As blind iPhone users who live in the United States, we really are spoiled, as most of the limited content out their about VoiceOver is directed at us. So when my colleague Jackie Brown at AppleVis wrote a great blog entry that primarily focused on iPhone Sports Apps for those living outside the U.S., my first thought was what about us U.S. sports fans? Yes, I know quite self centric of me, but hey, I’m an American and aren’t we known for being self obsessed?
All kidding aside, I wanted to put together a list of the best sports apps for those MLB, NFL, college football, NHL, and NBA fans. Please accept my apologies to those of you looking to read more about soccer, but Jackie has already put together a fantastic blog that will fulfill all your soccer needs which you can read here http://www.applevis.com/blog/ios-apps/being-ball-my-favourite-apple-spor....
MLB At Bat
If only all of the U.S. major sport leagues would take a cue from Major League Baseball and their fantastic accessibility of their MLB At Bat app. I can’t speak for the NBA and NHL for their accessibility, but the NFL still can’t seem to get a clue when it comes to accessibility.
MLB At Bat is the must have app for any baseball fan. You can set up your favorite team, and set up push notifications for news and game alerts. With this app you can view box scores to every game, read the latest news, see the standings, and with a membership purchase for around $19.99 a season you can get the radio feeds for every game, both the home and away feeds. MLB At Bat is a true must have for any baseball fan.
If Sports Alerts can make viewing the box score to any sporting event accessible, I am not sure why ESPN can’t. Sports Alerts is a fantastic free app where you can view the scores and individual statistics for any NFL, College Football, MLB, NBA, NHL, and several other sporting events. You can set in game alerts for individual games, set all kinds of different stats to include for an individual sport in the settings, and even load your fantasy teams from Yahoo to view the results within the app.
One minor annoying bug with the app is that sometimes when swiping through a box score the app loses focus of where you are, which for us power users can get frustrating as you just want to quickly flip through a box score, but outside of this bug, the app is tremendous.
I love Team Stream. When I first discovered this sports app from Bleacher Report, a lot of the content wasn’t accessible, but thanks to a development team committed to accessibility, most of the app is accessible. With Team Stream you can read articles about your favorite teams, and set push notifications to alert you any time there is new content.
If I was stuck on a desert island and could only have one app, I might choose Team Stream as their content seems endless. They offer content for any sport you could think of, and even have sections dedicated to fantasy where you can either load your team from Yahoo, or set up notifications for individual players. Team Stream is constantly enhancing and adding new features to this app, and it has become my go to app for all sports news.
If you are looking for an app from one of the major Sports Networks the most accessible one that I have found is Fox Sports. I haven’t played around with the App as much as I would like to, but at first glance it seems fairly accessible. You can set notifications for your favorite sport and teams, view the standings of leagues, scores, and read the latest news articles. I would suggest this app for someone who might not want to be alerted all the time of everything going like in Team Stream. Fox Sports would be for more of the casual sports fan who just wants to check in on the latest headlines.
College and Pro Football Radio
If you are like me you don’t have a lot of patience. You probably have your go to Radio App as their are several of them. The one thing very frustrating with the Radio Apps can be finding a station playing a specific College or Pro football game. Due to blackout restrictions which is something that should have been left in the 20th Century, it can be next to impossible to find a streaming radio feed for a game. Thanks to College and Pro Football Radio, this problem ceases to exist. They are separate apps, and very basic, but will accomplish your goal of finding the streaming radio feed for a game. Both Apps are very similar in design and offer what they say they do college and pro football games. Each app is 0.99, and once you launch the app, you will be presented with a list of colleges or pro teams alphabetically. Just swipe to the team or college of the game you want to listen to, click on the team, and you are presented with anywhere from three to eight stations that will be playing the game. Occasionally you will launch a station and hear due to NFL restrictions this station cannot broadcast the game, but you have other stations that may be playing that game. One thing to note about these two apps is they only work over WiFi, not sure why that is the case, but as soon as I go out on my cellular network I lose the feed to a game. I think in the two years of using the app almost every weekend, there has been only one game I couldn’t find. Not a bad track record, and a nice holiday gift for those of you in time for Bowl Season.
There are also Apps for almost every college and professional team you can think of. Just type their name in to the app store, and you will be amazed at the amount of free apps for a specific team, and amazingly a lot of them are fairly accessible.
Feel free to chime off in the comments section about your favorite accessible sports app.