With the opening game of the World Cup only a week away, the anticipation for the World’s greatest sporting spectacle is reaching fever pitch.
England may have given the game to the world, but it is Brazil that is the romantic home of football, and the first World Cup on Brazilian soil in 64 years is a show that you will not want to miss a single minute of.
This is also the first World Cup in the age of omnipresent smartphones, and twitter announced in a webinar this week that more people have tweeted about the Brazil World Cup than the previous edition in South Africa already. That’s perhaps not surprising if you think back to how much has changed in the technology landscape since 2010.
With three matches a day during the group stages of the competition, and 32 competing World Cup squads to keep track of, that is a lot of news to keep up on. There have been a glut of applications coming out in the android play store for the World Cup, and that’s why we thought we would test a few of the applications to try to find the best android World Cup application and save you the bother.
From the makers of the immensely popular Onefootball app – with over 14 million downloads, Onefootball is one of the biggest football apps for android. Onefootball Brasil is available on iOS and Windows Phone as well as Android, and is available in 15 languages, completely free of charge.
Onefootball Brasil is our choice of the best World Cup app on android for a number of reasons. Firstly, the app’s match pages are second to none, you can receive notifications for goals as well as check line-ups, see live match statistics and chat with other fans watching the game in real-time. The app also has sections where you can read related tweets, watch videos and see live tables and standings.
Perhaps the best part of the app, and what separates it from the other apps available in the market greets you on the main page when you open the app. Onefootball have partnered with a number of football sites to syndicate their content within the app, so you can read the latest World Cup news from numerous sources all in one place.
We haven’t tested the app on other platforms, but on android, Onefootball uses a pleasing cards style interface that fits in well with the rest of the android ecosystem and the android design guidelines.
Proven Quality is proud to have chosen Onefootball as our app partner for the World Cup, meaning you can read all of our World Cup content syndicated within the Onefootball Brasil app.
We’ve been long-time users of the FotMob app on android as it offers a great live scores service for a huge variety of leagues.
FotMob have recently added a World Cup section, and while it does not offer as much news or information as the Onefootball app, if you’re heading out to Brazil they do have a number of excellent video guides for each of the host cities.
Team pages are well featured, with audio news recordings, fixtures, tables, squad listings. They also have a news section for each team, but as they only seem to be pulling content from Sky Sports, there is not nearly as much variety of content as the Onefootball app.
The interface is also very well designed. You can download FotMob from Google Play.
Official FIFA app
FIFA’s official app is a decent effort with a pleasing design. It doesn’t offer as many features as the other apps mentioned, and is somewhat slow to load and navigate, even on wifi.
Available in five languages, The FIFA app does however include news from the FIFA site, a match centre and a table of the official FIFA country rankings.
The FIFA app also has video and photo sections, but at time of writing there are only two videos, and the photo section loads a blank page.
Another unofficial app, 365Scores offers scores, news, tweets, and standings information as well as a section for confirmed transfers.
365Scores has good squad listings and photos for each of the teams at the tournament, and their brackets for the later rounds of the World Cup look good too.
365Scores excels with stadium guides, displaying a map of Brazil where you can click on each stadium, to get information about each stadium and the matches to be held there.
This app has a good, dark-themed design and plenty of features but the interaction design is not the best, and it can be a little finickity to navigate between the sections.
One thing that annoys us about the 365Scores app is the nag screen which trys to get you to download their ‘WhatSport Fans Messenger’, which pops up when you open the app and is irritating to close. There are also periodic full screen adverts which need to be closed by clicking an X.
This app offers scores, news (from the ESPN site) and shows tables and tweets.
In terms of features it doesn’t come close to matching up with the other apps mentioned in this review, but if you really like to read ESPN stories, then maybe it is a worthwhile download. ESPN has a decent variety of news stories, but the scores section isn’t particularly user friendly, and there doesn’t seem to be any way of filtering matches, or viewing fixtures for upcoming matches on a particular date e.t.c.
ESPN FC is unfortunately another app with annoying full screen ads. They come up pretty frequently, which means we can’t recommend this app. There are actually ads everywhere in this app; in the news, scores and tweet listings, at the bottom of news articles, and the aforementioned full screen ads that open when you swipe between screens.
Forza Football (formerly Live Score Addicts) takes a while to load up, especially when you first install it, but is still one of the best designed and useful football apps that we have tried.
One of the best features of Forza is its fine-grained notification settings. For particular teams you can choose to be be reminded just before a match starts, or be notified of the lineups, match start, goals, red cards, half time and full time results and once Forza has video highlights available for the game.
Forza also leverage statistics well and in an interesting and unique manner. When you first load the app, they will ask you who you think will win the World Cup, and for each team they have fan polls for approval ratings for the manager, chairman and squad.
Forza hasn’t done anything particularly special for the World Cup that they don’t already do for other competitions and matches, but the information provided for future matches and matches in progress is abundant and well laid out. There are stats aplenty, and the app even provides you with interesting details such as age and height averages for different teams. For upcoming matches, fan voting is again used to good effect, and you can predict who you think will win each game and see percentage averages of other voters.
Pelé: King of Football
This one isn’t an app, but a game. There are actually hundreds of games appearing on Google Play to cash in on the World Cup, and reviewing all of the World Cup games is out of the scope of an article trying to find the best android World Cup app, but this particular game is worth a mention.
Made in association with Pelé and bearing the Brazil legend’s name, the game has a couple of different play modes, including multiplayer online play.
In the main career mode, you take shots at goal against progressively more difficult defences and goalkeepers on a number of different stages as you progress from playing in a backlot to the World stage.
What makes the game most worthy of a mention though is that by downloading the game you can enter a number of competitions to win a number of real world prizes, from pictures, balls and jerseys signed by Pelé right up to a pair of World Cup match tickets and the chance to meet Pelé in person. If you were to get lucky and win one of those, I think you’ll agree that this would make this the best World Cup app, bar none.
If you’re as much of a fan of Pelé as we are, make sure you check out this memoir of the day one of our writers got to play with him.
This one isn’t an app but a simple and efficient web page. It does exactly as the name suggests, providing a simple fast loading page with the World Cup schedule. As it’s not a native application it should work on any application with internet access and a browser, as well as desktop and laptop computers.
That rounds up our review of the apps available to keep track of the World Cup on your phone, there should be something for everyone in that little lot.