World-class iPhone apps for the 2010 World Cup

Jun 1, 2010
Misc

The importance, and perhaps more accurately, the popularity of the World Cup has never been more evident than in the iPhone app world. It seems like a steady stream of apps looking to capitalize on the event have been coming out for years now, and it definitely isn’t slowing down now as the event’s June […]

The importance, and perhaps more accurately, the popularity of the World Cup has never been more evident than in the iPhone app world. It seems like a steady stream of apps looking to capitalize on the event have been coming out for years now, and it definitely isn’t slowing down now as the event’s June 11 kickoff draws near.

So tracking down enough apps to guide you through the 2010 World Cup definitely wasn’t a problem. And while the bad news is that soccer fans have quite a few options to filter through to find the perfect app, the good news is also that you have quite a few options to filter through.

Staying up to date

The number of World Cup news and live scoring apps is simply staggering, and unfortunately there’s no way to mention them all in this space. With that in mind, I’m going to concentrate on some free ones, because there are few things better in life than a free app.

There’s no better place to start than ESPN 2010 FIFA World Cup, which has all kinds of information about every team in this year’s event. Whether you want team profiles, analysis or rankings, this app brings it to your iPhone with ESPN’s typically polished look and user-friendly interface. A future update is supposed to bring live scoring, gamecast coverage and live audio to the app, making it hard to find a fault in this release.

Few other apps are as complete as the ESPN one, but that’s not to say they don’t have advantages. Not only does WC Africa iTracker deliver alerts so you don’t miss important moments, but it also has maps and directions of all the event’s venues; so this app will be even more useful for those of you lucky enough to be in South Africa.

iSouthAfrica 2010 Free is perfect for anyone who doesn’t need too much information about the World Cup; but at the same time, it’s got the basics such as schedules and standings. Likewise, South Africa 2010 Tracker does the less-is-more thing well, though you should know it will cost you $1.99 to get the optional live scoring feature.

If nothing else, you know what you’re getting with 2010 World Cup News. Stories open up within the app in full-screen mode with a reader-friendly presentation, and it includes a nice blend of relative information.

Get your game on

FIFA 10, X2 Soccer 2009 and Real Soccer 2010 gave iPhone gamers three quality options when it came to soccer titles last year, and two of those franchises have returned just in time for this year’s World Cup.

FIFA World Cup ($4.99) is quite similar to Electronic Arts last soccer game, though as you can tell from the title, this version is specifically focused on the World Cup. The series’ addictive single player mode returns this year in the form of “Captain Your Country,” in which you create a player and attempt to guide you nation to championship glory.

While X2 Soccer 2010 ($6.99) also shares many similarities to last year’s game, it also boasts a number of improvements. Graphically, the game is better (and last year’s wasn’t bad), and there are more teams and players this year, which was the biggest problem with the 2009 game. Unlike FIFA, there’s a free lite version of this game available, and if you’re not a fan of the EA game’s controls, you owe it to yourself to download X2.

There’s been no sign of Gameloft’s Real Soccer series yet, but its void has been nicely filled by Football Manager Handheld 2010 ($9.99). This Sports Interactive game centers on the management side of soccer instead of actually playing the game; while that may sound boring to some gamers, it’s incredibly addictive. For those concerned about the price, there are plenty of alternatives in the iTunes App Store – Soccer Manager, Manage Your Football Club and Championship Manager 2010.

Also worth mentioning

World Cup Schedule (99 cents) has made its way into the iTunes Top Ten paid apps list due to its low price and nice design. I would argue that there are free apps that serve the same purpose (in addition to schedules it has things like standings and team profiles), but based on the positive feedback the app is receiving, others would disagree.

Likewise, South Africa 2010 Guide ($2.99) is an app that would have been mentioned in the news section had it been free. There actually is a free lite version available, though it’s light on information, and the coolest part of this app is only included in the paid version – projected lineups. Once again, this is a nice app; I’m just not sure it’s worth the money given the number of alternatives.

You’ll notice a severe lack of multimedia content in many of these apps, though that’s not an issue for Road to South Africa ($1.99). It has highlights of friendlies, video features of players and daily video coverage from South Africa. That’s a whole lot of video, and it goes a long way in justifying that $2 price tag.

I don’t know that soccer has the kind of stathead community a sport like baseball does, but that doesn’t make World Cup Universe (99 cents) any less cool. The app has data of every World Cup match ever, including full lineups and goal scorers. It includes stats for teams, players, managers and even stadiums; chances are if there’s something you want to know about World Cup history, it’s in this app.

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David Lister

David Lister is a freelance writer in Chicago. He is a former editor and writer at the NationalSportsReview.com and an avid St. Louis Cardinals fan. 

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