The World Cup. The time when half the world goes football mad and the other half tries to make itself a load of money from exploiting the football-crazed consumers.
The Android Market, what with its all-encompassing, deregulated approach to apps, is no stranger to ill-advised get rich quick schemes that try to capitalise on lucrative keywords, with numerous spam apps, ad-covered apps and poor RSS and Twitter readers dressed up to be some sort of life-changing tool, all vying for your thoughtless, impulsive micro-transaction.
So in the spirit of pretending to like football at this time of year, we've sorted through the wheat and chaff of Android World Cup apps, giving you five of the best - and five shamefully terrible - options for keeping yourself up on the very latest in metatarsal developments down in South Africa.
GOOD: World DroidCup, £free
Doesn't offer much in the way of streamed-in news and opinion, instead this one just gives Android users the basics - group tables, match times and results, all put together in an extremely professional visual style. The use of English on the menus is a bit patchy, but that only adds to the excitement of an international event. It's like Eurovision, only quite a lot less camp.
GOOD: EvriThing World Cup, £free
This is the one to get if you're after a simple news feed aggregator and can't be bothered cobbling one together yourself from your own personal favourite news providers. A simple, clutter-free interface keeps everything quick, because the last thing you need to be doing in a penalty situation is waiting for graphical menus to load. Features lots of US news sources, so get used to reading about "offense".
GOOD: BBC Sport News, £free
DISCLAIMER: Not made by the BBC. This simply serves up the BBC's enormous sport news section in a very tidy little app, if you're the sort of proud British reader who only believes things are true and teams have indeed been eliminated at quarter stage when it appears on the BBC. Hopefully the BBC will launch its promised official sports app very soon. Now is definitely a good time to do so.
GOOD: World Cup 2010 TV Guide, £free
Even in this complex digital age, when it comes to watching football on TV in the UK it's a simple choice - Gary Lineker on the BBC or whoever's currently doing the hosting on ITV. This app offers TV times and channel info for all matches, not only for the UK but also for France, the US, South Africa and more. If you didn't know the Group B match between South Korea and Greece is only being shown on ITV, you're not a proper football fan.
GOOD: World Cup Quiz, £free
It's presented extremely poorly, but offering "more than 1000 different questions" about football stuff, it could, at the very least, help a non-football fan bluff his or her way through a football trivia-based conversation with an expert. We all have our coping strategies for getting through major sporting events. Look for the one developed by Lniv - there are several WC quiz apps out there.
BAD: Sexy World Cup - England, €0.79
The funny thing about the Android Market is the way you can see how some people's minds work. The maker of this clearly thought that World Cup + sexy babes + an impulse price point of €0.79 would equal several hundred thousand drunken buys and enough money to buy a house. Fortunately, the app's currently sitting on around less than 50 downloads according to unofficial Market stats. People, thankfully, aren't that stupid.
BAD: The Sun, £2.39
A slightly duff app that streams in content from The Sun's web site, but at least it lets those taking part in its 'Dream Team' virtual tournament login and micro-manage their pretend World Cup starting XI. Could be useful in a news-related emergency, but with a £2.39 asking price attached to it you'd be better off with a free app. Or an RSS reader.
BAD: World Cup News + Sexy Babes, £free
Another app that attempts to appeal to the football/babes mindset of the common man. World Cup News + Sexy Babes offers little more than a feed of headlines from the official FIFA news site, combined with, according to the app's description, "five free hot babes delivered every day". Again, when it comes to "hot babes" we think you might be better off with a Google image search. Be warned, the images link to adult sites. Reviewing apps is a tough job.
BAD: AP 2010 World Cup Coverage, £free
You'd think a news agency with the might and reputation of the Associated Press would be able to come up with a decent Android app, even if it only cobbled one together via one of the third-party off-the-shelf tools. But no. This isn't really an app at all - open it up and it simply loads a mobile version of the AP's football news service in a browser window with an enormous VISA ad up top.
BAD: England Flag Widget, £0.50
Fifty pence to make your Home screen look rather poor? Be thankful this sort of shameful profiteering only comes about once every four years. Although we'll no doubt be flooded by sexy babe pole-vaulter photo apps come the 2012 Olympics.
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