Just because you’re stuck scrubbing down the hull or manning a late-night watch does not grant you an automatic excuse to be negligent in your sporting life. There is no excuse. Your team doesn’t halt its matches the minute you become unavailable. The world keeps spinning and the ball keeps moving.
You simply have to adapt. Or, if you’re anything like me, you sit back and wait for others to take on the grunt work of adaptation and then, only once they’ve done their due diligence, do you go ahead and adapt because they’ve just made it that easy.
(Not to mention the fact that your boat, floating along in the middle of the Indian Ocean, could establish a better WiFi connection than most people have in their homes.)
The wide world of smartphone apps has made instant gratification the norm. However, only in stocks and sports is the competition so cutthroat. Play-by-play updates and analyses. Instant video replays. The latest news and gossip. It’s incredible.
The problem is that sports are no longer a national phenomenon; they’re increasingly global. Football is now widely watched in America (which is an understandably confusing statement for my fellow Americans, who would prefer to call the sport ‘soccer’). With football there are at least six important leagues to follow. Meanwhile, American football is now followed by a growing number of Brits, who are happy to learn that there is only one league (unless they get sucked into America’s college season, in which case, good luck).
The N.B.A. has a broad global following.
And then there’s rugby. Which has tons of different leagues and styles of play and rules that vary from league-to-league. Please, don’t even get me started on rugby.
The point is that there is a lot of information out there – a lot of different sports with different national leagues and international competitions and it can be pretty overwhelming at times.
That’s where we come in. OnboardOnline has simplified the process. We have waded through the muck to find you the best sporting apps around. Unfortunately, there’s not just one all-encompassing app – at least, not yet. We’ve narrowed it down to four apps that should cover the gamut.
(Warning: If you need all four, it’s very likely that you have a problem.)
Football (…or soccer, if you prefer)
“THE Football App” is the most comprehensive football-centric app out there. It covers around 100 international leagues, so even if you’re trying to follow an obscure team in Albania, this is the app for you.
However, for the majority of users who are really interested in the big leagues – the Premier League, La Liga, Bundesliga, Serie A, Champions League – this is really where it’s at. The app allows you to follow your favourite team, and tailors the news and updates to match your interests. It tracks the big tournaments and competitions, offers match statistics and breakdowns.
And maybe the best part is that it offers video highlights for when you missed a game (in addition to a database of more than 100,000 videos for when you’re just bored and have a few minutes to kill and want to watch Ibrahimovic’s craziest goals).
It also allows you to track your favourite players, news and to follow a match’s play-by-play movements.
-Coverage on more than 100 leagues and competitions, including Premier League, Champions League, Bundesliga, Serie A, La Liga, Ligue 1, World Cup
-Minute-by-minute highlights for most important games
-Fixtures and live scores on every game
-More than 500 news stories published each day
-Video from many leagues
-Customizable to follow an unlimited number of teams
-Live tables and stats for matches, teams and players
-Squad information, formations
-Fan Zone, where you can chat with other fans
-Share the latest with friends on Facebook, Twitter.
Devices: iPhone, iPad, Android, Windows Phone, BlackBerry, Samsung, Amazon Kindle Fire
“The Score” is the app for followers of the United States’ wide world of sports. It is comprehensive and easy to use. It covers 20 of the most popular leagues for American football, hockey, basketball and baseball – along with everything from tennis to auto racing.
It allows users to create their own “scoreboard” on which they can track their favourite teams, players and leagues. It also offers real-time breakdown of game statistics, which is of major interest to anyone who plays in fantasy leagues.
While The Score does cover most major football leagues, it is not nearly comprehensive enough, and doesn’t come close to what THE Football App offers.
Real-time coverage of the following leagues:
American Football: NFL, NCAA, CFL
Basketball: NBA, NCAA
Hockey: NHL, IIHF
Mixed Martial Arts: UFC, Strikeforce, Bellator, Score Fighting
Football: EPL, Serie A, La Liga, Bundesliga, Champions League
Auto Racing: NASCAR, Formula One
Golf: PGA, LPGA, EPGA
Tennis: ATP, WTA
-League-by-league, team-by-team news and analysis
-Horizontal Stats Viewer
-Team View, with latest and long-term performance indicators for each team.
Devices: iPhone, iPad, Google Play, BlackBerry
Of course, it’s going to be the BBC. The “BBC Sport” app is your go-to for all that is British and sporting. Its football coverage is fairly broad, but it is really focused on the domestic leagues and most specifically on the Premier League. It is still no replacement for THE Football App in that regard.
However, it offers wonderful coverage and in-depth analysis on the Premier League, Formula One, cricket, rugby, tennis and golf. It is simple and easy to use.
-Daily commentaries from BBC journalists
-Detailed live coverage of football scores, match stats and commentaries
-Customizable, with links to your favorite sports
Devices: iPhone, iPad, Google Play, Android, Amazon Kindle Fire
And last but not least: "Ultimate Rugby", the mother of all rugby apps. It boasts that it has “every live score from professional rugby in both the Northern and Southern Hemispheres.” It offers breaking news, analysis, video highlights, real-time match coverage and even information for tickets.
It is customizable to follow your favourite teams and leagues, and offers a live match chat section for fans on both sides to chime in on game day.
Ultimate Rugby tracks the following Tier One leagues: Six Nations, Rugby Championship, Heineken Cup, Super 15, RaboDirect Pro12, Aviva Premiership, Currie Cup and the soon-to-be-added Lions Tour.
-Real-time live scores from matches worldwide
-Player profile cards
-Match stats page
-Breaking news, ticket availability, stadium maps
-Team announcements and club profiles
Devices: iPhone, iPad, Google Play