Being a devoted sports fanatic is much more than a full-time job, it’s a non-stop, 365, 24/7 cycle of the highest highs and the lowest lows, of the ecstatic joy of victory and the sobering sadness of defeat. Some people are born into sports families living in sports cities, becoming a fan of the local teams by default, the essence of fandom flowing in their veins, fueling their unyielding love for the city’s athletic heroes. Others discover the enchanting and all-encompassing parallel realities of sports on their own, developing faith-like devotion to players and/or teams, sticking with them through thick and thin. As sports fandom brings about a borderline insatiable thirst for up-to-date information on the teams and players you can’t and won’t stop rooting for, a real sports fan can never have enough sources of information at their disposal. To give you a behind-the-back alley-oop assist on your lifelong journey of sports fandom, we’ve put together a comprehensive compilation introducing the best sports apps you must have on your iPhone.
1ESPN – Get scores, news, and watch live sports
ESPN, the artist also known as the Entertainment and Sports Programming Network, is a US-based, global sports television and sports radio network watched and listened to all over the world by hundreds of millions of sports fans – hence ESPN’s not-so-humble slogan, The Worldwide Leader in Sports. In light of the aforementioned slogan and the unparalleled number of sports radio stations and sports television channels with which ESPN has sewn an omnipresent web around the planet, it is not that shocking that The Network deems its dedicated iPhone app the undisputed number one in its category. With the ESPN app, you get instant access to the latest news and live scores from an abundance of major sports leagues including the NBA, the NFL, the NCAA (basketball and football), the NHL, and the MLS. With an ever-important personalization option, you can weed out news and scores unworthy of your attention by putting together your own favorites feed, cherry-picking the leagues and teams at the center of your attention. Live streams, highlights, live play-by-play coverage, more than 100 ESPN podcasts, and dozens of national and regional radio stations are also only a tap away. To top it all off, with the app’s iMessage extensions, you can share live scores with any of your contacts and marvel at video highlights without having to leave the conversation.
TheScore (sorry for the capital “T”, folks) is definitely up there with ESPN in terms of versatility and functionality, and perhaps exceeds the big bad global bully in the customization front. With theScore (yup, back to the good old lower-case), you can build a fully personalized feed flooding you with all the information you need on your favorite players, teams, and even leagues. Regarding the latter, the selection is as varied as it gets: the Barclays Premier League, La Liga Football (aka the Spanish Championship), the NFL, the NBA, the MLB, the NHL, NCAA football and basketball (including the annual hoops bonanza that is March Madness), and we could go on until the world finally runs out of “The Warriors blew a 3-1 lead!” jokes (i.e. until eternity). Don’t forget to enable and customize push notifications, as theScore will deliver live scores, news, and injury updates based on your interests with the efficiency of a prolific NBA scorer and the speed of an elite NFL wide receiver.
CBS Sports trots out a set of features as varied as LeBron James’ skillset, bringing you scores, stats, news, and flocks of tweets concerning your favorite teams. CBS Sports covers all major sports and significant leagues worldwide, including football, basketball, soccer, baseball, hockey, golf, tennis, and auto racing. One of the app’s biggest upsides is that it lets you watch a wide range of live sporting events and sports shows all year long, giving you access to, for instance, NCAA basketball in the heydays of the season, SEC football games, and sports shows such as Jim Rome and Boomer and Carton. CBS Sports also comes equipped with a trio of wholly free in-app games, two of which – King of the Streak and Pick 4 Fantasy Golf – can fatten your wallet with weekly cash prizes. With the third game, you can challenge your friends, colleagues, or family members to see who has the more superior football knowledge. CBS Sports packs plenty of personalization options, as you can customize push notifications and set up single-game alerts by adding the game you don’t want to miss a moment of but can’t watch due to an unfortunate turn of events (we venture to guess that the event in question is either work- or studies-related) to your Watchlist. Last not least, CBS Sports is ChromeCast-enabled, meaning you can cast on-demand content and live video to your TV, controlling everything from volume to playback straight from the app.
