The 5 Best Free Sports Apps You Need for a Successful Summer 2012

Ross Zelen@@RZelenCorrespondent IIJuly 8, 2012

The 5 Best Free Sports Apps You Need for a Successful Summer 2012

0 of 5

    Summer is in full swing. The Fourth of July has faded into the smoke from the fireworks and blood pressure is beginning to normalize after all those hot dogs. The rest of summer brings a full slate of monumental sporting events, from the London Olympics to a tense finish to the Major League Baseball season.

    This truly is a shaping up to be a special sports summer, with big names on the move in the NBA, a changing of the quarterback guard in the NFL and lest we forget, Tiger Woods is back, ladies and gentlemen.

    As seen in the picture, technology and apps for the iPhone, Apple products and Android have made life just a little sweeter for recent NBA champion LeBron James. James, heading up the USA Olympic men's basketball team, is seen here doing what millions of other sports fiends do all the time, be it polite, off-putting or downright rude.

    For the dedicated sports fan, MLB At Bat, ESPN Fantasy Football and NBA Game Time are the staple crop of the “quick glance before she notices” sports dinner diet. But for the more intense and studious sports nut, here are five tremendous FREE apps that can turn this summer into a love song of "Honey, but I was just checking" and "I was totally listening."

    Did I mention they are free?

1. Minor League Baseball (MiLB) Triple-A App

1 of 5

    Is your favorite baseball team mired in last place, leaving you to look towards the future? Is your favorite baseball player rehabbing from injury at the minor league level? Do you live in Iowa, Reno or Gwinnett?

    Well, in any of those cases or places, I extend my condolences to you. But now, there is an app just for you. It is the Minor League Baseball Triple-A app. Following all the action in both the Pacific Coast League and the International League, you can get updates from Fresno to Syracuse.

    Subscribe to your favorite team’s affiliate ballclub and find out who will be making the impact on your team come September.  Find out how your favorite All-Star is doing in his rehab stint and follow pitch-by-pitch.

    Some might call this overkill, but for diehard baseball fans, following the top prospect’s night on the hill might be the difference between falling asleep that night or puttering around the house wondering who can fill the fifth starter’s spot.

    All right, that might be too extreme, but Minor League Baseball has done a great job with this app. The highlights of this app are the live pitch-by-pitch tracking, league-wide scores and stats, breaking news and the option to customize the home screen for any Triple-A team.

    Triple-A is available free of charge from the App Store on iPhone or iPod touch, or at

2. NBC Olympics On The Go App

2 of 5

    For the true Olympics nut, the almost two-week festival of competition is a marathon of sleep deprivation. One must grind to fight real-life responsibility in hopes of getting time to watch every sport no matter how obscure.

    With the free Olympics app brought to you by NBC Sports, you can follow the 2012 London Games. The app will become available in the upcoming days.

    NBC will be delivering the latest news, results and event schedules. The really cool stuff will be the video highlights, TV listings, real-time medal counts and photos.

    In addition, you can track your favorite athletes, teams and sports, and engage with fans on social media platforms. Imagine being able to connect with your friends who have made the trip across the pond and get the low-down on the action firsthand.

    This Olympics is shaping up to be one of the best ones in memory. Beijing was incredible because of how every moment was televised no matter what hour, and this Olympics will be even better because so much more of it will be live.

    Follow Michael Phelps, the recently announced USA men’s basketball team, or the South African “blade runner” Oscar Pistorius on the app for iPhone, Android or tablet. 

3 (tie). USGA Rules of Golf App (Not Free) and GolfLogix GPS (Free)

3 of 5

    The first app we have in the golf world is a great one to have, but unfortunately, is not free. At $3.99, it is a good deal, since you will have these rules forever and golf rules have not changed much.

    New for 2012, the USGA (US Golf Association) released an app for iPhone and iPod Touch that is designed for golfers who want instant access to the official rules and decisions. With this application, which features simple navigation and a convenient word and phrase search function, users can quickly answer questions about every rule, definition and decision.

    This app is the only rules application approved by the USGA, so any golfer who is playing in local tournaments or training for college try-outs will greatly benefit from having it accessible on the course.

    Summer means many things for men, women and children across the globe. One thing for certain though, is that summer is the peak of the golfer’s year, the prime-time before temperatures get cooler in autumn.

    After the captivating U.S. Open in June, the summer golf season will only be taken to new heights by what looks to be an intriguing British Open Championship in just two weeks.

    This summer, do not be cheated out of a stroke or some relief on whatever course you play. Be it a 3-par, a local public links course or Pebble Beach, every golfer can use the help of knowing the rules at one time or another.

    This puts the ability to tell your buddy that it is a two-stroke penalty for his lazy and irresponsible act of leaving the flag in right at your finger tips. And who does not like the power of watching a middle-aged man boil at his own demise? 

    With the GolfLogix GPS, be amazed at how much you get for free. Free four-person scoring, check. Free precise GPS distances on 30,000+ golf courses, check. Free course imagery just like expensive color yardage books, definitely check. 

    The GolfLogix app is great for pros and amateurs alike, no matter the skill level or desire to finish all 18.  

4. NBA’s D-League Center Court App for NBA and NBDL Summer League

4 of 5

    With the Olympics taking away much of the talent for the summer, some of the prospects we saw drafted in the NBA’s event at Madison Square Garden this past month will be battling out for roster spots in Las Vegas and Long Beach starting in a couple weeks.

    With the NBA’s D-League App, fans can track the progress of all summer league games and can get inside information.

    The NBA D-League App is great, allowing access to watch full games sometimes. Available for iPhone, iPad and Android, the D-League Center Court App is one that all basketball fiends should look into.

    No, Anthony Davis will probably not be popping up on your news feed. But Robbie Hummel, huge Big Ten basketball star, will be fighting for a roster spot. Plus, this app will give huge insights into the foreign-born players that we were all introduced to on draft night and whose names writers are still getting used to spelling.

    First- and second-rounders alike will be participating, so this is definitely an app to jump on for all basketball fans looking to find the diamond in the rough before their fall fantasy draft.  

5. Team Stream by Bleacher Report

5 of 5

    The men and women of Bleacher Report have worked long and tirelessly to produce the best sports app in general. As one writer said, “This is the mecca of iPhone apps.”

    With a real-time stream of the best sports content from around the web about your favorite teams, this app presents fans with more than the usual stats and scores.

    Enjoy a detailed collection of news from around the web and stay up-to-date about everything going on in the sports world.

    Not just being able to access articles, but being able to interact and get updates makes Bleacher Report once again, the voice of the fan and for the fan, not just through this summer, but all year long.