This Thursday, fans of "The Greatest Game" will jump for joy as the 2014 World Cup begins play in Brazil. And you can be sure that technology will play a major part in bringing all of the action and commentary to viewers who can't get to their televisions or local bars easily. Smartphones will factor in heavily and the governing body of FIFA has already announced that for every game, the "Man of the Match" will be decided by Twitter users. Facebook will also have a number of features solely dedicated to the World Cup. For iPhone and iPad users, there's already numerous apps to keep track of all the matches and associated media. Here's four of the best on tap.
FIFA Official App (Free)
This is the official app by the ruling international body of soccer, and as such it really delivers. The app not only brings you information on all 32 teams from players to coaches, it also has the Global Stadium feature which gives you live play-by-play action from all of the matches taking place. You can also cast your vote for Man of The Match via the app, and get detailed background on the host country of Brazil and all of the cities where matches will take place.
ESPN FC Soccer & World Cup (Free)
The worldwide sports provider offers up a nifty app, upgraded just in time for the World Cup. This app doesn't give you play-by-play but it does offer live video recaps of key moments. It comes in handy since ESPN is the official global home of the World Cup broadcasts. In addition, you have a dedicated team of analysts and reporters just for the app itself. ESPN FC Soccer also gives you news from other football leagues such as the Premier League and MLS.
Forza Football (Free)
This app, formerly known as Live Score Addicts, takes a unique approach to letting users catch game action. It gives you the option to set up push notifications for any match you want. You also get the opportunity to link up with fans all over the globe in different ways from predicting a match to voting on how much faith you have in a manager of a team.
FIFA 14 (Free)
More of a game app, FIFA 14 by EA Sports has taken great pains to include upgrades in anticipation for the World Cup. It gives you the chance to play using any of the 32 teams in the Cup complete with their official national kits. You even get to use the Adidas Brazuca ball that will be used in Cup matches. FIFA 14 also lets you play in prime matches following the Cup's own live format. The app does take up a lot more space than the others mentioned (1.35 GB in total) but it gives you smooth play and accurate likenesses of your favorite footballers.