App of the Week: Get Ready for the Season with the Houston Texans App

App: Houston Texans Platform: iPhone, Android, Blackberry Website: Houston Texans Download Site Cost: Free

If there is one thing we love in Texas, it's football. There are quite a number of sports apps out there to help you keep track of your favorite teams, football or otherwise, but when it comes to a specific team -- or niche of any kind -- it's just better to have a dedicated app to cover it in detail.

Fortunately for Houston Texans fans, the team's official team app more than has you covered.

First and Ten

Right out of the gate, it is easy to understand why this app would be popular with smartphone users. The home screen has a schedule that includes games and other events -- right now, it details when players report to camp -- along with the "latest media," which includes video, audio and other news items. The video loads fast and smooth and is professionally done.

The clean layout is easy to navigate. The top right is a reload button, which helps during games. Bottom left is a home button and bottom right is the nav area that opens up everything from stats and schedules to fantasy sports, player profiles and settings.

It covers virtually every aspect of the team in a simple, clean and fast menu.

Going Deep

The statistical area of the app -- something sports fans love -- is extensive and, like the rest of the interface, clean and easy to use. Detailed stats for every player are available as well the team as a whole. There aren't any historical stats available, but it would be tough to include that in a compact app anyway.

The schedule function -- probably one of the most used -- gives great detail on the teams involved, times and even the television network. There are "buy ticket" links where necessary, but they aren't obtrusive. Those links take you to Ticketmaster and the layout is fine, but it's not an ideal set up for purchasing seats. Still, it's there if you need it.

One of the more fascinating features is access to live, streaming radio broadcasts. Streaming radio has gained steam over the last couple of years with apps like iHeartRadio and the Texans take full advantage of managing their own broadcasts. Now, if Reliant Stadium only was able to have better wireless signal coverage -- or, how about wi-fi??? -- it would be easy to stream game audio while at the game.

The Verdict

The Houston Texans app is one of the cleanest, fastest and easiest apps I've used of any genre. If you are a Texans fan, this is the ultimate app to have on your phone.

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Jeff Balke is a writer, editor, photographer, tech expert and native Houstonian. He has written for a wide range of publications and co-authored the official 50th anniversary book for the Houston Rockets.
Contact: Jeff Balke