With all of the World Cup furor lately, even novice fans should have no problems following their favourite squads. But what if you can’t afford to glue yourself to the television for that all-important match? Perhaps you’re “employed”, or have a “family” or are otherwise beset by obligations that prevent you from spending the next month as one half of a TV/human conjoined twin.
Never fear. Anyone with an Internet connection or mobile device has no excuse to miss any of the action. Check out my list* of mobile apps, podcasting sites, gadgets and other nifty sources of FIFA 2010 info on the go. Because watching things on TV is so old-fashioned…
*Many thanks to the folks who work in my department, as many of these gadgets were suggested for inclusion by them. If anyone else has an app to add, please post a comment. I’m particularly interested in finding links to text/SMS alert services.
Streaming audio & video:
The Canadian Broadcasting Corporation has done their usual bang-up job on international sports coverage. You can watch all 64 matches live online, stream highlights and commentary and read in-depth team and player reports. Check out their library of podcast documentaries.
For those of you who subscribe to Sirius XM radio, they’ll be live streaming all 64 matches, plus commentary and the usual sports chat.
The Guardian will be podcasting the entire tournament from a uniquely British perspective. Subscribe using iTunes or download MP3s for your mobile device.
Calendar and scheduling services:
This nifty little plug-in from MarkThisDate.com will import (and automatically update!) the entire World Cup 2010 match schedule into the calendar application of your choice. Works for Outlook Express, iPhone, Google Calendar and many more.
A great little interactive, stadium shaped calendar by Marca.com. Just mouse over the team, date or stadium of your choice to pop up the relevant schedule info.
Maps and virtual tours:
For you Google Earth fans, explore 3D models of all ten South African stadiums.
Google Maps has updated their imagery to include a virtual tour of South Africa. Most of the attention is focused on the tournament, but it would be a shame to ignore what is an absolutely stunning countryside.
Social networking sites:
Join in on the fun by following your favourite team on Facebook. Engage in arbitrary arguments with people from all over the world.
The one and only, official FIFA World Cup Twitter feed. Don’t forget to download the South Africa 2010 Twitter skin. The most popular hashtags are #WC2010 and #WorldCup.
Twitter’s also set up their own World Cup dedicated section. Tweets pop up in real-time in just about every language under the sun. Given the massive server load the World Cup is expected to produce, prepare to make friends with Twitter’s Fail Whale.
Interested in seeing what other web surfers are searching for? HitWise compiles a weekly ranking of the world’s most searched players. Portugal’s Christiano Ronaldo is the current leader.
World Cup fantasy teams:
Now that the battle for Lord Stanley’s cup has been decided, what’s a sports pool addict to do? Yahoo Fantasy Sports offers a free World Cup football pool.
Developed by Electronic Arts Sports and FIFA Superstars, this Facebook app is perfect for the armchair football coach. Choose form the best players in the world to build your fantasy team then challenge your friends.
Goal.com is just about the biggest soccer related site on the Internet and is available in multiple languages. This mobile app is compatible with iPhone, Ipod Touch and iPad.
If the iPhone’s not your style, try South Africa 2010 on your Blackberry.
Or your Nokia.
Or your Android.
Or your Windows Mobile.
Widgets for web browsers and bloggers:
This Firefox plug-in from FootieFox.com integrates into the bottom right status bar of your browser. Keep track of live matches as you surf.
Bloggers and web admins everywhere will want to embed these official FIFA widgets.
An odds and betting widget from PaddyPower.com.
Up to the minute World Cup odds-making from WagerWidgets.com.
You may have do do some scrolling to find one that’s actually useful, but WidgetBox.com has a whole set of easy-to-use FIFA gadgets.