World Cup iPhone apps: The hot and not

With the FIFA 2010 World Cup around the corner, I decided to take a look at a couple of the iPhone apps on offer for our international visitors.

Browsing through the iTunes app store I came across a few really fantastic apps on the one hand and a few, um… shall we say, interesting apps on the other hand. 
When judging the apps, I looked mostly at functionality, how they promote our beautiful country, and how they assist visitors with World Cup information and tourist information such as local restaurants, “must sees” and various travel tips. 

Here are the must-have apps:

ESPN 2010 World Cup – Free

A fantastic app that focuses primarily on the World Cup with news and information on teams. There is also a section dedicated to venue information which gives you info on the stadiums in the host cities, as well as some ideas on what to do in and around the host venues. Also included in the app is detailed team information and up-to-date ESPN news on the teams. 

My South Africa Essentials – Free

Developed on behalf of South African Tourism, this is a must-have for the World Cup. The app not only gives you information about the actual games and stadiums in each of the host cities, but also gives you tips and ideas of what to do and see in South Africa on non-match days, which is great for tourists.

Mahango World Cup Schedule – $0.99 

The Mahngo app allows you to check the World Cup schedule in a very neatly presented format. You can also search for specific games using the calender function, as well as read updates on team profiles as well as detailed information on the venues. The app is however lacking on the tourism info, which would make this app even better.

Supersport – Free 

The great bonus with the Supersport app will be the live scoring feature during the World Cup, meaning that if you find yourself stuck in traffic, you still won’t miss a moment.

World Cup 2010 – National Anthems & Chants – $0.99 

If you going to be attending any of the World Cup games, it is probably a good idea to learn the words to the national anthems just to get in the spirit of things. Along with all the anthems, this app also includes 11 football chants should you get stuck amongst the English supporters. 

The not-so-hot apps:

South Africa safety 2010 World Cup – $0.99 

Now this app makes no sense. For $0.99 you have FULL access to the ALL emergency services numbers in South Africa. What happened to the global GSM emergency number 112? The latest update also includes a great selection of “unusual roadsigns”. To me, this sounds like a good $0.99 wasted 

Pocket Vuvuzela – Free
So the hot item to have this year at the World Cup will be a plastic moulded horn-shaped instrument, and of course you can also have it as an iPhone app! Yes, you can annoy all your friends and family by pressing a button on your iPhone that makes that annoying noise. Charming! 

World Cup Countdown – Free 

This app does one thing and one thing only. It shows you the number of days, hours, minutes and seconds to the start of the World Cup, while going through a slide show of stock photos of South Africa. Ingenious and a MUST have – not! 

South Africa 2010 tracker – Free with in-app purchase to upgrade

The app allows you to see fixtures and that’s about it. By purchasing the “upgrade” for $1.99, you then get access to the second stage of the competition with team predictors – what a good deal!

2010 World Cup News – Free 

This app is a pretty useless app in the sense, all it does is offer soccer news from around the world, and has no relevance to the World Cup. The apps user interface is very badly designed and offers no extra World Cup related information at all.

All in all, the apps that I found during my research pretty much did the same thing and there were only two that offered any real value – ESPN and MySA Essentials. Hopefully as we get closer and closer to kick-off, we’ll be seeing some new and interesting apps in the app store.




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