The new NFL season kicked off a couple of weeks ago, and while fans of the Baltimore Ravens and Chicago Bears might already be crying into their cornflakes, for most fans, the excitement and intrigue of the new campaign is still alive and fresh.
With the new season comes a slew of new and updated apps; it means owners of Android devices now have more ways than ever to keep abreast of news and scores from their favorite sport.
Here are some of the best apps to help follow the new season from your phone.
The logical starting point for a list like this is the official NFL app.
The whole app has been re-imagined and redesigned for the new season, and it now has a reactive experience that changes depending on the day and time. That means you’ll get a different approach to news and presentation depending on several factors — for example, whether it’s the regular season or the post-season and whether or not it’s game day for your favorite side.
All users have access to news, videos, and feature length stories from the 32 teams, all the games are accompanied by live minute-by-minute text, and all the teams have an impressive array of season stats that are searchable.
If you’re also a Verizon subscriber in the United States, you’ll get access to exclusive live video, nationally broadcast games on CBS, ESPN, FOX, and NBC, local Sunday games that are broadcast in your region, and all primetime games.
Fantasy sports have become a huge industry. Regardless of which sport you choose to follow, you can be certain that you can find a fantasy game to accompany it.
It’s not surprising, therefore, that there’s a fantasy NFL game. There’s actually several, but the most popular and most downloaded (5 million and counting) is the official NFL version.
The app has received a 2015 overhaul and now includes free live scoring for your squad, video highlights, and push notifications that’ll keep you updated with any news or injuries that affect your team.
Delve a bit deeper, and it’s gotten to the point where the app is almost a mirror image of the website version in terms of features. You can view your live draft, join and create leagues, set up your team, perform transactions, and manage multiple teams.
Football NFL Schedules 2015 is intentionally less full-featured than some of the other apps on the market.
They use this as their selling point, claiming that other apps on the market are too cluttered — they want to offer you a way to get straight to fixtures, real-time scores, and results.
The app will let you customize the schedule so that it’s presented the way you want to see it, you can use it to see all the broadcast and DirectTV television listings, and you can set alarms so that you never miss your team’s match.
Finally, you can also use the app offline — all the schedules and results are stored directly on your device.
No list of NFL apps would be complete without a bit of themed gaming; it can help alleviate the stress of a loss or get you psyched before your boys do battle against their rivals.
NFL Kicker 2015 isn’t on the same level as games like Madden, but it’s a great way to spend five minutes while the commercials are on and you’re waiting for kick-off.
The premise is simple — you assume the role of a team’s kicker and use your thumb to “flick” the ball through the posts as the distances and the wind speeds get progressively harder to manage. There are three modes of play — target, timed, and coffin corner.
All 32 NFL sides are featured, and you can even play in the University of Phoenix Stadium in Glendale, Arizona — the venue for 2015’s Super Bowl.
Madden is a spin-off of the hugely popular Madden NFL series for games consoles. Since its launch in the late-80s, the series has sold more than 100 million copies worldwide, and a couple of years ago it made the leap to mobile operating systems.
Understandably, it’s more threadbare than its bigger cousin — but that doesn’t mean it’s not worth playing.
Features include the ability to become a General Manager and handpick a team comprised of NFL legends and current stars, daily challenges and rewards, and a way to design your own playbook moves.
The game itself is free, but it includes in-app purchases.
The Score is designed to let you make your own customizable feed of scores from the sides you’re most interested in. In addition to the NFL, it also covers NCAA Football, MLB, NBA, NHL, the English Premier League, La Liga, and the Champions League.
Along with live scores, the customized feed also includes stats, news, betting odds, game previews, and recaps — thus giving you a one-stop shop for all your needs.
Despite its professional polish, simply presenting scores and news is somewhat unremarkable. The real reason the app makes the list is due to its home-screen widgets. They are lock-screen compatible and can be tweaked so the provide the precise information you want to see.
Not all football fans follow the NFL; some are more interested in the college side of the game.
NCAA Sports is the official app from the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA). It includes information from football, baseball, basketball, field hockey, lacrosse, soccer, softball, and volleyball across all the divisions.
The best feature of the app is the exclusive live video coverage of more than 65 NCAA championship events. It also includes “team hubs” that pull together your favorite school’s latest scores, news and social media feeds, as well as a way to track the live ranking of how popular your school is among fellow app users.
We’ve mentioned Google Now before as a worthy companion to “real life” events, and it’s no different with the NFL.
If you spend a bit of time customizing your options, you can get the latest scores and news from your Android’s homescreen with a mere swipe of a finger.
Of course, you can also set up “OK Google”, which means you won’t even have to touch your phone — just ask it what’s the latest score for your favorite team and it’ll flash up in seconds.
Are you a football nut? How do you follow the new NFL season?
What apps would you recommend to fellow readers? What apps should be avoided? You can let us know your thoughts in the comments below.