Get ready for the 2013 football season with these essential apps

The 2013 football season is upon us. College games started last weekend and the NFL kicks off tomorrow night, so we wanted to provide you with some essential apps for getting you through the season. Whether you're a fantasy junkie or just want to keep up with league scores on-the-go, we've got you covered. Enjoy! Now onto the list, after the break.

Yahoo! Fantasy Sports Football (free)

I recently featured Yahoo’s new weather app because of it’s gorgeous design and masterful simplicity. While not quite as pretty, the Fantasy Sports app has received some great updates that once again displays the direction that Yahoo! wants to go; and it's a good one. A feature in particular that I absolutely love is to be able to draft directly from the app. One of my drafts was not scheduled during a great time for me, but because I could just pull up the app and draft when I needed to, I drafted on-the-go. It was remarkable. Other than that, the redesign is good and very welcome. Upon opening the app, you see a list of your teams and leagues, are able to make roster moves, propose trades and write in the message boards. For all of you playing Yahoo! Fantasy Football, this app is a must have and much improved from years past.

Download: Yahoo! Fantasy Sports

ESPN Fantasy Football (free)

For all of you who choose to play their fantasy football on ESPN, this is the app for you. It’s also newly redesigned but I think the biggest change you’ll notice is the icon.It's a different color and displays a different icon. The rest of the app is as you remember but seems smoother and faster than last year. Hopefully it stays that way once the season starts. It includes roster moves, trades, live scores and stats as well as message boards.

Download: ESPN Fantasy Football

NFL Sunday Ticket (free with subscription)

If you’re a Sunday Ticket subscriber, you’ll have to check it out on your mobile devices to take all of the NFL action with you on-the-go. If you’re a DirecTV subscriber, there is an addition to Sunday Ticket called Sunday Ticket Max, which allows you to enjoy all of the games on tablets or phones. If you’re not eligible for DirecTV because of a certain location, there’s a great deal where if you buy the 25th Anniversary Madden Edition for $100, you get the game and Sunday Ticket Max this year. That’s what I’m doing and am looking forward to trying it. Since there haven’t been any regular season games, I haven’t been able to try it out yet, but I’m excited to see the video quality.

Download: NFL Sunday Ticket

NBC Sports Talk (free)

If you’re looking for an app that will give you fast access to credible sports news, NBC Sports Talk is a good way to go. NBC owns the properties such as ProFootballTalk and ProHockeyTalk, so it gives you a simple way to read the latest articles on those sites. When you open the app, you’ll see a grid of icons with the latest articles on their family of sites. ProFootballTalk is the first listed and clicking on an article will bring it up in an easy-to-read fashion (just the text). You can also share articles you like and comment on the stories. Very well done app if what you’re looking for is the latest news.

Download: NBC Sports Talk

CBS Sports (free)

There are some apps that just do better than others in certain areas. My favorite app to provide scores used to be SportsTap, but it is being retired. Not to fret, though, as CBS Sports does a great job at this and takes advantage of Android’s left navigation bar features. When the app opens, you’ll see the schedule and scores for the latest games (you can customize this). By clicking the left corner will bring up the main menu, where you can access information about My Teams, a section that allows you to follow certain teams. Live Games will show you progress in any game regardless of sport, it just has to be happening when you’re in the app. The major leagues are also listed, so you can access scores from just the NHL or the NFL. It’s an app that I use specifically to check scores because it allows me to do so in a simple and fast manner.

Download: CBS Sports

ESPN College Football (free)

ESPN’s College Football app is perplexing. Formerly known as Bowl Bound, it’s a fantastic app, both highly functional and designed very well. However, it seems to be incompatible with the latest phones and tablets. I have it installed on my Nexus 4 but it lists it as incompatible for my fiancee’s HTC One. I have also seen people complaining about not being able to install it on their Samsung Galaxy S4. This means that ESPN just hasn’t tested it on certain phones and probably doesn’t want to release it in case the user experience isn’t the greatest. It’s time to get their act together. When two of the most popular phones right now, the Samsung Galaxy S4 and the HTC One, can’t install your app, that’s an issue. Now I’m sure plenty of you are thinking that you can sideload it and I’m sure many can, but this isn’t the right solution. As far as the app is concerned, it’s great. Opening the app will give you a list of the top stories with videos and beautiful HD stills. You can set a favorite team for a more customized experience, view scores from all around the NCAA, evaluate the latest Gameday location and analysis and take in the Stream, which provides the latest highlights from games around the country. The app is great and I hope ESPN updates it soon so more people can experience it.

Download: ESPN College Football

NFL Mobile (free)

The official app from the NFL used to be a Verizon exclusive. Now, there is an option for Verizon customers to upgrade to exclusive premium features, but at least everyone else on different carriers can access the app now. The app gives you news from writers, live scores from around the league, fantasy information and a nice customized experience once you choose your favorite team. You’ll be able to click on the team you’ve selected and you can see the schedule, latest news about the team, recent videos, rosters and injury reports. That’s my favorite part of the app and recommended for those who are looking for something to give them just information related to their favorite team.

Download: NFL Mobile

Sean Brunett