We are nearing the end of the professional football season here in the U.S. (good news for some), but that has not stopped ESPN from providing its Android app with some pretty big changes. Most notably are the inclusion of live streaming and Chromecast support.
There are dozens of apps and subscriptions you can use to watch live sports, but if your TV provider already gives you access to FOX Sports, you can use the GO app on your phone or tablet to keep up with your favorite teams and leagues on the go. The app just got another perk now, one that lets you bring that content from the small screen to the big one: Chromecast support.
That's right: FOX Sports GO can now bring your content full circle from the TV to your phone/tablet and back to the TV again. So you can basically take your sports with you wherever you go as long as you have your little Chromecast and there's a big screen available to you.
The Rio Olympics are about to kick off, and Google has added some neat glanceable info to search results in preparation for it. You can get instant access to Google's rundown of the happening in Rio with a special shortcut. It's not available in your app drawer, though. Just search for something related to the Olympics, and Google will offer to make the shortcut.
The Nike+ system of sports trackers actually pre-dates Android, or at least the consumer version of the operating system. For a long time Nike withheld Nike+ apps and accessories from Android and Google Play, though they've loosened up a bit in the last few years and posted a bunch of fitness and sports support apps. The latest Nike+ app gets right to the heart of what the company is all about: selling stuff.
Last year EA released a companion app for the NBA Live console game that let you stick your face on a basketball player. This year, forget the gimmicks. You get a full blown NBA Live experience to play on your touchscreen.
NBA Live for Android has been undergoing geo-limited testing for quite the while now, with millions of people having already downloaded the title. Now it's openly available on Google Play.
The summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro should be interesting to watch this year, if only in the same sense that a burning building is hard to ignore. As it has been for decades, NBC will be the sole media outlet for the games in the United States. Sports fans can use the official NBC app to keep up with the Olympics on their phones and tablets... though keep in mind that the results of the games, including medal winners, statistics, and a general schedule, will be available in all the usual places like ESPN and Google Now.
There is no shortage of choice when you start thinking about following your favorite sports and teams on your phone. Google already has a pretty sweet set of cards in Google Now for a couple of sports, but there's also a lot of benefit in having a dedicated app that has specialized news and commentary, live scores, analysis, and more. ESPN is one of the most popular apps in that category — after all, that's the network's expertise and it's transmitted through the app.
With version 5.0, ESPN's app is getting a couple of major improvements that make it even more relevant.
Sports are more enjoyable on TV than phones and tablets. It's a demonstrable fact. You don't see bars hanging Samsung Galaxy Tabs on walls do you?
It's for this reason that many people will be happy to see ESPN adding support for Android TV. You can see this is the changelog for the ESPN app. Viewers are getting WatchESPN access, with the ability to stream live events.
Many baseball fans—not to mention non-fans—know the R.B.I. Baseball franchise fondly remembered by NES console gamers as the first baseball title to include real MLB players. Major League Baseball has acquired the rights and revived it as a true premium game, in which the $4.99 upfront cost gets you the full experience. Ahead of the coming weekend's Opening Day, the 2016 reboot has hit the Play Store.
While last year's revision was fairly substantial, with realistic MLB stadiums, full team rosters, and a season mode, this year, the changes are far more modest. Beyond the customary update to each team's players and their ratings, all we get are some improvements to fielding actions that include dives and home run robberies along with vague promises of enhanced AI, a "reworked batting engine," and "reworked pitching strategy."
Of course, these are nothing to shake a stick at, but you may have to spend a lot of time with the game to know whether these changes are just bluster.