I’ve Got the Whole World (Cup) in My Hands!

The always exciting World Cup kicks off today and I’m using a mobile application from Goal.com to keep track of it all. I’m using the Google Android (s goog) version, but the free software also runs on iPhone (s aapl), Nokia Symbian S60 5th edition (s nok), BlackBerry (s rimm) and Windows Mobile (s msft) devices. Although I’d love to spend time watching matches online — NewTeeVee has a list of ways to watch World Cup online streams and videos — I just don’t have the time. So a mobile app such as Goal.com gives me a quick World Cup fix when I need an update.

On my Nexus One, this software runs silky smooth and makes good use of the high-resolution touchscreen. The interface is easy to use as well: just tap the World Cup tab for a left-to-right sliding menu offering News, Live Scores, Teams, Results and Standings. Once in any of these sub-menus, the same sliding interface is used, making it easy to scroll through news stories, for example. The application, distributed by Handmark, is ad-supported, but the advertising is very unobtrusive and isn’t getting in the way of my World Cup data. The software also supports sharing of World Cup news via Twitter, Facebook, Delicious, email and even text messaging. Unfortunately, I don’t see a way to schedule updates to speed things up, but there is a manual refresh option.

What I really like most about the app is is what carriers will like, too — it provides just enough data without sucking down huge amounts of bandwidth — that’s key for folks who don’t have unlimited data plans and also important to service providers. Indeed, Akamai (s akam) recently beefed up its network in anticipation of moving 2-3 terabits of data a second during the World Cup events, which would set a record for the highest rate of throughput it’s ever passed along.

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