4Bleacher Report Team Stream: Sports news, scores, & highlights
Bleacher Report Team Stream is customization heaven customized for sports fans, and it is at this point where we promise that we’ll stop using this criminally overused word. And by criminally overused word, we mean customization. Welp, that didn’t last long. As for Team Stream, it is a must-have app for all sports fans regardless of the team they are rooting for and the sports they are into, because Bleacher Report’s Swiss army knife app covers everything from golf to NASCAR. Bleacher Report Team Stream brings you scores, stories, videos, and photos from the most reliable sources available on the Interwebs such as the Twitter feeds of experts, sports television and radio personalities, athletes, and beat writers, articles publishes on various national websites, top-notch sports blogs, local papers with the inside scoop, and of course Bleacher Report itself. Select a sport, a team, an athlete, a league, fantasy news, or a sports-related interest (e.g. E-sports for the nerdy or Kicks for sneakerheads), and your stream is good to go! Moreover, you can subscribe to content unique to the app including the gone-viral Game of Zones-series and the home of the most spectacular sports videos around, the House of Highlights.
Don’t miss your news from your favorite teams – Download Teamstream from Bleacher Report!
No matter what grumpy has-been old-timers such as TNT’s Charles Barkley say, the National Basketball Association is better than it ever was. Despite a healthy dose of top-heaviness (which has always been a strong characteristic of the league, just look at how many teams have won a championship during the NBA’s 70-year history), the league is bursting with amazing young talent, TV ratings records are broken left and right, so all in all, the future looks brighter than ever. Despite the more-than-ideal real-life circumstances, the NBA has unfortunately failed to come up with an official iPhone app that is on-par with the quality that most fans have gotten accustomed to (and that most fans would demand). We even dare to go as far as saying that the lion’s share of iPhone users who have downloaded the NBA app only did so because they have NBA League Pass, which, on mobile devices, is easiest to access via the app. The design is rather rudimentary, the features are basic (schedules, live scores, in-game stats, the latest NBA news and hottest stories, video highlights, game recaps, top plays compilations, and standings), and the whole app is not user-friendly at all, giving NBA fans headaches with an overcomplicated user interface and a bunch of bothersome bugs. Come on, NBA! Sure you can do better than this mess!
6FOX Sports Mobile
As opposed to NBA Mobile, Fox Sports Mobile is at the other end of the sports app spectrum in terms of ratings, features, design, functionality, customizability, user-friendliness, and versatility. FOX Sports Mobile can also cook tasty meals worthy of a fine-dining restaurant, does not wear brown shoes with black socks (and vice versa), writes beautiful poetry, and calls his (her?) mom every single day. Jokes aside, FOX Sports is, in several ways, different from all other sports apps, putting its own innovative twist on run-of-the-mill features. The most recognizable of these sports app innovations is an enormous scoreboard that provides instant access to an abundance of game-related information, saving you from the hassle of having to leave the scoreboard to check out, for instance, detailed stats. Furthermore, FOX Sports Mobile allows deep personalization, ensuring that you only get the news, live scores, headlines, and videos that you really want to see. Also at your disposal are arguably the best alerts in the sports app game, as FOX Sports Mobile delivers thematic and highly informative alerts such as “Key Plays” and “Exciting Games”, guaranteeing that you won’t miss the most unforgettable moments that your favorite teams and sports have to offer. As if that wasn’t enough, FOX Sports Mobile brings you complete coverage of major sports leagues with all the latest scores news, deep and thorough soccer coverage (including the Barclays Premier League, the Bundesliga, the Serie A, the La Liga, and last not least the prestigious and coveted UEFA Champions League), game previews and game recaps, real-time standings and playoff brackets, an abundance of stats for math (definitely not meth) heads, and game highlights and video clips courtesy of FOX Sports Networks’ most-watched shows.
