It’s an exciting time to be a sports fan. The NHL and NBA Playoffs are approaching their climax, the World Cup starting, and the MLB season in full bloom, it’s hard to keep on top of it all. I have composed a list of my personal favorite mobile applications so that you can be up to date on the road. Please feel free to let me know any great apps I may have missed out on.
1. NHL Ice Time
Platforms: BlackBerry, iPad, iPhone, iPod Touch
NHL Ice Time is the official app from the National Hockey League and it is absolutely gorgeous, especially on the iPad. In addition to live scores standings, and the most extensive stat profiles of any hockey app I’ve used, it also has game photos, video highlights, and a ice tracker to show shots, goals, penalties, hits and saves on a virtual hockey rink, so for hockey geeks, this is your chance to show Don Cherry up. There is also an option for a premium version which includes my favourite feature: live radio feeds for both the home and away feeds.
2. NBA Game Time / Courtside
Platforms: Android, BlackBerry, iPad, iPhone, iPod Touch
NBA Game TIme is the official app from the National Basketball Association, and while I preferred the interface of NHL Ice Time better, this interface in this app is quite nicely done as well, having used the iPhone, iPad, and BlackBerry versions. There is a free version called NBA Game Time Lite and a premium version which sells for around 10 dollars. The free version will give you live game scores, standings, and other stats for the stat crunchers and fantasy basketball players, and the premium version will give you home and away audio feeds as well. There is also video highlights, although the rendering issues makes it barely watchable with my internet connection.
3. ESPN Sportscenter / Sportscenter XL
Platforms: iPad, iPhone, iPod Touch
The Entertainment Sports Programming Network have their own app as well, and what’s nice about this app is that they allow for users to customize their favourite teams and push news about those scores first. It also syncs well with the ESPN site, so for any myESPN fans out there, this is the app for you. They also provide columns and blogs you would usually only find on their site. This is free on the iPhone and iPod Touch, but will cost you on the iPad.
Platforms: iPhone, iPod Touch, Android
This app does not have a great UI nor any special features, but it has been around for a long time and many users have gotten used to it. It’s a no frills scores and standings sports app, and includes news for almost all the major sports. It is free to download for the iPhone and Android OS’s.
5. World Cup 2010 Africa
Platforms: iPhone, iPod Touch
World Cup 2010 Africa is the official app for the World’s most popular sporting tournament. On top of scores, schedules, and rosters of the 64 teams, they also include stadium information and a photo gallery as well. This app will cost you $0.99.
Platforms: iPhone, iPod Touch, Android, BlackBerry
If you’re not from Canada, you may not have heard of The Score. They are a Canadian sports broadcast who picks up the slack from the other canadian networks who mainly focus on hockey. The score is my personal daily sports app, because I find it to be the most reliable and speedy. Like SportsTap, there isn’t many strings attached, but it just does the job. It is available on most major smartphone app stores for free.
Platforms: iPhone, iPod Touch, iPad, Android, BlackBerry
FanFeedr is a personalized sports aggregator and the most interesting of the bunch. It is Sports social network that allows you to interact with friends and pick your favourite teams for ‘points’. Think of it as facebook meets twitter meets foursquare minus geolocation. None the less, users are able to aggregate the news they want to see and share and comment to their friends with ease. This is available for free.
8. SlingPlayer Mobile:
Platforms: iPhone, iPod Touch, Android, BlackBerry
This is not a sports app per-say, but for the frequent flyers who want to catch the latest games, this tv streaming app may be your best option. The app costs $30 and you need a SlingBox connected to your cable box and TV at home, which will run you a couple hundred dollars depending if you want HD or not. But for the die-hards and those who need to see certain teams and sports, this may be a necessity.
9. Team Apps
I would be surprised if all teams didn’t have an app coming out within the next two years, but its a great way for teams to connect with their fans. I frequently use the Vancouver Canucks app which gives me locker room coverage and other tidbits us fanatics like to soak up.
Platform: Anything with mobile web
To date, twitter is still one of the best tools I use to keep track of the latest sports scores, and the most interactive play by play. No matter if you’re using an app or just the mobile web, I have found that it has become a big compliment to my game watching experiences with the TV. The combo is terrific, and you’re networking at the same time.
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