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News

Follow the Ashes on your iPhone

Sky
The nature of the App Store has really changed the way that applications can be pitched towards certain events. As well as the usual suspects like film franchises and TV series, developers can now jump onto much more varied trends like sports events. This is great news for the consumer, who, can quickly and easily use the App Store to hunt down apps that appeal to the event they’re interested in.

With this in mind we’re going to take a look at what you can get to enhance your Ashes experience on the iPhone. Before we do that, we’ll fill those non-cricket lovers in on what is arguably the greatest rivalry in Cricket and the cause of a great deal of emotion amongst its fans.

The Ashes dates back to 1882 and is a set of Cricket tests played between England and Australia. Brilliantly, the tournament started after a newspaper article described England’s first defeat on home soil against an Australia side as ‘the death of English Cricket’ the report went on to say that the body would be cremated and the ashes taken to Australia. And so began one of the greatest sporting contests on the planet.

Now to the nitty gritty. An iTunes search for ‘The Ashes‘ will only bring up five cricket related apps but in there you will find one of the best around. Sky Sports Live Cricket Score Centre isn’t and Ashes specific App but it’s still a must for all Cricket enthusiasts. It brings live updates to your iPhone and will make sure you know exactly what’s happening. It’s got as much detail as you would expect from the broadcasting powerhouse and the App is easy to navigate and well laid out.

If you would rather not spend out on an app to know the scores (ye of little faith in your national Cricket team) then you should check out

ECB Cricket
ECB Cricket, which, while not as slick as the Sky Sports app, its comprehensive and will also keep you up to date with every over and wicket as it happens. It utilizes a classic scoreboard look and has some clever features like alternating between batting and bowling info with a tap of the finger and the ability to rotate into horizontal mode.

If your all set for keeping score but would really like to get into playing a little cricket on your iPhone then there are quite a few apps for you to try. Sadly, like in the console world, Cricket is a tough game to simulate. Fortunately developers have been pretty innovative and have come up with some novel ideas. You might say they’re testing the boundaries (awful we know).

First up and one that’s likely to be liked or loathed is iSpot The Cricket Ball which is, if you haven’t guessed already, basically spot the ball with Cricket pictures. You get twenty guesses and once they are up the answer is revealed. If this were a free app we’d deem it downloadable but sadly its not worth the £1.19 price tag.

Touch Cricket is an actual game and it uses quite a fun engine for you to control a batsman and score runs. Users have to use a finger to drag the batsman into a hitting position as the ball travels across the screen. It takes a bit of getting used to and the action reminds us of marionettes a little but this is still a fun app for £0.59. Its quite cool to dip in and out of but we don’t anticipate anyone playing day long tests on it.

Cricket game
The aptly titled Cricket Game is the cream of the crop as far as simulations go. The view and the controls make it the most natural to play of all the apps we tested. As the batsman you stand facing a delivery and then, as the ball is bowled you use a swipe of the finger to strike the ball. Timing and swipe direction are everything. If you swipe to early you’ll get bowled. Of you swipe too late you’ll merely defend the stumps with a tame effort. Get the timing right and you can send the ball hurtling towards the boundary. You have to face a mix of fast and spin bowlers which is cool and you can even control how many runs you try and get by using a two finger swiping system. You can control the type of shot you take with the direction of the swipe you use. Experimentation is the key and once you’ve got a couple of moves sorted all you have to do is send the ball to the places where field cover is weak. We really like this game and think it offers stunning value for money at £0.59. Download it now.

Finally the app that has to be top of batting order is Virtual Cricket with Push Notifications. The clue to it’s appeal is in its name. This is the o

Virtual Cricket
nly Cricket app on the store that is enabled with push notifications. The beauty of the Push system means that news and scores get delivered even when the app isn’t open. Perfect for when you need to get on and do other things but still want up to the minute news on what’s happening. Within the app itself there is a wealth of information including graphs for each game as well as all the usual batting and bowling stats for each over and innings. Despite some pretty woeful App Store ratings we actually think this app is well worth a download if only for the push notifications.

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