The 2016/17 National Football League season got off to a rocky start. The quality of play had noticeable declined, ratings had dropped, and it very much looked like fans had finally had enough of Roger Goodell’s antics and his infamous “No Fun League” policies, and also of the numerous player scandals that have become synonymous with the league throughout the years. Then things have complete turned around, a seemingly dead season came back from the ashes, and everything got back to normal. Although Super Bowl LI is now in the rearview mirror, it’s never too early to prepare for the 2017/18 season – first and foremost by downloading NFL Mobile. The NFL’s official app brings you breaking football news, in-game highlights, game recaps, stats detailing league leaders and team leaders in all major categories, trending videos, live game streams (only available for Verizon Wireless customers), and the subscription-only NFL Game Pass, with the latter costing $49.99 per annum. All in all, NFL Mobile didn’t leave a bad taste in our mouths the way its weirdo cousin, the official NBA app did, but it’s still a little ho-hum, though if you’re into football, having it on your iPhone is always a good idea.
The official app of the WWE network is the best way to watch wrestling if you’re a subscriber. The app brings you streams of wrestling events live across your Internet connection, both as they’re happening and from the WWE archive, as well as the ability to use your iPhone or iPad as a second screen when you watch live. WWE also provides event schedule information and information about wrestlers whenever you want it.
9MLB.com At Bat
Use MLB.com At Bat to stream games to your iPhone, either the Game of the Day or any out-of-market matchup you might want to see using your MLB.TV subscription. You can also listen to radio broadcasts, check out expanded instant replays, read breaking MLB news and check out player stats and roster for every team and every game. Baseball fans, if there’s an app you need to help you keep up with the season, MLB.com At Bat is it.
Not sure if you should catch baseball or football when the games are on at the same time? Thuuz Sports can help — it rates games by their excitement level as they’re coming up, then provides you with all the information you need to find it on TV or online and tune in. You can also check into the app to let friends know what you’re watching and when, and get alerts so you can stay up on what’s happening in games even when you’re not watching.
11Yahoo Fantasy Sports
Avid players of fantasy sports know that keeping track of lots of different fantasy teams is a pain, and often means bouncing back and forth between multiple apps. Yahoo Fantasy Sports simplifies things by allowing you to track all your teams from multiple sports, and makes it possible to manage your teams, run mock drafts to build the strongest team possible, and get info on players so you know who to start and who to bench.
While I’m not a golfer, I thought last year’s Tiger Woods: My Swing was a brilliant idea for an app. It essentially allowed users to record video of their golf swings and match them up to Tiger’s own swing. Coach’s Eye offers similar micro-editing techniques, but employs them over a wider net so players in numerous sports can really look at their own technique. The main difference between is that there’s no professional expert to model yourself after in each sport that Coach’s Eye helps you analyze. Still, things like swing plane and adding virtual lines to look at posture are retained, and it’s a promising step in the right direction for the future of video analysis of athletes.
As WatchESPN added more and more cable system support since 2012, it became one of the most integral apps for big fans of the network. With a streaming selection that includes NBA, MLB, The Masters, NCAA football and basketball and more, WatchESPN is ideal when you couldn’t get in front of a TV to watch a big game. When you add the live game footage to ESPN hallmarks like SportsCenter, PTI, Mike and Mike, SportsNation and Baseball Tonight updates, WatchESPN really packed a streaming video punch this year.
Plenty of sports apps will give you the latest scores. Only a few will keep you up-to-date on every single play of the game. And even fewer will do all of that plus let you pick games, chat with other sports fans and set alerts for numerous game scenarios. Yahoo Sports continued to operate in a special stratosphere in 2017, making it a continued must-download for the sports fan who wants everything under one app. This year’s additions of a fully integrated comment system and a NBA plays tab not seem like much, but when the live score coverage was already so well done in the first place, there’s not much left for the app to conquer. Yahoo Sports is one of my very first app recommendations for any new iPhone user.