Euro 2012 is now underway in Poland and Ukraine and that means a full month of world class football to look forward to. UEFA have leapt into action with an official Euro 2012 app, but to be honest with you – I’ve had better.
Better apps like ESPN Soccernet, which recently landed on iOS and Android. It’s aimed not only at this summer’s internationals but at the football fan in general, and provides a completely customizable way to keep yourself informed, match-by-match. Best of all ESPN Soccernet is free, so let’s take a closer look at what’s on offer.
Something For Nothing
I’ve personally been searching for a good, free app for staying abreast of football developments for a while. My main prerequisite was notifications, as I’d love to be told when and what is happening without having to constantly refresh an app. Lucky for me, ESPN Soccernet is exactly what I was after.
Upon launching the app you’ll see the usual array of scores, news and buttons you’d associate with just about any football app. In the top right corner is a cog which, when tapped, reveals your personal settings. This is definitely where you’ll want to go first, as this is where you can specify your favourite club teams, international squads, tournaments and leagues from around the world.
It’s possible to add multiple teams, tournaments and leagues from each area, which is great if you’re a casual follower of foreign football. For each team (international or club) that you add, you can specify alerts for a range of events including kick off, goals and even substitutions (screenshot, below).
Once you’ve customized the app to your liking you can then choose whether or not to link your Facebook account for quick sharing with friends. There are a total of 24 worldwide leagues to follow, with the Premiership, Bundeslige and Serie A accompanied by England’s League 1 and 2, US Major League Soccer and the Australian A-League.
Using The App
There are three main tabs from which much of your football news, results and fixtures are to be found – Home, Scores and Tables. Each of these tabs features a menu at the top of the page with your chosen competitions and leagues, as well as a star which delivers information regarding your favourite international and club teams.
The Home tab is your portal to the latest news and a summary of the latest scores and fixtures. Head over to the Scores tab to find results and fixtures relating to whichever competition you have chosen at the top of the screen. It doesn’t take long to get used to, and it’s a clever system for keeping everything in its place. Tap the small calendar icon on the Scores tab and you can choose a past or future month to review scores and fixtures. This is considerably quicker than using a website like BBC Sport to complete the same task.
Tap a result to see a drop-down featuring goal scorers and cards issued, or tap the blue arrow next to the result to see a full match breakdown including written report, match timeline and diagrams of the pitch action as well as those all-important statistics. For upcoming clashes the app delivers past results of when the two teams last met, a nifty little feature.
The Tables tab is displays the current standings in your chosen leagues and competitions, with a Key Facts area that offers some facts and figures about the current top performers. If you’re a keen fantasy football player I’m sure you could put some of the information here to good use against your friends.
Last of all is the Videos tab which, at the moment, gets regular updates with interviews, speculation and general football talk, if that’s your kind of thing. The official Euro 2012 app also provides video content, but it’s rather limited unless you’re willing to hand over money for highlights (despite all the free TV coverage).
Whether you’re travelling to eastern Europe for the competition or are thousands of miles away like myself, ESPN Soccernet is the perfect companion to this summer’s football. Best of all, push notifications mean you’re in-the-know wherever you are. I know for a fact that I’ll be keeping it around after Euro 2012 and using it to follow the Premiership when the season starts again later in the year.