Best iPhone sports apps

Keeping tabs on your favourite team, driver, golfer or whatever other sport you follow, is much easier thanks to the smartphone. Now you can have a constant stream of stats and updates telling you just how badly or how well your team is doing.

But the smartphone can do much more than just fill your brain with sports statistics. It can act like a second screen while watching a game or teach you something about tactics you never knew before. There is plenty out there worth downloading for sports fans and we have put together this handy list for you to get the best sporting experience on your handset. 

Curly’s Pocket Guide to Sports

Those wanting to know what any sport that they’re supposed to be watching is all about need to pick up the essential guide to the Olympics, and all other sporting events and pastimes whatsoever, that is Curly’s Pocket Guide to Sports.

Presented in an easy to digest and entirely non-threatening style, the app lists 60 or 70 different sports at present, each represented by a card on the UI. Touch that card to flip it over and you can then read all about the various ins and outs of each discipline in a way that makes even cricket and the offside rule look understandable. We kid you not. Again, all offline, this is an absolute essential. Just a shame it’s iOS only right now.

iTunes: Link

Price: 69p

Rating: 5/5

 

ESPNsoccernet

The ESPNsoccernet iPhone app is a neatly packaged version of the huge US sports service’s football website and its front face is really the news side of things. You can pick and choose which leagues you’d like to follow as well as any international teams and even specific tournaments. Sadly, it’s all very much European based - aside from the Australian A-League and the US’s MLS - but what’s there is pretty comprehensive.

Once you’ve got your interests sorted, you can go to each competition’s latest news section, videos secion, take a look at the league table, stats, fixtures, results, match analysis and just about anything else you can think of. You can even set up push alerts to your device for your club or league or cup contests specifically. The only other slight disappointment is that there are no videos of the action itself. ESPN would argue that there’s already the ESPN Goals app but a little unification of the services would be nice. Read more

iTunes: Link

Price: Free

Rating: 3.5/5

 

The FA Cup with Budweiser - Man of the Match

This is a real-time interactive football app that allows you to keep your attention focused where it is most needed: with the action going on within the white lines of the pitch.

During every round of the world's most famous knock-out club competition, you'll be able to check the draw, keep up with the live scores, take a look at the stats to see how your team is getting on and -  the app's USP - vote for who you think should be awarded Man of the Match. You can even grab yourself some free tickets, should you choose the top player correctly. Read More.

iTunes: Link

Price: Free

Rating: 3/5

 

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 as to say that cricket isn't really for you. However, if you 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, ESPNcricinfo 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, if 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

iTunes: Link

Price: Free

Rating: 4/5

 

Ski School Beginners

Ski School Beginner is the first of a series, followed by Ski School Intermediate, Ski School Advanced and also a Ski School Lite to give you a taste of what to expect from the series. Each instalment costs £3.99 (Lite is free) so by the time you’ve done them all, you’ve spent a chunk of cash. One of the best parts of lesson one is the final “Solutions” video. This covers some of the major issues that newcomers face, such as how to put on boots, carry skis and walk on snow.

Overall the Ski School Beginner app is well made and the videos are short enough to keep your attention. They are all shot in glorious weather on the slopes of Tignes and, if nothing else, they’ll have you itching to get to the slopes yourself. It's no substitute for a proper instructor, but it will let you know what to expect once you arrive at the slopes. Read More

iTunes: Link

Price: £2.99

Rating: 3/5

 

Football League - Official Clubs' App

This free iPhone app is a godsend for supporters of Championship, League One and League Two teams who can't afford to shell out astronomical amounts for a season ticket. Even if you're out and about, you can keep updated on all the latest news, fixtures, stats and player profiles from your chosen team. You'll also find league tables for all three divisions, as well as the Premier League. And don't worry - if you can't live for five minutes without composing a footie-related tweet, then you'll be glad to hear that you can also update Twitter and Facebook automatically, thus sharing your entirely correct football opinions with your mates with the greatest of ease.

If that's not enough, you also have the option of splashing out on the premium service, which costs £4.99 for the entire season. This will enable you to watch video match highlights 24 hours after the game, and also includes a Google mapping function to help you find your way to any stadium in the country. The premium service will also offer a score predictor, which enables you to compare your predictions with fellow fans and is sure to cause a great deal of arguments in the pub. Read More

iTunes: 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, seven 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 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

iTunes: Link

Price: Free

Rating: 4/5

 

ESPN Goals

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. The app itself is free, but you will have to pay if you want to see all the net-busting action. A 30-day pass will cost £3.99, a 90-day one is £10.99 or you can subscribe for the whole season for £29.99.

