Whether you’re catching up on the latest scores or trying to plan a night of entertainment, getting to know the best sports apps is critical. They are also about as regular a presence in our lives – and the lives of sports fans – as mobile phones themselves.
Long gone are the days when the only way you could figure out how your team was doing was by switching on the TV. If you were away from any television source, a radio was your next best option. Missed both? You’d have to wait until the news hit the papers the next day. Sounds rough, right?
Well, thankfully, we don’t have to worry about that sort of choice. Thanks to the advent of mobile and streaming technology, we have the privilege these days of streaming sports and checking out the scores in a multitude of ways. For most of us, that will mean using several applications and add-ons for that specific purpose.
Of course, there are quite a few options to choose from. It doesn’t matter what sport you’re into or how often you watch. You can be addicted to the drama of sports as they happen live or simply need to know what the final scores were. To help you wade through those options and figure out what’s right for you, check out our primer on the 20 best sports apps you need to know.
Best Sports Apps for Android
Android devices are notable thanks to their sheer popularity. In fact, close to 70% of all mobile phones operate on Android. Considering that, this is perhaps the best part of this list to start with.
They aren’t known as “the worldwide leader in sports” for nothing. ESPN has been a leader in sports news and live event broadcasts for as long as any of us can remember. As a result, the network’s multiple television channels are often the entire reason people sign up for costly cable packages.
That’s no longer a necessary sacrifice. The availability of this app makes it a matter of convenience to catch up with all of the major sports. ESPN’s interface is simple and intuitive, constantly upgrading based on user feedback.
There are also a number of ways you can enjoy your favorite sports. Along with the constant news updates and scores, fans can stream a selection of sporting events. The app also comes with access to a number of exclusive ESPN content.
If video isn’t quite your thing, you can always browse the huge selection of ESPN podcasts or live radio shows, all through the app’s interface.
This is another one of those powerhouse sports score applications. Much like ESPN, theScore gives you a running update on whatever sport or team you wish to follow. You also get relevant news updates depending on what you’re interested in.
An interesting feature on this app is also the updates of significant plays in a chosen event. If your favorite baseball player smacks a game-tying home run, you’ll get an alert. If a tennis player you’ve been following wins their first match against a ranked opponent, your phone will buzz. We could go on and on.
Importantly, theScore comes with exclusive content as well, including player retrospectives and interviews. Particularly worthy of note is the video feature on the NBA’s Lance Stephenson, available now on the app.
Golf is one of the most consistently growing sports on the planet. You might be surprised to hear that it actually is among the ten most popular sports in the world. As such, countless fans need a way to keep up with all of the action.
For this purpose, one of the best sports apps for Android is PGA TOUR. The features here are rather impressive.
Of course, you get all of the usual sports app features like real-time leaderboard tracking, scorecards, and video highlights. But, it’s all of the golf specific features that really jump out at you.
PGA TOUR gives fans information like tournament groupings and even a course detail. These course maps include aspects like live stats for each hole. It’s this sort of add-on that reels in so many downloads.
It’s also among the reasons why PGA TOUR is one of the best sports apps available, of any genre.
Missing out on the hard-hitting action of the NFL? The official app of this league brings you everything you need to enjoy the season as well as help the long off-season move by a little quicker.
During the sport’s active months, you’ll have the standard features of live score-tracking, video highlights, as well as exclusive content such as articles and interviews.
As impressive as that is, it’s when the action starts to slow down that the NFL app shows its creativity. The slower months also happen to be when there’s plenty of talk about the incoming young class of new NFL players. To keep you up to speed, the NFL brings you coverage of both the draft and the pre-draft combined events.
Though a part of the ESPN family, this app was always going to need to stand on its own. As the second most popular sport on the planet – 2.5 billion fans and counting – keeping up with cricket demands its own standalone application.
ESPNCricinfo is just what you need to keep up with your favorite teams as well as all the different cricket formats. Like ESPN’s main app, you have the option of live alerts on events, updating scores, and highlights of past matches.
