- Author Gary Parkinson
- Published June 16, 2014
Top six football apps for Android
Football is a thing again after the brief lull following that event in Brazil – and what better way to keep track of it all than your smartphone? Here are the six essential apps you’ll need. Come on. Watch it! Watch the football! Watch it! Watch it! It’s gonna move… Watch the football!
Football is now an all-consuming, 24/7 obsession for many, with rolling news channels, Twitter gossip and transfer rumours to keep abreast of. We’ve selected six of the best Android apps for keeping you up to date with your favourite teams – even if they’re only make-believe…
High on trust and immensely popular, the BBC has long been the place people turn to for unbiased news and coverage – and lately its digital output has been getting increasingly impressive. This app is an example: although it covers all BBC Sport, the front page lets you edit menu options to cut down the noise and add your favourites (specific teams, for example). Cleverly, it also lets you listen to the radio while you read the articles – perfect while you wait for updates from your game. Otherwise it’s a fairly faithful reproduction of the BBC’s website, which is no bad thing at all.
Football’s a game of opinions and Forza Football demonstrates this better than most. True, its editable alert system lets you follow an impressive depth and range of competitions and teams, from Afghanistan to Zimbabwe; it also lets you choose the update frequency, from a battery-sapping five-second interval to once per three minutes, creating an excellent matchday companion whether or not you’re at the game. But what marks it apart is its regular, hassle-free polls, which quickly and easily collate the views of a wide user-base to present fascinating snapshots of public opinion.
Sky Sports Football Score Centre
For many, Saturday afternoon isn’t Saturday afternoon without Jeff Stelling and his bunch of gabbling goons on Sky Sports News. Thankfully this app doesn’t try to recreate the TV bants-wagon’s atmosphere of collective incoherence from the pundits and magisterial interjections from Stelling, instead presenting a souped-up version of the bits round the edge of the screen – the vidiprinter, league tables and score updates – again with the ability to pick your favourite team(s). Choose carefully, though: we couldn’t find an option to undo our selection.
Football Manager 2014 Handheld (£6.99)
When real-world football is unsatisfying, escape to alternative realities with the latest version of the iconic Football Manager simulation series. The handheld version makes a virtue of the need to cut down the often intimidatingly in-depth desktop game by creating a streamlined experience concentrating on transfers and matchday management – which are, let’s face it, the main reasons most people want to play. Sadly the Android version doesn’t share the cloud-save option available on fruit-flavoured operating systems, so choose your device as wisely as any centre-forward purchase.
Get ready for the weekend with this app from FourFourTwo magazine, free every Thursday teatime on both Android and iOS. Setting the agenda for the forthcoming fixtures with thought-provoking articles, tactical analysis from Michael ‘Zonal Marking’ Cox and exclusive interviews with global stars, the Weekly aims to be a regular slice of FourFourTwo thinking applied to the fast-moving world of football. It also has the magazine’s writers penning in-depth previews of every Premier League game, thoroughly whetting your appetite for the action to come.
For all the dominance of the big-budget modern franchises like FIFA and PES, no football-playing game has been as much fun as the 80s classic Sensible Soccer. That’s not available on Android (officially: search and you’ll find ‘mods’ simulating it, although we can’t vouch for them), but this is the closest we’ve yet found. A top-down view of comically bumbling sprites, like the original ‘Sensi’, it also doesn’t take itself too seriously, as shown by its instructions: to swerve a shot, it says, simply flick and ‘swerve a bit’.
Gary Parkinson is the editor of www.fourfourtwo.com.
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