For your money 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" although on Saturdays between 2.45pm and 5.15pm there is a Premier League blackout and you'll have to wait until that's over before seeing the goals from the 3pm kick-offs. You'll only get to see the goals once mind, so don't buy a subscription if you want constant access to the highlights. However, it is still the only app that shows the Premier League goals. Read More

iTunes: Link

Price: Free (but you'll need to cough up for the goals)

Rating: 3/5

 

ECB Cricket

The ECB Cricket app is an absolute must if you have even the slightest interest in cricket. It is simply fantastic.The opening screen will display all of the latest scores in county and international cricket, in all forms of the games, and if you touch the match on which you require further info, you are taken to a scoreboard screen. From there, you can see the full scorecard, with complete innings breakdown, simply by turning your iPhone on its side and scrolling through. A double-tap switches between batting and bowling figures.

As well as the fantastically detailed live scorecards, there is also a news section, a photo section, the ECBtv channel (which opens videos within the YouTube app) and also download links for the brilliant 12th Man podcast. It really is an essential app for anyone who is interested in cricket. The CricInfo app may have ball by ball live text, but the ECB Cricket app is just so darn easy to use and puts a wealth of info at your fingertips. Get it now. Read More

iTunes: link

Price: Free

Rating: 5/5

 

Football Manager Handheld 2012

Like its PC and latter-day PSP equivalents, the iOS version of Football Manager has become an annual event you can set your clock by, as long as your clock deals in days and weeks rather than minutes or hours. It will be instantly familiar to those who have already invested money and time in the franchise, but offers just enough new features and tweaks to make it an essential upgrade for fans.

It offers no fewer than 12 nations and their respective leagues in which to manage, including the Corbett Sports Welsh Premier League and the Blue Square North and South Leagues for the very first time. Plus, you can have all the leagues of the main country you choose, as well as the top leagues of three others active at the same time - allowing you to accept managerial jobs abroad during your career.

A vast number of real-world players are in the game and accessible to you, and with an updated database. But the major added feature this year comes in the form of an entirely new game mode. Challenge mode offers a number of tricky challenges for you to manage your way out of, from scenarios like "The Saviour Cometh" - in which you have to save your favoured team from relegation in the second part of a season - to "The Invincibles" - a task to remain unbeaten throughout the entire footballing year. 

Yeah, sure, there's not as much depth here as with its bigger brother, but what it does offer is the most realistic management experience on a mobile device. The 3D engine may be missing, but the top-down highlights were good enough for us a few years ago, and at least they move about as per your tactics. There are too many rival games on the App Store that offer an experience more like schools football, where everybody chases the ball around the pitch at the same time. This provides more than a refreshing change. Read More

iTunes: Link

Price: £2.99

Rating: 4/5

 

Maxis F1 2012

This is more an app for the serious Formula One obsessive. It is stat heavy and includes even the most minute of team-based news. Should you be wondering what changes Red Bull has made to its exhaust pipe, or if McLaren has a newly designed front wing, then this is the app to tell you. On top of a pretty robust news section, there is also a Calendar which includes a live race commentary, temperatures, track conditions and best lap times.

The app also has a results section for live by-the-lap timing and even a track page that lists history and other interesting race statistics. There is also a detailed track map listing each corner and the various sections of the venue. As a free app this is bursting with features and we are mightily impressed that nothing is asked for all the coverage it gives you. Keep this one running in your pocket while the race is on to stay on track with results. 

iTunes: Link

Price: Free

Rating: 4/5

 

RunKeeper

Fire up the app and you are presented with the ability to instantly start a new activity. You can either opt for the GPS or manual entry, the activity type you are doing like running, cycling, mountain biking, cross-country skiing, swimming, and a host of other sports. There is even elliptical trainers at the gym. You are also able to choose a pre-determined route if have set one up via the accompanying website.

Once you’ve selected your activity and pressed go the stopwatch starts. The app gives you a number of stats on the activity screen allowing you to clearly see your time, the GPS signal (for tracking your activity), the average mile per hour, the calories you’ve burned and the total distance you have run. There is also the option to see your current pace in minutes per mile. Read More

iTunesLink

Price: Free

Rating: 4/5

 

Motiv8

A nice bit of pre Olympic warmup comes in the form of Gold medal winning Michael Johnson's Motiv8. The app lets you have your own virtual running partner in the form of the four times gold medal winner. Plenty of inspiration then to burn off the calories. 

On top of offering you that extra motivation, the app also gives you things like Olympic warm up routines and other fitness tips. Fitness challenges with an eventual certificate awarded within the app from Johnson also help push you to your fitness goal. Clever stuff and useful as it is fun.

iTunes: Link

Price: £0.69

Rating: 4/5

Any other exciting sports apps? Let us know in the comments below ... 



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