Apps are a great way to get your digital sports fix anytime, anywhere. You can check scores in a meeting, get tips on your golf swing in an elevator, or settle a bet on your sofa.While there are tons of sports-related apps out there, I’ve selected a handful of my favorites to feature here.
Platform: iPhone, iPod touch, iPad
Never walk into the middle of a sports conversation unprepared again. This app has been around for a while and now combines its own greatness with the power of Yahoo! to kick things up a notch. It offers easy access to scores, stats, news and info for almost any sport you can name with initials, including: MLB, NBA, NFL, NHL, MLS, NCAA, PGA and NASCAR. It also keeps things fun by allowing you to connect in-app with friends and fans using Facebook. Plus, you can use the check-in feature to claim your location as your favorite team’s turf.
If you love NCAA basketball and talking about NCAA basketball, this is the app for you. It integrates conversations around real-time scores, news and rankings. If you have something to say, this is your soapbox. When you post your first comment you’ll go through a quick, one time “join” process, and after that you’ll be on your way. The whole thing is organized around groups. So if you join a group for your favorite team(s), you can cheer, jeer or make predictions at your leisure.
This app offers users easy access to the wealth of info found on NBA.com, centered around actual games rather than a steady stream of well-organized content (like you’d expect from a sports news source). The interface is beautiful and encourages you to explore live stats, recaps, previews and video highlights. While the videos aren’t the best quality, and can sometimes cause the app to lag, it’s like your mom always said, “You get what you get and you don’t throw a fit.” After all, this is a pretty impressive app for the price of free.
Platform: iPhone, iPod touch, iPad, Android
Price: $14.99 (free during the off-season)
You know the guy who sits behind the dugout at every home game with headphones on listening to the same game on the radio? Now you can know more about the game than that guy ever dreamed. Seriously. This app gives you up-to-the-pitch stats and facts that would make an announcer jealous. And it goes way beyond that. You can stream local radio broadcasts from whichever team is playing AND live video of the game (except for blackout areas and Android users). For serious baseball fans, this app is worth the hefty price tag in almost every way imaginable. As of now, details of the 2011 version haven’t been announced and it’s still unknown if users will have to shell out more money or if it will be a simple update. So, while I highly recommend this app, you should probably wait to see what the new season has in store first. I’m also hoping a new Android version will include live video streaming.
This might seem out of place in a “best of sports” app review, but Twitter is great for tons of things and it’s absolutely essential for the biggest of big sports fans. If there’s a game on, a trade happening or rumors about anything, you can learn all you need to know with a quick search of the Twittersphere. And if you follow the right people, they’ll feed you all the info without you even asking. Here’s who to follow if you’re in to sports: @sportspickle, @deadspin, @ESPN, @windhorstESPN, @Buster_ESPN, and @SportsCenter – that should get you started.