When composing your own Tweet, don't forget to include a "hashflag," which adds a cute flag icon when you use a hashtag in front of a team's three-letter country code. (Because, why not?)
FIFA 14 by EA Sports
Ever dream of competing in professional soccer yourself? Get yourself one step closer with EA Sports' FIFA 14 (free with an in-app purchase required to unlock premium features; iOS and Android). EA has just updated its soccer franchise to include the rosters of World Cup teams in its Match of the Day feature so that you can play the actual group stage matches and create your ultimate World Cup outcome. (Or not: Another TechHive editor just led heavy favorite Brazil to a 1-0 defeat at the hands of Croatia. We'll see how the teams really fare during the first match on Thursday.)
When the World Cup is over, try a hand (er, a foot) at building your own fantasy team and playing against your friends in real time. FIFA 14's intuitive touch controls make this game a blast to play on the iPad.
Sports news app theScore (free; iOS and Android) continuously impresses me with its special events coverage, and its World Cup offerings follow that pattern. Its content is gorgeous, especially if viewed on a tablet. With frequently updated articles written by theScore's own staff, photo slideshows, videos, and integrated social media feeds, this app will provide you with tons of soccer stats.
The app has designated pages for each fixture, which shows team odds and groupings broken down by match; a table section shows an overall chart of Cup victors, also broken down by match, in a bracket-style display. You can even curate your own feed by picking your favorite teams to follow, which then get saved in a separate tab. Afraid to miss anything? Enable push notifications to get real-time goal updates.
The app formerly known as Live Score Addicts certainly delivers on that promise: Forza Football (free; iOS and Android) offers live scores — with push notifications, naturally — and video highlights for more than 560 soccer leagues and cups from around the world. It got updated to version 3.0 just in time for this year's World Cup.
Forza Football walks you through setup, where you pick your favorite teams, leagues, and Cups to follow; you can also indicate whether or not you'd like to be notified. The app will send you match reminders, goals, lineups, video highlights, and real-time results. The app excels in letting users create their own experience, where you can flush out a calendar of matches to monitor, pick the time interval for live score updates, and share in the excitement live with other fans. As you're using Forza Football, the app will ask you opinion polls about teams, players, and coaches, and you can connect with other fans to discuss the results.
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