In a generation dominated by technology and the smartphone revolution, sports has become increasingly electronic.
High-end cameras and video replay have replaced referees huddling up to make a call on a "bang-bang" play. NFL teams have (mostly) moved on from binders filled with still photos of opposing formations to iPad's with high-def video and various drawing tools to diagram over the same still as many times as coordinators want.
In turn, the average sports fan has become more mobile than ever. No longer do we need to run home from the convenience store to know what happened in the first five minutes of the game - and if you we're well prepared, you wouldn't have to rush because you would have taped the game from your TV carrier's phone application. Overall, the mobile sports fan experience has become not only a huge convenience, but a way of life. You used to have to be lucky to hear that a star player on your fantasy football team had been injured, and then you'd have to pray your AOL dial-up Internet connection would work quick enough to get you online before a sleazy opponent scooped the handcuff off the waiver-wire.
Now, you can set your apps to get specific notifications regarding your players, so if Jamaal Charles goes down, you'll be the first to know about it, and you'll then be able to pick up Knile Davis with a few swipes of your phone from anywhere on Earth. Of course, all of this is dependent on quality app development by the tech-geniuses who create these apps. You don't want to have the aforementioned situation happen to you only to have the app crash on you.
This list breaks down the top-10 best sports apps that every sports fan needs to have in their phone.
With the rise in popularity of the Ultimate Fighting Championship, it was only a matter of time before they had to release an app for the die-hard fans. However, the app caters to the average fan who is looking for a way to ease into the sport without getting overloaded by information. Beside the standard notifications, updates, and accessibility to live fights, you also have access to biographies, past video, and analysis that caters to the casual UFC follower the same it does to a UFC expert.
Oh, and there's an Octagon Girls section, if you really needed the extra motivation to download the app.
9 NBA Game Time
The official mobile app is the perfect app for the casual or hardcore NBA fan. While you won't get the hard-hitting articles you'll find on independent apps, when it comes to highlights, stats, and the like, there is no competition. The Game Time app is fluid, constantly updated, and as clean a sports app as you'll find that won't cost you a dime. You can link up your League Pass account on the app or simply follow the live updates - either way, you'll be up-to-date no matter where you are.
8 Sports Illustrated Swimsuit
I tried to restrain myself from adding this to the list, but we all knew it was going to happen. Some of you may argue it should be higher on the list. Granted, it's the finest looking app you'll find in the sports section of your phone's App store, but in terms of actual sports content it provides little to no actual use. Of course, SI only provides a tease with the app - you'll still have to pay for the entire Swimsuit Issue, but a glimpse at the app while have you reaching for your credit card.
7 NFL Now
I might not share this opinion with many, but the NFL Mobile app is one of the worst apps out there. It constantly crashed, it was disorganized and was usually hours behind in terms of updates, which might not seem like that much time - except for the fact that it's not 2004 anymore. We expect news WHEN it happens, not a day later. The NFL redeemed itself, though, with the NFL Now app, which appeals to the "visual learner" who just wants to hear other people talk football as opposed to reading full articles (because who has time for that, right?). It's basically NFL Network (which is one of the best channels on TV, for obvious reasons) in your pocket, but with the added benefit that you can customize it the way you want, so you don't have to listen to talk about Johnny Manziel and Michael Sam all day if you don't want to.
6 TSN Hockey
This might come off as a "Canadian" app, but if you're a hockey fan and you live in the States, this app will be your saving grace from either the lack of hockey coverage in your region, or the low quality hockey coverage that you've probably had to deal with over the years. The TSN Hockey app is the most comprehensive hockey app on the market today, and TSN made the smart move of incorporating all their "side" hockey apps into this one mega app. Now you can get all your regular hockey news here, along with in-depth analysis and most importantly, the app will take care of you during TradeCentre and Free Agent Frenzy.
5 MLB.com At Bat
MLB.com took their official app to the next level in a number of different ways. The fact that it's the top grossing sports app in the Apple App Store at the moment should be enough to prove that, but if you need more convincing, it offers the most in-depth and comprehensive in-app stats and updates, top-quality video content, and the best "game updates" of any app on the market. Instead of your standard quick-hit sentence saying what happened, each pitch and hit is tracked down to the finest detail. It's almost better than watching the game on TV.
4 Yahoo! Fantasy
ESPN and CBS have fantastic fantasy sport platforms - and at the end of the day, they are all pretty much the same thing - but Yahoo! takes the top spot for being one of the more versatile fantasy apps available to the multi-sport fantasy aficionado. You can track and manage all your teams across various sports without having to change apps, not to mention how the app keeps getting better with each passing update.
If you're a sports fan looking for a simple app with comprehensive coverage on every sport you can possibly think of, this is the app for you. Not the flashiest, or most visually appealing, but this is one of those apps with "a lot of meat on the bone"..They advertise the app as "Real time. All the time." and they back that up with the quickest minute of notifications (if you want them). Completely customizable and always fluid, this app is a must-have if you're on the road a lot during game-time
2 Any ESPN App
It was hard to narrow it down, so we've decided to give one big shout-out to ESPN for having cornered a good portion of the sports app-market. If you're the type who wants a different app for each different sport, PLUS one that wraps them all together, just type ESPN into your search bar. Whether it's generic SportsCenter, fantasy apps, or specific sports (including big-ticket events, like the NCAA Tournament), ESPN has it all. They've even taken care of all your radio needs with various radio apps to please fans across the world, no matter where you're from.
1 Bleacher Report Team Stream
While ESPN might have all the smaller, more specific apps, the king of all sports apps is without a doubt the Team Stream app by Bleacher Report. It's odd to think that anyone would ever come close to touching the ESPN Empire, but with the help of Turner Broadcasting System (TBS), Bleacher Report has skyrocketed to the top of the sports media world. If you're looking for an all-encompassing app, this is the only sports app you'll ever need. Bleacher Report has put a revolutionary twist on sports coverage take has made it by far the best sports app on the market today.