build on this going forward.

About Steve Lepore

Steve Lepore is a writer for Bloguin and a correspondent for SiriusXM NHL Network Radio.