Sports App Roundup – Must have apps for sports fans

On October 20, 2010

Right now we’re in the middle of the MLB playoffs, almost halfway through football season, at the beginning of hockey season, and the NBA regular season is rapidly approaching. That’s what it’s essential for anyone with any sort of interest in sports to have a sports app.  But why have an app for every sport or for every team you follow, when you can have one app that covers everything? That’s why we’re providing you with a review of these four comprehensive sports apps.

Yahoo! Sportacular (free/pro version for $1.99)

This app seems like a fantastic app with tons of great features and lots of news and statistics, and while this is true, it is not executed in the best manner. Sportacular provides the user with scores for over 20 sports and sporting events, standings, news, and the ability to create your own profile. All this information can be sorted by sport, and editing your profile allows you to customize your favorite teams, select game and team alerts for scoring plays, score changes, and more, select “picks” where you try to predict winners of games, and “check-ins”, which just help you represent your teams by “checking-in.” Here you can also select how often it updates scores, plays, etc., and choose the sports you want it to display. If all of that is not enough for you, Sportacular also allows you to view team info, news, rosters, and schedules for any team in any league. You can also create your own custom team and add players to it, and it will give you their season stats and stats from the last game, which is a great feature. Now all of this makes it seem like a great app, and while it is very good in my opinion, it does have its share of flaws. The interface is not the most intuitive, and the app is slow and may take a few seconds to load information, and sometimes is will tell you the network is slow or unusable, even when I know the internet is fine. Aside from these problems, which are not always a huge issue, this is a great sports app, and $1.99 for an ad free version isn’t a bad deal.

ESPN ScoreCenter (free)

For an app put out by a company that focuses on exclusively sports, you would think their app would be more functional. What it can do it does great, but it lacks some pretty important features. ESPN ScoreCenter allows you to choose your favorite teams from all different sports, and easily follow scores, when their next game it, and sign up for various types of alerts for those teams, all from the page labeled “myTeams.” Sliding this page to the left reveals “Top Events,” which does not provide much information except for a few current games. Right now it shows two playoff baseball games, so those are important, but then there is also a hockey game and a basketball game, and I can’t figure out why those two games were picked over others from the same sport that are on right now as well. They do not seem any more important, but at least they have the playoff games. One great feature is that clicking on any game brings up a gamecast style display, with a lot of stats and information about the game. The last page is just ESPN advertising other apps it puts out and other websites they have. This seems to load slower than Yahoo! Sportacular, but what baffles me is that there is no way to view standings, news, or scores from other sports. Unless it is your favorite team or happens to be a top event, you cannot see the score of any other game, and no one wants to add all 32 NFL teams just to see all the scores, not to mention scores from other sports as well. The lack of news from all sports as well as no standings is strange, and these missing features are a huge downside, and let’s not forget the annoying ads.

Fox Sports Mobile (free)

Although it does not have the most attractive interface, Fox Sports Mobile is a great app. The home page provides recent sports news articles, some videos, and has a “Scores” tab, which allows you to select a sport, then view past and current scores, as well as games scheduled on a certain day. When you select a sport, you can now view the most recent news from only that sport, view scores, playoff information (obviously only if its during the playoffs), standings, stats by category, or pick a team. Picking a team gives you team news, the schedule, stats roster, and injuries, all in an easy to navigate manner. Games in progress can be followed in the app via Gametrax, which is similar to ESPN’s Gamecast, and it provides a lot of in-game info, although is slow to update after each play. It takes a couple of taps to get to a teams page or current scores, and adding the option to add favorite teams would be a welcome addition. A paid, ad-free version and support for iOS4 and multitasking would also be welcome, and with an interface change, favorite teams, and a few small fixes, this could become a much better app.

CBS Sports Mobile (free)

Unlike Fox, CBS Sports Mobile supports iOS 4 and multitasking, but the first time I tried using this app it froze on me and I had to quit it from the multitask menu, then re-open it. Its home page consists of top news stories from around sports, and you’ll notice right away the tab at the top called “My Teams.” Unfortunately, this is for managing your fantasy teams, and not for adding your favorite teams for quick access. Oddly enough, tapping the “Scores” tab at the bottom, then selecting a sport, does not bring you to scores form that sport, but instead to that sports main page (which can also be accessed through the home tab at the top). Here you can view stats, standings, teams, and player profiles, but only players who show up on the stats page. Viewing a team gives you their record, schedule, news, some stats, injuries, and trades/transactions. Although this app features a lot, I was never able to view scores and this is huge problem that needs to be fixed. It also froze often, loaded slowly, viewing a team’s schedule would not always work properly, and ads would sometimes take up the whole screen. CBS Sports has many bugs and kinks that need to be worked out in order for it to be a primary sports app.