Follow the abbreviated NFL preseason with these iPhone apps

Jul 26, 2011
Misc

While the 2011-12 NFL season will almost certainly start on time, many of us fans are behind on preparation due to the prolonged lockout. Accordingly, we should expect one of the most frenzied preseasons in the league’s history. Free agency news, trades and rumors galore are sure to flood news feeds, in what is sure […]

While the 2011-12 NFL season will almost certainly start on time, many of us fans are behind on preparation due to the prolonged lockout. Accordingly, we should expect one of the most frenzied preseasons in the league’s history.

Free agency news, trades and rumors galore are sure to flood news feeds, in what is sure to be an exciting time for NFL fans. Of course with the right combination of iPhone apps, staying on top of all the league’s preseason goings-on, and the regular season that follows, will be a breeze.

ESPN Radio ($2.99)

No other app offers both the breaking sports news and instant analysis that ESPN Radio does, which makes it a necessary app to have in what is sure to be the hectic upcoming weeks. In addition to streaming 20+ ESPN stations (with more on the way), the app provides easy access to football-centric podcasts such as Football Today and Fantasy Focus Football. Additionally, users can listen to SportsCenter updates or check out the handy ESPN news ticker for up-to-date scores and news.

Originally released in Sept. 2009, the app has undergone a number of updates as well, the most recent major update adding much needed background play to the app. Of course the beauty of the app is that it is not just limited to NFL coverage, so it will be a relevant and useful app to you beyond Sundays this fall and winter, and well worth the $2.99 price tag.

NFL Mobile (Free, Verizon subscribers only)

Certainly the most exciting part of the iPhone coming to Verizon was bringing the device to a new group of consumers. A smaller part of Verizon and Apple’s partnership is the introduction of NFL Mobile to the App Store, a free app and welcome improvement to last year’s mundane official app, NFL.com Game Center.

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The big difference between this app and the ill-fated Game Center is video content – not only do football fanatics get access to Thursday and Sunday night games, but also Redzone, which provides live video of every game from inside the 20 yard line. On top of that, you get video highlights, audio from every game and real-time stats. The one enormous caveat is that the app only works on Verizon iPhones, so while it’s great the app has finally come to the App Store it’s still got a limited audience.

NFL ‘11 (Free)

Those without Verizon as well as iPod Touch owners are stuck with NFL ’11, an updated version of NFL.com Game Center but very much the same app. This free, official app does have a number of things going for it, namely news from NFL.com and access to a mobile version of the site’s Game Center. With the updated name also comes a ton of draft news, including combine data and a wealth of helpful analysis to help you get ready for the upcoming season. Presumably there is more to come once the lockout officially ends, though based on last year’s version of the app that likely means a good deal of audio features, some other bells and whistles, but nowhere near the amount of video offered by NFL Mobile. But hey, it is still a free app and one that any NFL fan should download, just know going in this isn’t the end-all-be-all of football apps.

RotoWire Fantasy Football Draft Kit 2011 ($4.99)

Not only has the seemingly endless negotiating left the NFL season in doubt, but your fantasy football season was also in jeopardy. Rotowire.com has consistently been one of the first to release a draft kit, and lockout or not this year is no different. Rotowire Fantasy Football Draft Kit 2011 ($4.99) is essentially what the app was last year – projected stats and helpful write-ups for all the relevant players in a bland presentation. The coolest feature here is that rankings can be updated based on your league’s custom stats, so if your league places extra value on passing stats, quarterbacks will jump to the top of the list. Other goodies include news, depth charts, stats from last year and individual defensive player rankings. There will be cheaper, better-looking alternatives as the season gets closer, but as far as content goes Rotowire is tough to beat.

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Twitter (Free)

To get the latest news in today’s world, being on Twitter is a necessity. Finding the latest NFL news on your iPhone is no different: download the free app, follow the Peter King’s and the Adam Schefter’s of the world, and try not to spend every waking minute waiting for the next news nugget or juicy rumor to come across the screen. Those looking for analysis beyond 140 characters will be thrilled to know that links open up within the app, so it’s easy to check out an article and then go back to your feed. Also, like ESPN Radio you will find far more things to use this app for then simply following the latest NFL news, such as following the latest app news @applocious (end shameless plug).

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