CHN Premium

The college hockey community is a small but passionate one. When we started the CHN App project we were filling a void in the mobile market and since our launch the population in the void has only grown by one. Just because there aren’t millions of you doesn’t mean you shouldn’t get to enjoy a top-notch mobile experience, so we’ve worked very hard making the CHN iPhone App as great as it can be. Hundreds and hundreds (and hundreds) of hours of development have gone into it. Server costs are substantial and all the scripts that package data for the app and process game data had to be written and maintained (and trying to account for the myriad ways the live box score data can be screwed up has been an adventure). Live box scores for NCAA tournament games aren’t provided, so all the scores and stats from those games are very much a manual process. We’re confident that you’re getting the most current and most accurate data available anywhere, but all that doesn’t just happen. It takes lots of work.

We started this all hoping that ad revenue work make the endeavor worthwhile. And if the returns from a Saturday in late February could be replicated throughout the season it might. But it doesn’t. We probably aren’t even covering server and live box score costs, to say nothing of the huge amount of time spent by developers, so a change had to be made.

Lots of people have said they’d be willing to pay a few bucks for an ad-free version of the app. That might be nice in the short term, but if the people who would have bought the paid version of the app were also among the few dozen who happened to tap on ads, we’d have to continue delivering for the foreseeable future with even less ad revenue to support the project in the long run. Therefore, we decided to go with a seasonal purchase model. That means we’ll be able to continue to improve the app for you for years to come. We also felt that if our users were kind enough to pay for an improved app experience, they should get more than just a lack of ads. So, many of the new features in version 2.0 are only available to Premium subscribers. We also don’t want our non-Premium users to feel like their experience has changed significantly. The only feature from previous versions that is no longer free is the Box Score. However, you now get the top 5 for most stat categories included free.

So for about the price of a cup of coffee each season you can get the full CHN App experience and help us continue to improve it. And since purchases are linked to an App Store account, if you have an iPhone and an iPad, you’ll only have to purchase it once. You’ll be able to restore your purchase across all your devices. The price for CHN Premium will likely drop towards the end of the season for latecomers, but we hope you’ll consider purchasing it early to enjoy a full season of the benefits. We’re also going to turn on premium features for the first couple weeks of the season so everyone can check them out first.

No doubt some of you will have strong feelings about this, but it was a necessary change. However, we welcome your feedback. We’re hockey fans, too. We can take it.

What’s New In Version 2.0?

Almost every line of code was rewritten and everything that involves the database or network requests was overhauled. This was done to improve performance, stability, and data usage.

iPad support. Rather than take the easy route and duplicate the appearance of the iPhone app with tabs, which would have resulted in a lot of wasted space, we decided to make all the app’s information available on one screen. It may look pretty busy, but having everything available at your fingertips at once is pretty handy! We’ll certainly continue to improve the iPad experience so if you have thoughts or suggestions we’d love to hear them.

iOS 7 support. A lot has changed in iOS 7 and Apple’s advice to developers is to simply drop support for earlier iOS versions. We’re not about to throw a bunch of our users under the bus so we put in the extra effort to support iOS 5 and 6 and made sure they look as great as possible. Unfortunately, we did have to drop iOS 4.3 support for a variety of reasons mostly related to improved stability and memory management.

Statistics. This was our most-requested feature and we put a lot of thought into how best to deliver this information on a mobile platform. Like all the rest of our data, stats are delivered in their entirety and stored on the device, so they’re always accessible. They’ll be recalculated overnight whenever games have been played. The data is carefully compiled and packaged to ensure the smallest payload possible. The final stats from last season weighed in at a reasonable 35kb and will be much smaller early in the season. They will also be fetched in the background so you won’t have to wait around for them to download. The top five for each team or player stat category will be displayed and if you have CHN Premium, you’ll be able to get an expanded listing which is reverse sortable when appropriate. If you have CHN Premium you’ll also be able to see selected sortable stats for the players on each team and be able to access a player’s complete stats in Player Pop-Up Cards by tapping on player names in various places in the app.

At-a-Glance Scoreboard. If there are games today (or the previous day) you can simply rotate your iPhone at any time to bring up a live scoreboard with every game on one screen. The scoreboard will update automatically every minute, of course. On an iPad, there is a “Live Scoreboard” link to access it and you can swipe left or right to dismiss it.

Other New Features
  • A new calendar picker which highlights dates with games being played.
  • When you’re in the app, a notification will appear at the top whenever a goal is scored in any game. You can turn this on and off in the settings. Tap the notification to dismiss, tap-and-hold to go directly to that game.
  • When Pairwise is active, a team’s rank is displayed in the calendar view and the game detail view next to their name.
  • The news feed is now being parsed for the app. No need to refresh the listing. It will automatically update whenever you launch the app and will be faster.
  • Reading news has been cleaned up. A lot.
  • Tweet scores from the Game Detail view.
  • Starters in the Lineups are now bold.
  • On iPhone, the Box Score view is now part of the Games navigation stack and will not hide the tab bar so you can tap the Games tab to return to today’s game listing.