Tech Tuesdays | Hoop Maps

Photo credit: Matthew Nobert {image source.}
Earlier this month, Slam Magazine editors, Peter Walsh and Abe Schwadrohad, had the honor of speaking with basketball legend, Julius "Dr. J." Erving, on their Respect the Game podcast. Among the many topics that were covered in the interview was his days playing at Harlem's Rucker Park with Virginia Squire teammate, Charlie Scott. Pick-up basketball hasn't changed much since then as far as retired vets coming to play with the neighborhood hype beast and a crowd of local spectators coming to see the free show, except now, there's all sorts of technology used to capture those rare footage moments that were once upon a time so exclusive.

Apparently, the love of the game hasn't changed much either and now there's a mobile app that compliments the popular ball is life mantra. Donte and Dominic Morris, the twin collaborators, both alumni of Sacramento State University, knew that there was a piece of the game missing, whereas before, the crew would ride around town in search of an open court or gym to play on, trying to find a game to join, which was always a hit or miss. The duo then came up with a genius solution to create Hoop Maps, an app that would-essentially-assist hoopers in building local teams to ball with, further alleviating the challenge in finding nearby courts for pick-up games. It's a new level of street ball that the world hasn't quite experienced yet, simply because the technology wasn't available previously.

As a former athlete who is getting back into basketball just for fun, I do have the Hoop apps application downloaded on my personal device. Although I have yet to create or join a squad, I've created a profile and crossed my fingers, hoping that soon enough I can locate some cool individuals for a Saturday hoop session.

Hoop Maps is currently only available in the Apple app store, as it is still a relatively new app, but at the rate its going with a radar of 1,000 + users, over 15K downloads, and national attention from shows, such as #SC6 in just the first few months of existence, the app is already explosive, so we're confident that it will expand beyond being an underground hidden gem in the coming months. 

Follow me on Twitter: @TheSkyBoxSuite | @ChymereA

TECH TUESDAYS | Top 10 Essential Apps for Sports Fans

Back again, with another installment of TECH TUESDAYS, where I discuss all the apps and gadgets that make life a bit more easy for athletes, bloggers, and sports lovers alike. Last week, I covered my top 10 Essential apps that support and drive my on-going fitness journey. This week, I'll be discussing my favorite sports apps for news coverage, updates, or just basic streaming live games/entertainment.

Disclaimer: The sports + fitness apps I currently have on my device definitely get daily usage out of me and I'm always on the hunt for new ways to improve my experience. Therefore, this post is not sponsored and 100% composed of my thoughts and opinions regarding each application.

That being said, here is a list of the Top 10 essential apps for sports fanatics, hand picked by moi, most of which can be found on both Apple and Android's devices:

Sports apps:  

  1. Team Stream/Bleacher Report. Before this was an app, I was a big fan of Bleacher Report sports blog. What I love about this app is how clean and fluid the interface is. The app allows you to customize your feed based on your selected teams, as well as share your favorite articles on varying social media platforms. Also, I love that it's 3D touch enabled for easy access.
  2. ESPN. (iOS, Google)ESPN has more options as far as live streaming goes and quicker news stories. I wouldn't say that it's more reliable than Team Stream's feed, but obviously it's a more trusted source. 
  3. NFL Mobile. For all things football related, there is NFL Mobile. Offering fast, high-quality streaming, live game footage, and reliably, this app is perfect for the everyday football fan, who doesn't necessarily engage too much in other sports and whose passion lies on the gridiron. 
  4. FanDuel. (iOS, Android)Although I have yet to play fantasy football or join a league, this is for those who do. I've tested the app myself and it holds up really nice compared to the official NFL fantasy football app. A couple of my friends who have their own teams have suggested this as well. 
  5. team specific apps (Los Angeles Lakers, Dallas Cowboys).
  6. Sportle. (iOS) This app is good for live streaming, as well as finding out where a particular game is streaming and whether or not the user has access to it. It seems that a good amount of people are ditching conventional cable and this app help solves the issue of being able to watch certain games. 
  7. at Bat. (iOS) For all things baseball related, has an app for that also. The only thing I really dislike about this app is the ads are a little intrusive and distracting. Hopefully that's something that will get better in the coming updates. Other than that, I do believe it serves its purpose pretty well. 
  8. NCAA Sports.  The best way to keep up with college game days is via NCAA Sports app. The only time of year I really use/download this app is just in time for the NCAA Championships, but I do know it's good for hosting live video coverage of most NCAA sports and the latest articles from NCAA writers.
  9. FIFA Official App. I'm not too heavy into soccer, but I know this is a solid app for those who are. The coverage is not only reliable when it comes to in-depth coverage, but also comprehensive with a special focus on the FIFA World Cup.