Interestingly, the latest version of this app is also updated to run smoothly on slower connections, addressing the sport’s obvious global appeal.
Related: Best Golf Rangefinder Reviews
Best Sports Apps for iPhone
Apple’s iPhones may not be the most popular in the world, but they still account for nearly 30% of mobile phone owners. It’s a respectable enough chunk of society that requires its own section on this list. As Apple fans will have already noticed, a lot of the best sports apps on this device are also visually stunning.
So, what are the best sports apps for iPhone?
The standard features are no less present here. Live scores, running updates, and match coverage come standard. But, this app is especially effective at giving you some added perspective.
BBC’s sports coverage has always been about actual reporting and giving unique insights. As such, one of the app’s handier options is the ability to stream the legendary reporting and commentary of BBC Radio 5 Sports.
You also get several options that seamlessly adapt to the Apple operating system. Highlights here including a news widget that requires users to simply swipe down for the latest news.
For this app, you’ll need a subscription to BT Sport. Though that may come across as a noticeable drawback, it could very well be worth your efforts.
The BT Sport app doesn’t limit itself to local channels. A subscription also gives you access to ESPN events as well as BoxNation, live and on-demand. And then, there’s the impressive quality of the content on this app.
One of the more eye-opening features is the ‘Virtual Reality 360’ feature, which lets you watch select events as though you’re actually in the stadium. Depending on your subscription, you can even connect to Chromecast and take live or on-demand video from the app to your television.
This is another one of the best sports apps mainly for its dedicated reporting. Though it’s great to have as many features as possible at your fingertips, it’s sometimes more important to get to what you need quickly and smoothly.
The Sky Sports app provides all of the famous reporting quality of the network via a smooth and visually pleasing application. The coverage is world class, including running commentaries on several sporting events as well as news features and articles.
This is a good time to get into the Sky Sports app as the broadcaster is going all in on its dedicated channels. With the interface on this app being upgraded quite often, it’s also very user-centric. That’s one of the many details that has it sitting pretty as the 3rd most popular sports app for iPhones.
So far, we’ve discussed quite a few of the best sports apps that require users to opt into subscriptions. Well, LiveScore is here for those of us who are made squeamish by such contractual commitments.
This free sport update app is as simple and straightforward as it gets. A streamlined interface connects you to the happenings of every major sport as well as your favorite teams.
An example of their intuitive design is the option to select a star next to any match or team you wish to get regular updates on. This all but eliminates the need for going through complicated settings pages.
Like all of the previously mentioned apps, LiveScore keeps you updated on highlights and live events. We also get special sport-specific features like the form of two football clubs before their next match as well as injury updates.
Bleacher Report: Sports News
The Bleacher Report app is as novel as you’re going to get from a sports application. It comes with every feature you’d expect from an option on this list – highlights, live updates, etc. However, you will have to do without the services of live matches on the go.
Though you can’t watch sports live on the Bleacher Report app, it more than makes up for this thanks to its unique coverage. Bleacher Report employs writers with some impressive resumes – including former staffers from ESPN and the New York Times.
As such, their feature content has been developing into industry leading quality. Bleacher Report app users get first access to this via push notifications. You also get an app that is optimized for mobile, making the entire experience – from tracking teams and players to reading the next breaking news story – a very unique experience to this app.
Best Sports Apps for Amazon Fire TV
Amazon’s services just seem to get bigger and better over time. The e-commerce giant is eating up niches one at a time and their sports options are no different.
With the Amazon Fire TV, you get to take advantage of sports streaming and coverage from a unique standpoint. Unlike the mobile apps we mentioned, this is all about the future of streaming from your couch.
If you’re into boxing at any level, professional or otherwise, you’ll want to hook your Amazon Fire TV up with the BoxNation HD app.
Through this app, fans can watch live fights from their Fire TV or the mobile Fire Stick. You can even get a healthy dose of exclusive interviews from as far back as three months. Looking forward to an upcoming big fight? BoxNation also gives you previews of all the action to come.
