World Cup Trivia and Skate It by EA in play for this week’s sports-themed free app list

Jun 28, 2010
Tech

This week’s list of free iPhone apps is a special edition, with the sports fan in mind. So if you’re a fan of the World Cup, Wimbledon or Major League Baseball there’s something for you this week, while extreme sports fans can get their game on with the recently released lite version of Electronic Arts’ […]

This week’s list of free iPhone apps is a special edition, with the sports fan in mind.

So if you’re a fan of the World Cup, Wimbledon or Major League Baseball there’s something for you this week, while extreme sports fans can get their game on with the recently released lite version of Electronic Arts’ Skate It.

All World Cup, all the time

The United States’ exit from the World Cup is disappointing, but I’m guessing more than a few of you are still quite interested in the event. When you’re not tracking the tournament with your favorite World Cup news app, you can test your knowledge with ESPN World Cup Trivia by Bing. There are more than 200 questions in this free app, and the highlight is ESPN’s typical nice presentation. You spin a wheel to select a category and it, of course, includes ESPN’s bottom line.

Each ‘game’ consists of 25 questions and you can only miss three of them while every couple of questions you advance to the next stage of the competition. Admittedly there’s a lot of fluff in World Cup Trivia, but it is a nice change from the bland, charmless trivia apps we’ve seen way too many of over the last two years.

You’ll love this tennis app

If you’ve found yourself a little too caught up in the World Cup, then you’ve likely missed the beginning of tennis’ most prestigious major – Wimbledon. Wimbledon 2010 is your typical golf/tennis major app (not that that’s a bad thing), with news, live scoring, schedules and player info. There are also some multimedia features, such as a radio feed and video on-demand highlights. Unfortunately there is no live video and I’m not a fan of the app’s look at all, it comes off as amateurish and simply not that pleasant to look at. Of course you may disagree. The app does work and provides the information it says it does, which is much more important than a flashy opening screen and snazzy main menu. So while it may not be an ideal app, Wimbledon 2010 is a free one that does have all the essentials.

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Everything about baseball

I’ve often trashed ‘template’ apps, the most common example in sports apps is when a developer simply copies one successful team app for every team imaginable. But there are times that these apps are actually done pretty well, and EvriThing Baseball is definitely one of them. Evri Inc. is likely most well know for last year’s news fee app EvriVerse, and this baseball app follows the same principals. It’s a collection of feeds from blogs, newspapers and major media outlets that you can filter by ‘channels’.

So whether you want news about the St. Louis Cardinals, the latest trade talk or injury updates you can do all that and more with this app. While it’s a painfully boring display, there is an impressive collection of sources. Each story opens in a very readable full screen presentation and the app seemed stable in the time I spent with it. If nothing else, EvriThing Baseball has taught me that template apps may not be so bad – as long as they’re free, at least.

Bloomberg meets fantasy baseball

Before I say anything else about Bloomberg Sports Front Office Baseball 2010, the app has solid ideas that offer fantasy baseball information that’s not all that easy to find in the app store. Actually I only really have one problem with the app – it’s not really free. Yes you get an idea of what it has to offer with the initial free download, but you have to either pay $4.99 for the in-app upgrade or be a subscriber to BloombergSports.com to get much of anything out of this app.

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The highlight of the app is player rankings, which you can filter by a number of different categories. There are also plenty of charts and stats included, making this app a sort of fantasy baseball version of Fangraphs. The free version is limited to only 10 players and you need WiFi access to use the app; fantasy fanatics should check it out to get an idea of what Front Office Baseball 2010 has to offer, just don’t expect too much unless you’re willing to spend.

Free lite game of the week

Skate It by EA FREE is definitely a different take on the skateboarding video game. For fans of the genre who, like me, grew up on the Tony Hawk Pro Skater series, the controls are completely different. Your skater is controlled by the accelerometer and tricks are performed by making flick motions on the iPhone’s screen instead of by hitting an action button. This gives the game a very cool feel, but be warned that it can also be very frustrating getting familiar with the scheme.

Aside from the controls, this is your standard skateboard game. You try your hand in competitions, earn money to buy new gear and, eventually, your own skate park. The game’s graphics are good, but not mind-blowing great and the music is what you would expect – plenty of punk rock. It’s great that EA finally came out with a free version of Skate It, because the unique controls won’t be for everyone, but will be loved by many.

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