Watching the World Cup...on your mobile
Whether you're stuck at some boring wedding, in hideous after work traffic or you just don't have a TV, the one option for watching the World Cup 2010 that most people have is on their trusty mobile phones. There's all sorts of ways of keeping up with the goings on in South Africa when you're on the move but, if you are aiming for the streaming options, do make sure you've got a decent data plan to match.
The best of all worlds is to watch the games on your phone as they happen and the good news is that there's a few different ways you can do that. TVCatchup.com (thank you, Leon) is one of the best places to start but, yawn, only if you happen to be rocking an iPhone - for the moment, at least. The service is free and will stream live footage from both BBC and ITV over 3G or Wi-Fi straight to your Apple handset. So, that's one group covered at least.
There's no word from ITV as to its plans as yet but the BBC will be streaming all BBC World Cup 2010 games live via iPlayer where there'll also be available in their full for 7 days after. So, if you can get iPlayer on your mobile, then you'll have at least half the games.
The mobiles, as listed on the BBC website, which allow you to stream live include the Nokia N-series smartphones; the BlackBerry Bold 2 and Storm 2; the Samsung Omnias, Brooklyn, Genio and Jet; the Sony Ericsson Xperia Vivaz, C905, W705, W715, W995 and Satio, and the HTC Touch HD and Touch Diamond. Anyone on Android can also do the same via the non-official yet rather wonderful Beebplayer app by a gent named Dave Johnston.
That's not quite the end of the story though. The only people who'll be able to stream the games with iPlayer's official app over 3G will be those on 3UK or Vodafone. Other networks will have to rely on a Wi-Fi connection. There is also the option to go straight to the normal BBC website with your phone browser and see if the mobile version allows you to stream live just as you would at a computer. It will require your phone to support Flash.
Your final option is available to those on Orange TV. Anyone with a 3G phone, a reasonable screen and the willing to pay £5 per month can get ITV and other channels streamed to their mobiles wherever they are. As it goes, you can even get a free trial for a day, so if it's for a one off game, it won't cost you anything at all.
If your Orange phone isn't up to video streaming, then the same network does run a text alert service that will update you by SMS with England news and England goals at 12p a pop. All you need to do is text ENGLAND GOALS ON to 177 or ENGLAND NEWS ON to 177 and you'll start it running.
A slightly less convenient but cheaper option is to bookmark the BBC Live football website on your mobile. Each game will have the usual text updates which you can follow as they come in. Another choice is the Sky by mobile service which works in a similar way to the Orange TV. The difference here, of course, is that Sky does not have the rights to the World Cup 2010. So, instead you can tune into Sky Sports News and watch the ticker go past in what becomes effectively a video text service - just a bit more expensive at £5 plus the data.
This is Twitter's first World Cup. Expect the banter to be flying. The big question is who to follow. Well, largely, it doesn't matter. Follow everyone. Just set your mobile app not to alert you every time absolutely anyone you follow makes a tweet.
Of course, what you can do is go into your profile and set key people's tweets to go to your handset. That way, you get effective text messages each time with little bits of news. As for who to follow for interesting World Cup 2010 chit chat, here's a few suggestions:
Ryan Babel - @RyanBabel - Liverpool and Holland winger
Nicolas Anelka - @AnelkaOfficiel - Chelsea and France striker
Landon Donovan - @landondonovan - LA Galaxy and USA forward
Juan-Pablo Angel - @JUANPABLOANGEL - New York Red Bulls striker
Rohan Ricketts - @RohanRicketts - ex-Tottenham winger
Mikel Arteta - @MikelArteta - Everton midfielder
Maurice Edu - @MauriceEdu - Rangers and USA striker
Freddy Adu - @FreddyAdu11 - Benfica and USA forward
Damarcus Beasly - @DaMarcusBeasly - Rangers and USA left winger
Oguchi Onyewu - @OguchiOnyewu5 - Milan and USA centre half
Lionel Messi - @OfficialMessi - Barcelona and Argentina football god
Jamie O'Hara - @mrjamieohara - Tottenham midfielder
Micah Richards - @OfficialMR2 - Manchester City and England defender
Jermaine Defoe - @jermaineDefoe - Tottenham and England striker
Paul Gascoigne - @Paul_Gazza - ex-Tottenham and Newcastle player
Giuseppe Rossi - @GiuseppeRossi22 - Villareal and Italy striker
Tony Cascarino62 - @TonyCascarino62 - ex-player and now pundit for the Pools
Sky Sports - @SkySportsWC2010 - Sky Sports World Cup coverage
Mark Bright - @MarkBrighty - ex-player now BBC pundit
Gavin Peacock - @gavinpeacock1 - ex-player, ex-BBC pundit, now trainee clergyman
Chris Bevan - @chrisbevan_bbc - BBC Sports journalist
Guardian World Cup - @gdnworldcup - Guardian World Cup 2010 channel
Official FIFA World Cup - @fifaworldcuptm - FIFA
World Cup Watcher - @worldcupwatcher - World Cup news aggregator
The Fiver - @thefiver - Guardian football humour
World Cup Motty - @worldcupmotty - 3rd party covering comment from the Motson
Lance Hardy - @lancehardybbc - BBC football journalist
As we say, the list is by no means comprehensive. It's just somewhere to start. Let us know any good ones you find in the comments.
Podcasts are an all too oft forgotten way of following events in this world of social networking and applications, and it's rather a shame because they offer a richness of information that's difficult to fit on a mobile phone in any other format.
So, if you remember to download and get the chance to listen, the Guardian Football Weekly podcast with James Richardson is considered by many as the pick of the bunch. If you'd rather go down a more comic route, then Baddiel and Skinner will be reviving their Fantasy Football show from South Africa and should be worth a giggle.
Football Ramble is the biggest independent football podcast around with plenty of respect and a good team behind it, otherwise, the Times football podcast, known as TheGame, is an excellent listen with sports journalist Gabriele Marcotti at the helm.
All week we've been running our App of the day feature specially focused around the World Cup 2010. So, straight off the bat, there's football news apps like Goal Mobile for BlackBerry, the FIFA news app for iPhone and the Sky News app for both Android and iPhone as well.
For some more in-depth bits and pieces about the tournament itself, the Sun has just launched a superb app with videos, polls, galleries, fantasy football as well as news too, again for both Android and iPhone. Reports are that it's well worth the £2.39 to download it.
If you'd rather hand you money to the FA instead, then there's some videos, news and other content available with the official England iPhone-only app but, for those, who'd rather spend nothing at all, you can get World Cup Essentials for Android. There's no news, for now, on this one but all the fixtures, calendars, results and group standings will be available.
Of course, if you'd rather decide the outcome of events for yourself, you can always download the EA Sports 2010 FIFA World Cup South Africa game for $6.99. Not cheap as apps go but certainly entertaining.
Finally, if you're on the street and looking for somewhere to watch the game on the big screen, then Footy Pubs 2010 on the iPhone will send you in the right direction. It uses GPS to point you towards your nearest boozer showing the game anywhere in the UK. It also happens to be free.
As ever, we do our best to scour the intertubes for as much information as we can glean but we're never as perfect as we'd like to be. So, if you know of any true genius master strokes of following or watching the World Cup 2010 on your mobile phone, then do let us know in the comments.
If you enjoyed this article, then head over to our World Cup Week homepage where you'll find a collection of features getting ready for the 2010 FIFA World Cup South Africa.