For the forgetful, you can make sure you set reminders via this app so you don’t miss that big battle you’ve been waiting for. Of course, as the app’s name implies, all of this content comes in a High Definition stream.
MLB At Bat
Don’t worry baseball fans, we haven’t forgotten you. The MLB At Bat app is the perfect companion to the baseball fan that needs more than just the live broadcast and commentary. Thanks to a mobile-first interface, this Amazon Fire TV application makes for an enthralling experience.
MLB At Bat’s initial purpose was to be a phone companion for anyone who wasn’t able to stream the game at home. Now, thanks to the Fire TV compatibility, fans can stream the Free Game of the Day on their televisions while keeping updated on all of the stats on their cell phones.
Some of the more impressive features on this app include pitch-by-pitch statistics as well as pre-game previews.
One of Amazon’s more impressive moves was setting up an exclusive content deal with Manchester City. The premier show from this partnership has been the “All or Nothing” documentary series following the team.
But, that’s not all you get with this Fire TV channel. Fans also get goal highlights, fixture previews, as well as feature content like behind the scenes perspectives.
UFC fans are going to love this one for the same reason that boxing fans will flock to BoxNation: the huge amount of exclusive content. First and foremost, fans will get access to live fights via UFC Fight Pass and Pay-Per-View.
Yet, the most impressive feature here will be the access users will have to the world’s largest MMA Fight Library. Enthusiasts of all levels will be able to enjoy all of the content they could possibly want. Though this requires a subscription, you can purchase that membership directly via Amazon to streamline the process.
Best Sports Apps for Kodi
Kodi is a very popular streaming option for those of us who want to break away from traditional television contracts. The streaming service doesn’t inherently come with any content offerings, but that also leaves it up to fans to customize based on their needs.
In light of that, here are a few of our favorite sports apps for Kodi
Fox Sports GO
This is the official add-on for all of the Fox content you could ask for on Kodi. Luckily for fans, Fox Sports’s content comes as part of a vast online library. This add-on will be your best bet for accessing all of that as a Kodi user.
The selections here include a host of live events – from baseball to MMA – as well as backdated highlights and replays. Like most Kodi apps, this works much like a tradition cable set-up.
You might look at this app’s name and think that it’s simply focused on British sports. Well, fortunately, that would be inaccurate.
BBC’s iPlayer offers several streaming options concerning live sporting events. Just as an example, the iPlayer add-on plays the NFL’s Super Bowl every single year. You also get certain European basketball events as well as many more options.
NBC Sports Live Extra
Thanks to NBC’s huge reservoir of sports content, Kodi users get access to essentially any major sport you can think of.
The network has live and on-demand coverage of an incredible amount of live events, spanning sports such as basketball, golf, football, soccer, racing, and even track and field.
BONUS: Best Sports Editing Apps
If your sports fandom often takes you away from the TV screen and onto something a bit more creative, check out these apps that help you to express this via photo editing.
This is the most elite option for photo editing of any genre but holds particular importance within the sports editing community. The features mirror that of a full-fledged software such as Photoshop, giving users the ultimate in editorial flexibility.
This app is specific to IOS/ Apple users but comes with functionality that runs smoothly on both iPhones and iPads.
One for Android users. For sports photo editing purposes, this is one of the best options you can possibly find. One of the more important parts of editing sports photos is getting to remove and customize the background. Background Eraser makes that an efficient process.
Though most editing apps come across as similar, Background eraser comes with the added feature of being able to zoom in on photos as part of its mobile interface.
It isn’t the most popular app, but Phonto makes our list for its ability to help watermark your work and make sure people know that you put it together. Phonto is also great for slapping customizable text onto your edited image before you send it off.
When sharing on social media, an issue many members of the sports photo editing community raise is getting credit for their work when it is redistributed. Apps such as Phonto make it easy for everyone to know who their favorite edits were created by.