Sports Illustrated News isn't an especially colorful app or one that's even "illustrated," for that matter. But, if you want to keep up on SI without paying for an annual subscription, this is the way to beat the system.
Sports Illustrated News is not the magazine's official application. It's very bland and simple, and feels more like someone created his own app so he could read Sports Illustrated's website for free.
You see, there is an official SI app called Sports Illustrated - Phone (and, incididentally Sports Illustrated - Tablet) by TI Media Solutions. From what I could see of it, this app seemed like a vibrant and well-designed application. However, I wasn't able to see much. To access any content, you must sign-up a full year's subscription.
I don't know what the difference is between the printed publication and the website, so I can't say for sure the overall content on SI.com (and, obviously on the Sports Illustrated News app) varies greatly from what pops up on Sports Illustrated's official app. I imagine there has to be some crossover.
Sports Illustrated News' main menu is lined along both sides with gray buttons indicative of different categories: "NFL," "Top Stories," "Racing" and "Most Popular" are just a few examples.
When you click on one of these buttons, you're immediately directed to another page. This menu is also laid out in shades of black and white, in a small font. Also, the words are piled up on top of each other in such a way that it's difficult on the eyes. If you find something that interests you, you can click on a headline to be directed to the story at SI.com.
The app itself doesn't seem to have any functionality issues, even when it redirects you to a story on the web. Because it resembles the layout of a lot of other news apps, it's easy to navigate.
There's nothing wrong with this app, as it does the job it sets out to do. It's just a bit of a letdown that this is a bootleg, and it certainly feels like it. The app doesn't have any images when it's pulling from a magazine known for its award-winning sports photos.
If you're interested in cheating the system and saving a little money though, this app will suffice as an alternative.