Even those of us, like myself, who rarely watch the sport of football, will be swept up in World Cup Fever for the next month. It will be hard to ignore it. No doubt it will be featuring on TV screens throughout the island, with flags flying from cars as drivers show support for their favorite team.
Thousands of fans will be descending on Brazil through June and July to take their place in the stands, leading up to the final on July 13. Will Spain be victorious once again, or will they relinquish the trophy to the home team? Will USA advance further than expected, or will Germany languish and be eliminated early in the tournament? There are so many questions to be answered, and anyone without much of a clue as to rankings and statistics might find themselves in the dark…unless they download the free FIFA official app and begin boning up on teams.
I know very little about football, but as I know that World Cup 2014 is going to be a big deal to most gentlemen, it would behoove me to become an expert on the subject. From the moment I downloaded this helpful app, I knew that I was on the right track.
How it works
As I mentioned earlier, this is a freebie, which is always a nice start. When you first download it, you’ll be asked if it can use your location. This is a good idea, as when you get to the schedule part, it will list the times of the games in your local time zone.
You start by choosing your favorite team, a process that became unintentionally amusing after I scrolled through the flags and tapped on England. The question popped up on the screen: “Are you sure you would like to choose England?” Hmmm…did this app know something that I didn’t, or was it just expressing an opinion? Of course this question comes up no matter what flag you choose, probably to just ensure that you haven’t made a mistake.
Once you’ve chosen your favorite, the app will source articles from the Web relevant to your team, and take you to your “FIFA World Cup Alerts” list where you can choose which alerts you’d like to receive, including line-ups, goals, red cards and the half time score. Interestingly enough, the full time result is greyed out, and will not activate simply by tapping it. You actually have to go to the top of the table and turn on the “Powerade Full Time Results” in order to receive it. I assume this is because some might want the result kept a secret until they can watch a recorded game, but then I don’t really know what I’m talking about when it comes to football, so that’s just a guess on my part.
If you scroll down a bit, you’ll see the “Subscribed Teams” section, and this is where you can change your favorite team in case you’re having second thoughts, and add other teams to follow as well.
Once you arrive at the main screen, the world’s your oyster. Along the top are a number of icons that you can tap for updates, live coverage, and rankings.
The one that looks like a wee radio tower will give you live coverage of the games, and the icon next to it that resembles a piece of paper takes you to lots of news articles on specific teams and the World Cup as a whole.
Tap on the T-shirt symbol, and you’ll get all the present FIFA rankings of the participating teams. For example, Argentina is ranked 5th, Ghana is ranked 37th and Brazil is ranked 3rd.
After the T-shirt comes the numbered list, which leads you to the standings based on the groups. The podium symbol reveals all the awards that will be presented, including the Adidas Golden Boot, Golden Ball and Golden Glove awards.
The icon that resembles a guitar pick actually gives you loads of information on the host country, the stadiums and the host cities; and the game controller icon next to it allows access to a number of World Cup-related games.
In the top left-hand corner of your main screen is a symbol leading to a drop-down with further options, including a settings menu, where you can change the language, get to the Official FIFA Online Store and revisit how to use the app in case you’re lost.
In the top right-hand corner, the bell icon takes you back to that earlier mentioned “alerts” section, where again, you can add or subtract teams you wish to follow.
Finally, the flag right next to it will be the flag of your chosen favorite, and when you tap on it, it will give you the full profile of your team.
Got all of that? Whew!
When I tried it
Well, despite the app’s cryptic warning, I still chose England as my favorite team. How could I not support the boys? I also chose to add Spain and Italy to my list of subscribed teams, as those were my randomly picked choices at the office as possible winners. Seems I’m more invested in World Cup 2014 than I originally thought!
I found this app very easy to use, and particularly liked the fact that on the main screen, it has a bar at the bottom that can be expanded to show games, teams and times for the next few upcoming days. After becoming familiar with it, I couldn’t wait to go and show off my knowledge to anyone who would listen.
This app is a must for any fan of football, or those just in it for the World Cup. It abounds with information, and is an extremely useful reference tool to have on the go. You do need an Internet connection for most of its features, but really, unless you’re on a plane you’re bound to have easy access somewhere. Get in the game!
Rife with information. Completely free. Great mobile World Cup 2014 companion.
Need the Internet to use it.
FIFA official app Cost: Nada Seller: FIFA Devices: iOS and Android Rating: E for Everyone