There may not be a single modern saying more appropriate than the common refrain, “there’s an app for that.” It really does seem that there’s an app for everything these days, and in many cases there’s a whole set of them. Most popularly, we have apps covering every conceivable genre of gaming, apps exploring augmented reality, apps for managing finances, for organizing schedules and to-do lists, for socializing, and for keeping tabs on news, entertainment, and current events.
One area that’s become particularly interesting in app stores though, is sports. There are a lot of changes going on in the sports industry in terms of how fans watch events, how they follow news and results, and more. Much of the change is coming via apps, and the simple truth underlying it all is that a lot of the most useful sports apps are a pleasure to use. They’re beautiful apps, and as such, very effective at attracting regular user bases.
These are seven of the apps that exemplify this trend.
It doesn’t get much cleaner than the ESPN app, which is actually remarkable when you think about just how much is crammed into it. Scores, news and articles, player and team statistics, highlights, schedules and more can all be found in this app for teams in leagues and sports all around the world. The real reason it deserves mention as beautiful though is that its live streaming – both on the core app and through the relatively new ESPN+ subscription add-on – is flawless, provided a good internet connection. It’s a treat for any sports fan.
While the ESPN app is a good, clean app to have on hand for comprehensive sports coverage and live streaming, Yahoo Sports may be more attractive in a basic sense. This won’t be particularly surprising for those who are used to Yahoo’s suite of apps; even six years ago, when the company released its own weather app, it was labeled “absolutely gorgeous” and resided on “best of” and “best looking” app lists for what felt like two whole years. Yahoo’s digital design team simply knows what it’s doing, and it’s a pleasure to sift through all of the sports information you need on this app.
Bleacher Report Live
Bleacher Report Live is primarily a streaming (and listening) app aimed at helping users consume live sports. It more or less takes the best parts of the ESPN app’s streaming components and presents them with less clutter around them. That’s not to say it’s better than ESPN’s app (it isn’t), but if you want an app solely for video and audio content, it’s a straightforward one, and one with pretty video feeds.
US Open Tennis Championships
The US Open Tennis Championships app is the first of a few examples we’ll give of apps geared toward specific events that are just delightful to use because of their intuitive quality and good looks. In this case, the app comes in handy for two weeks beginning in late August every year for tennis fans, and does an incredible job of showcasing all of the latest news and updates from the US Open tennis tournament. The entire US Open thrives on an alluring aesthetic, with everything presented in picture-perfect fashion, and this meticulousness extends to the app.
Right now, FanDuel (and its direct counterpart DraftKings) represents the closest thing to widespread betting for the American sports market. That’s not to say there isn’t traditional betting. Major NFL games spark offshore (and illegal) activity every year. The NBA, meanwhile, has gotten out in front with a busy market of tips and guides in preparation for the league’s direct involvement in the rising tide of legal betting in the U.S. For now though, most Americans will be most comfortable using FanDuel, which is a daily fantasy sports platform involving all major sports and hundreds if not thousands of contests. It’s a real money gaming app, so it’s important to be careful with it, but it’s a stunningly well-designed app that’s a pleasure to use for the more competitive sports fan.
Premier League – Official App
The Premier League’s official app is another one aimed at a specific sport, though it’s useful essentially for three quarters of the year, during which the English Premier League is active. It’s a well-presented app full of all the relevant news, though it also earns extra points for visual appeal though its smooth and engaging animations of team formations and lineups – which are useful in particular for those managing Premier League fantasy teams through the app.
The Athletic is more about journalism than news, highlights, or streaming. It’s succeeded however in part because of how un-cluttered its presentation is. Proudly offering quality sports writing with no advertisements (thanks to a subscription model), it looks like a perfectly arranged, digital sports magazine, with excellent quality visuals, clean text boxes, and no distractions.