I have a confession to make: I'm obsessed with wireless portable audio gear. Bluetooth earbuds, headphones, and portable speakers excite me more than they probably should. And I'm OK with that. My wife, however, gives me "the look" every time a new gadget arrives, rolling her eyes so far up her skull she could have easily become a soap opera star or an extra on The Walking Dead. She doesn't get it - she's not a geek who loves to get to the bottom of every feature, spot every miniscule detail, and figure out if we have something special on our hands.
It's that time of the year. Flowers are blooming, temperatures are rising, and college basketball is in full swing. Thankfully, ESPN has updated its Bracket Bound app to bring fans up-to-date with the latest scores, conference standings, and forecasts for the 75th NCAA Tournament. As before, you can quickly access game results, schedules, player and team stats, video clips, and team-related discussions on Twitter. With this release, ESPN has also added a customizable list of shortcuts in the navigation menu for your favorite teams.
Opening day is six weeks away, baseball fans, but there's plenty of pre-season action to whet your appetite. MLB.com hopes that you're desperate enough to pay for the privilege: while you can download the latest version of the MLB.com At Bat app (not to be confused with last season's MLB.com At Bat 2012), you'll have to be an MLB.com subscriber or pay a $19.99 in-app purchase to access a year of premium features.
Good news, basketball fans. Google has been gradually upgrading the Now service to include a wider range of sports teams, and today Division I NCAA basketball teams from all over the US can be manually added to your personal Now results. Go into the Google Now settings page, tap "Sports," and search for your favorite school. Only basketball is supported at the moment - here's hoping that football teams are added before the season starts.
If you're headed to Houston next weekend for the NBA All-Star Game, do yourself a favor and download the official app. It functions as both an event guide and a nifty preview, for those NBA fans who can't make it to the game. What's surprising about the All-Star app is that it's really, really well-done: there's a ton of free content, the interface roughly follows Holo guidelines, and it's available to everyone.
If you're a fan of ESPN's in-your-face extreme X Games event, a new way to keep up with all the action just hit the Play Store: official X Games apps for both smartphones and tablets. The apps let you follow all the happenings at the X Games, starting with this year's winter event beginning on January 24th in Aspen, CO.
You can catch the best runs, tricks, and crashes with video highlights, keep tabs on the results in real time, check the schedule to see what's happening next, watch the events live on your device, get an in-depth look at each trick with ESPN's "TrickTrack," and learn more about each athlete with player bios.
With college football nearly over and the NFL ending just a month or so afterwards, pigskin fans are... oh, wait. This is the other kind of football. Sega's Football Manager franchise has long enabled obsessive compulsive soccer fans to live out their somewhat sedate dreams of managing a pro club. It looks like the developer is giving the handheld versions the same yearly release cycle that the console and PC games enjoy - as well as a nice price bump up to $9.99.
Many of the sports news apps on Android are either lacking in features or are horrendously ugly. That's why 365Scores is currently storming the charts in Google Play. This app delivers all the news and scores for your favorite teams, and the UI is totally usable.
The app allows you to set your favorite teams so that it can deliver you relevant news. It gets live updated scores and even some video highlights from certain games.
Long-awaited updates to popular apps are usually met with adulation, but ESPN's college football app may be an exception. The old Bowl Bound app is now the more generically titled ESPN College Football, with a few new bells and whistles added into the mix. ESPN news for all Bowl Championship Series teams is complemented by video clips that promise to be constantly updated, and users can save their favorite teams for quick and easy access to news and live scores.
Are you ready for some football?! If you have $20 and a high tolerance for irritation, the new NFL Preseason app for Android tablets is out and ready to accept your cash. The fee is actually for a subscription to the online preseason coverage, which can be watched in a web browser. Judging by the early reviews of NFL Preseason Live for Tablet, that might be where you want to watch it.