App to look for: 

  • FINA mobile app suite by Omnigon : phase I scheduled to be launched by March 2017, followed by phase II by July 2017, just in time for the FINA World Championships
What are some of your go-to apps to follow your favorites sports/teams?
  Follow me on Twitter: @TheSkyBoxSuite | @ChymereA

TECH TUESDAYS | Top 10 Essential Apps for Health + Fitness

More than 90% of people who watch sports on a consistent basis are also heavy technology users. Of course, that's a ball park statistic, but I'm pretty sure in 2017, most people own a smart phone. There are so many instances where I think life would be better if I opted for a pink bedazzled flip phone and get back to the basics, however it would be hard for me to let go of the convenience of my iPhone, which I'm sure is the case for most people in that 18-35 age group. App developers have really been able to tap into the sports demographic so well, so that their smart phone feels personalized.

Disclaimer: As an athlete and sports fan turned sports blogger, it's important for me to take full advantage of the myriad of options available in the app store that cater specifically to those interest. The sports + fitness apps I currently have on my device definitely get daily usage out of me and I'm always on the hunt for new ways to improve my experience. Therefore, this post is not sponsored and 100% composed of my thoughts and opinions regarding each application.

That being said, here is a list of the Top 10 essential apps for sports fanatics, hand picked by moi, most of which can be found on both Apple and Android's devices:

Favorite Fitness apps: 

  1. Nike Training Club. By far my favorite fitness app, this gives me the freedom to do my workouts primarily from home. With a new year comes new gym members and sometimes the crowd can be a little overwhelming. What I love about NTC is how you can personalized your workout regimen based on your fitness goals and how well it syncs with my iPhone, so that I'm able to listen to my music while I workout. It also gives you access to certified Nike trainers and exclusive Nike events around the world and in your area to give you that extra push if need be.
  2. Nike + Run Club. In conjunction with NTC, I also highly recommend Nike's run app. It gives detailed insight on on runs, including distance, calories burned, and pace. The app itself is easy to use and is engineered to make running fun, which is something I find quite useful, especially for someone who isn't exactly a runner. To add comic relief and a bit of extra motivation, Kevin Hart's voice is intergrated in the app, encouraging me to keep pushing through my work out, so that's pretty cool as well. 
  3. SwimIO. (iOS) Formally known as Speedo Swim, this is the best way to log swimming yardage, set goals, and track progress. It also enables you to join different challenges that make the workout fun and connect with friends. It's also nice to use when I'm away from home and looking for local [25 m.] pools in the area.
  4. Lifesum. Despite what your health and fitness goals are, a key component is obviously your daily diet and the relationship you have with food. This app helps you create and maintain a lifestyle that is suitable for what you're trying to accomplish.
  5. Swork it. (iOSGoogle) This is another app that's good for on-the go work outs, where you don't necessarily need a gym membership to stay active. Most of the work outs are fairly quick, high-powered workouts, designed to appease people with busy lifestyles. 
  6. FitStart Yoga. If you're new to yoga like me, this is the perfect app to help you get started on your journey. It's also suitable for expert yogis, so it's completely up to what you're comfortable with. 
  7. My Fitness Pal. This is a pretty well-known iOS app and has been ranked #1 health + fitness app for quite some time now. It makes it easy to track calories.
  8. Apple Health + S Health. These are the apps that come standard with most devices. They're able to track health data such as heart rate, blood pressure/temperature, as well as day to day activity.  And because mind is just as-if not, more-important than matter, there's a mindfulness section that enables you to quite your mind, relax, and get in a good head space before, during, and after a workout. It also helps track nutrition and sleep cycles to help you stay consistent with your wellness.
  9. 10k Runner (iOSGoogle). This app helps someone prepare to run a 10k in 14 weeks. I think it would be really efficient for athletes who haven't trained in a while and for someone who is just beginning. 
  10. Last but not least....your music apps of choice. I absolutely love Apple Music, so that's my preferred music streaming app and syncs to both my previously mentioned NTC and NRC apps. I also have a free Spotify membership, in the case I want to switch it up and listen to random songs on shuffle. For me, music during my workout is essential. A lot of the times, different streaming services have built in workout play list, so that you don't have to go through the labor of creating your own. I like to create my own play list that provide a really high pumped atmosphere and to me, it's nothing more motivational than hearing Big K.R.I.T. blasting through my speakers on my last leg of a 5k. Phenomenal.
Let's get into your mind for a moment: Do you train or workout regularly?  Do we share the same top 10? If not, what are your go to apps to use and how are they helping you reach your fitness goals? Let me know!

Follow me on Twitter: @TheSkyBoxSuite | @ChymereA