Best Android sports apps

There's a lot of sports out there in a lot of different countries with tens of leagues all of their own. By the same token, there seems to be almost as many sports apps available on the Android Market to choose from.

As ever, Pocket-lint has done most of the leg work - well, actually it was quite fun - and gone out there and downloaded piles of them to see which ones seem to sit best on our handsets. So, sifted, graded and refined, here are the very best Android sports apps available right now.

The Master Tactician

Developed by Education in Sport in partnership with Aldershot manager, and former Premier League striker, Dean Holdsworth, The Master Tactician is a football strategy app that puts a modern spin on the magnetic tactics board that you'll find in most top-level dressing rooms. But there's a lot more to the app than simply laying out formations.

The app provides a virtual representation of a football pitch, or a training pitch, where you can see the area as a whole or focus on key areas. You can then drag players into positions (assigning names and numbers if you wish to do so) to explain tactics, formations and set-pieces. You can save your favourite set-ups to refer back to later should they prove successful. As well as players, you can also drag grids, cones, mannequins, poles, hurdles, balls and ladders onto the app’s pitch screen view in order to set up training ground exercises. Read More

Market: Link

Price: £2.49

Rating: 3/5

F1 2012 Timing App - Premium

At £19.99 this is not a cheap app but then, if it were cheap, it would rather take away from the glitz and glam that is motorsport's top competition. F1 2012 Timing App is the app for the latest season and offers just about everything you could imagine for the die hard F1 fans out there.

The headline sell is 130 hours of live coverage of every bit of driving of each race weekend which you can even break down to the level of driver and even corner view. The choice of just which driver or which corner is your call. You get real time positioning maps, timing data, commentary and you can also pause sessions if you need to as well.

Market: Link

Price: £19.99

Rating: 5/5

 

NBA.TV

What's nice about the official NBA app is that you really don't have to follow the game of basketball to enjoy it. First up, it's free, which is always a bonus, but, regardless of where you happen to live, you seem to be able to get all sorts of video highlights of what's been going on in the big guys' big league over in the US and that includes things like the top 10 plays of the week featuring dunks a-plenty.

As usual with these things, there's also fixtures, official news streams as well as Twitter, photo galleries and league tables as well. The whole app is put together very nicely indeed with, perhaps, the only shortcoming the bit-rates of some of the streams which can make watching those highlights packages not quite as good as they could be.

Market: Link

Price: Free

Rating: 4/5

 

SportCaster

The sports in question in SportCaster are all the American ones with NFL, NHL, NBA and their college versions all available. Don't ask us where Baseball got lost and the less said about the MLS, the better. All the same, the app handles what is there very nicely indeed.

SportCaster offers schedules of all the fixtures, scores, integrated news and social network conversations on the build up and analysis, tables and even a fantasy section as well. While none of that is perhaps earth-shatteringly different to anything else out there, the smooth running of the software and level of customisation that SportCaster brings makes it well worth a download if you live in the US or have a penchant for sports in the Big A.

Market: Link

Price: Free

Rating: 4.5/5

 

The Official Football League Clubs

With the rights to mobile Premier League highlights gobbled up by ESPN and available for free via its apps, you'd be forgiven for thinking that catching the goals from The Championship, League One and League Two would be available at no cost. They're not though sadly, you'll have to cough up to see all the action on your mobile from Crawley Town and the gang. This app offers all the highlights, plus player and manager interviews and exclusives for £1.49 a month, £7.49 for 6 months or £12.99 for a 12 months.

The good news is, that it's all personalised for your favourite team. Once you select your club you'll get official and exclusive news, a live match score centre, player profiles, fixtures, tables and scores. You'll also be able to check what else is going on elsewhere in the Football League, so it's handy for keeping an eye on your second team too. The bad news is, that not all clubs are available so if you're a fan of AFC Wimbledon, Aldershot Town, Leeds United, Middlesbrough, Portsmouth or West Ham United, don't bother downloading it. Read More. 

Market: Link

Price: Free

Rating: 3.5/5

 

Fantasy Premier Manager

Probably the most popular fantasy football game out there is the official one from the PL itself. Now, while they’ve set up a mobile version of the site to help you access your squad when on foot, there’s no actual app available. The good news is that a chap by the name of Lee Jeary has made his own version for Android users to enjoy that works wonders so long as you have some kind of mobile connection.


The app is a tad buggy, prone to the odd crash and could do with a bit of an update to make sure that it brings up all the player details and histories when required and in a prettier way too. Fortunately, the core bits and pieces operate as they should and will see to it that you can make the changes you need to before it’s too late. You’re welcome to check out the lite version to see how it looks but it has next to zero functionality. Still, £1.49 isn’t so expensive. Read More

Market: Link

Price: Free

Rating: 3.5/5

 

ESPNcricinfo

Let's be frank from the off here, if you're not one for spreadsheets of statistics, ESPNcricinfo isn't really for you. We'd actually go as far to say that cricket isn't really for you. However, if can find the merest ounce of excitement in batting percentages, this specific application is a no brainer. Offering essentially all of the information on the sports service's similarly titled website, cricinfo presents it in a much handier, portable fashion, allowing you to find out the latest news, scores, country rankings and more with nary a flick of a finger.

It cunningly uses vertical and horizontal tilting to switch from basic to fleshed-out scorecards, and, should you have a subscription, even offers up a swathe of video from the archives. The app is completely free, and there's no subscription fee (like with the broadcaster's ESPN Goals footy equivalent), possibly because there's plenty of advertising (for Saab) across the software. Read More

Market: Link

Price: Free

Rating: 4/5

 

Sky Sports News

This app contains all of the features that you'd expect from a sports news app - namely sports news in text and video form but it also adds a nice little bonus feature - Sky Sports News Radio.SSN Radio is a brand new service that broadcasts 24 hours a day, 7 days a week and concentrates entirely on breaking sports news. There are no phone-ins or Ian Wright tantrums here (like a certain other sports radio station).

The iPhone version has a homescreen with a list of stories and a button to choose specific sports, and it also gives you the option to watch Sky Sports News live - providing you've got a Sky Mobile TV account, although technically this is just a link to another app. Read More

Market: Link

Price: Free

Rating: 4/5

 

ESPN Goals

In order to keep up with the frenetic footie season, you're gonna need an app that shows you all of the goals. And lucky for you that's exactly what ESPN is offering with its Goals app. You'll get to see every goal from every Premier League match - before they are available anywhere else, such as Match of The Day, or online with Yahoo.

Goals are shown "usually within minutes" and you can set your handset up to receive alerts to the fact and even more specific ones if you only want to know about your team's results. Once the game is over, you can watch a mini highlights package as well just the goals and get all sorts of stats on the game too. A must for all Premier League followers. Read More

Market: Link

Price: Free

Rating: 3/5

 

UFC TV

UFC TV is a free app but if you actually want to watch these grown men pummel each other until swollen and only half-recognisable to their parents that worked so hard to bring that up nicely, then you'll have to fork out a world of extras which, of course, the software is more than happy to help you achieve.

Otherwise, you can engross yourself in some half-hearted fighter profiles, a news page and a library of free videos which basically turn out to be adverts. Do we sound scathing? Yes, we do but ignore us. If you enjoy UFC and you want to watch it on your phone, then download this app. That's exactly what it's for.

Market: Link

Price: Free (content costs, though)

Rating: 2.5/5

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