With the Olympics and the Euros providing sport throughout the summer, it hasn’t been a bad time for football fans waiting for the return of the Premier League.
It hasn’t come soon enough, but at least it’s finally time to see whether the latest round of recruits have what it takes to take the league by storm.
From Pep Guardiola to Zlatan Ibrahimović, there’s a host of new talent in the top flight, and there are lots of ways for you to keep up with the action using your Android device.
If you want to learn more about how to watch live Premier League matches, or how to get the latest news and rumours to your device, here’s a comprehensive list of everything you need to know to be ready for the start of the season.
Let’s kick off with one of the most frequently asked questions.
How Do I Watch Premier League Matches and Highlights?
Of course, watching games is the most obvious situation where you could use your device. The Premier League has become a worldwide sport, and it can be hard to sit down in front of the TV or get to a match if you’re busy or you live on another continent.
Mobile streaming services are offered by most broadcasters, varying depending on your location and your budget.
They’ll have different packages and services on offer, and the best ones are obviously the paid versions of traditional services. For example, BT Sport and Sky are available in the UK, and they offer a decent streaming service for their sports channels on mobile devices. In the US, ESPN and Fox Sports have several live matches.
Of course, you could stream the game illegally through a host of sites online, but you’ll always be a little behind, and the quality is often disappointing when compared to many of the videos found online.
It doesn’t even depend on your internet connection speed, as it’s often limited by the server itself, which is under strain as more users come to watch the game for free. There are also paid services available from online sites, but you have to be careful when dealing with services that could suddenly be pulled with no warning.
Prices will vary widely depending on your country and what you need, but broadcasters have started to focus on mobile streaming in an attempt to gain control over audience share in multiple markets.
TV, internet, and mobile are the major areas they want to control, so it’s in their best interests to provide a service that offers a better alternative to free streaming websites at a reasonable price.
(Otherwise, you might as well go through the pain of illegally streaming. Not that we would recommend it.)
You can also use an Android TV box to watch footage directly on your TV, or there are lots of products and services you can use to cast your phone screen for a better viewing experience.
Keeping Up with the Latest News and Rumours
There are so many apps out there that will bring you the latest news roundups and transfer dealings during the next few weeks, and for the rest of the season. (I even write for one.)
Some are better than others, but in time you’ll be able to find apps that cater to your needs, and the style of news that you want.
(Personally, the Guardian football pages are some of the best online, and they’re available via the mobile app.)
In the long term, it could be worth going for an app that features news specifically about your team and league, and there’s a decent selection to choose from.
Most news sites have a dedicated app, while there are a few smaller sites that produce regular quality content. It’s down to you to find one that suits your needs, but there’s something out there for everyone.
Premier League Official Team Apps and Services
It’s pretty much a given that most Premier League teams will have an official app or two on the Play Store, and they’re generally well made, offering some of the most comprehensive and professional apps on the Play store.
From goal alerts, to exclusive video and content, there are a number of incentives for signing up with an official app.
On the other hand, it’s worth noting that you’re going to get a fairly biased account if you only rely on the official app for the latest news, so it’s worth casting a wide net in terms of sources.
For example, Hull haven’t signed anyone, they haven’t got a proper manager, and the club is about to be sold. But you wouldn’t know it by looking at their recent news feed on the official site.
Exclusive content is all well and good, but sometimes you’ll have to go elsewhere for the real stories. Not that I blame the clubs, who are only doing their best to protect themselves.
You can download related items like Match Programmes (at a price) for a number of clubs, so it’s worth searching the store to see what your team has on offer.
The Premier League on Social Media
It’s fair to say that football can be enhanced by social media on match day, and it can be a good way to pass the time while you’re waiting for kick off.
Twitter normally explodes during big games, and you can find vines and videos of goals if you’re missing out on the action, as well as genuinely insightful analysis from experts across the globe. There’s a whole section of Twitter dedicated to football, and it’s worth checking out.
Football Twitter is a little different to the rest of the site, but you don’t have to stick with a 140-character limit if you’re not don’t want to.
Nearly every platform caters for football fans in some shape or form, and players and clubs often have channels and pages of their own that releases content.
One thing to note is, there are lots of trolls, and they’re pretty ruthless…
It’s a great way to get more engrossed in a game, and it can often be more entertaining than watching a 0-0 draw between two no-hopers. (Especially if you’re watching the game alone.)
If you’re able to ignore any obvious trolls, it’s a good way to have fun, and comments can be funny and clever. Very occasionally.
There are so many types of fantasy football apps out there, allowing you compete with friends in mini-leagues or against the best in the world.
(In case you don’t know, fantasy football involves picking the best XI from the players in the league, while working with a limited budget.)
It’s a massive market with so many different apps and prizes on offer, but be careful as these games can easily strip you of cash If you’re not careful.
It’s good for a bit of fun, but the winners of these competitions tend to be mathematicians, who create complex spreadsheets to predict the best team every week while considering every variable.
It’s a level of depth that the average man in the pub will never reach, and it leaves the chances of you winning less likely than Leicester City retaining their league title. (It’s still fun to compete with friends and workmates.)
Technology and sport are entwined in Premier League football, as it caters for a worldwide fan base that are never likely to see their favourite players in the flesh.
It means there’s a big worldwide market for partnerships between clubs and companies, and there’s seemingly no end to products and services that end up branded in a club’s colours.
Aside from obvious things like official backgrounds and mini-games, there are lots of weird partnerships being made with no clear reason for the affiliation.
“This is the first time ever that 3D wearable items are available to purchase within a messaging app, and the first relationship between Raw and a sports team.”
What does a messaging app have to do with the Blues?
Money and sponsorship are such a massive part of the game, so it makes sense to pursue new avenues as clubs attempt to draw in every last penny they can. Fans are willing to pay top dollar and the money can be reinvested in the squad, so everyone ends up happy.
Overusing Football Apps
Have you ever watched a football match without commentary? If you’re there at the ground, it’s surprising how a clash that gets replayed 100 times in slo-mo on TV can drift from the memory, becoming nothing more than an afterthought for the fans inside the stadium.
(Meanwhile, thousands are focused in dissecting every detail on social media.)
It’s fair to say that there can often be an enforced narrative, and it can become an echo chamber if you spend too long listening to others online. Sometimes it’s best to take a step back, and just enjoy the game for what it is.
It’s possible to have too much of a good thing, and it’s somewhat sad to see when people begin to take it too seriously.
As mentioned earlier, the trolling can sometimes cross the line, and the excuse is always the same. Drunk and bored, the troll just wanted a reaction and some of the attention that arises when someone tweets something offensive and stupid.
Sometimes it’s better to take a break from all the negativity, as it can be draining after a while.
Overall, it’s getting even easier to use a smartphone to stay up to date with the latest developments in the Premier League.
It’s never going to be the same as getting to the stadium for a game, but you can take part in so many ways as long as you have a smartphone and an internet connection.
Technology has allowed for great footage and discussion about one of the best leagues in the world, and it’s hard to get more exciting than Leicester City’s improbable win last season.
If you want to keep up with all of the action, it’s easier than ever to do so with your smart device. Hopefully you’ll now have a better idea of everything you need in time for the start of the season.
Did we miss out on any good tips for using your device, or do you have a prediction for the upcoming season to share? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below!
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