Owen Munro, Contributor Ω
The recent emergence of smartphones and the accompanying rise of social media has revolutionized the way we watch sports. Applications such as TSN and ScoreMobile offer real-time scoring with the press of a button. Social media, especially Twitter, has changed the way we look at athletes and interact with sports personalities. Just look at how Twitter handled the Manti Te’o scandal.
So for the avid sports fan, The Omega presents the top five free apps that can keep you in touch and in shape in the world of sports.
With over 140 million active users, Twitter has exploded onto the scene and is the clear go-to application for breaking news in the sporting world. With the ability to follow your favourite sports teams, athletes and personalities, Twitter gives the world unprecedented access. Twitter has completely revolutionized sports, particularly the way fans watch sports, creating an intriguing parallel between fan and athlete.
To the average person, Twitter can seem a tad overwhelming at first. To ease the new user into Twitter for sports, here are some accounts that are must-follows:
TSN hockey insider mogul Bob McKenzie (@TSNBobMcKenzie), Phoenix Coyotes enforcer Paul Bissonnette (@biznasty2point0), UFC president Dana White (@danawhite) and Los Angeles Lakers superstar Kobe Bryant (@kobebryant).
While Twitter provides the news and ability to follow almost anyone, ScoreMobile has created its own powerhouse app. Not only can you receive real-time updates from virtually every professional and collegiate league in the world, but ‘MyScore’ gives you the ability to customize the app to receive updates for your favourite teams and any statistic imaginable. Push notifications can also be turned on so that you’re notified every time your team is playing.
The sleek interface makes it easy to navigate through multiple leagues and teams. It loads quicker than its TSN counterpart and is always jam-packed with usable content. ScoreMobile is a must have for any sports fan, casual or die-hard.
“Canada’s Sports Leader” has done a quality job making a modern and professional app that combines scoring updates and customizable features for your favourite teams. TSN also has a stable of some of the best talent in Canada—from Bob McKenzie to Jay Onrait and Dan O’Toole—TSN is jam-packed with columns, scores, podcasts and fantasy sports.
The other component to TSN’s app is the introduction of TSN Mobile. While not out across all cellular carriers in Canada just yet, TSN Mobile gives Bell subscribers the opportunity to watch crystal clear live HD sports on mobile devices for just $5 a month. Mobile live streaming is likely one of the next inventions that will take off in the smartphone world, giving TSN a leg up on its competition.
Living a healthy lifestyle is all the rage these days and no app better represents that than Nike’s own Nike+ app. The innovative application works across all platforms and is integrated within Apple’s operating system so people can access it on their iPhones when they go for that morning jog. It tracks everything from how long you’ve been working out, to your distance travelled, your pace and even how many calories you have burned in your session.
What’s also cool about the app is its seamless transition between your device and the Nike website, where you can store your information, track your progress and even compare your workouts to people around the world. While it’s not useful as any more than a running app, Nike has come up with ground-breaking technology that is both innovative and extremely useful.
There are not many things that have exploded in the sporting world over the last decade quite like fantasy sports, especially fantasy football. With the rise of social media came increased access to information for fans and ESPN’s fantasy apps are packed with information—the research put into ranking players, doing mock drafts and player values is staggering.
ESPN’s app allows you to follow your fantasy games in real-time, with the ability to customize your team on the go. You can even draft on your mobile device before. It’s an incredible app to keep on top of your team when you can’t get to a computer.