Screen shot of the Super Bowl XLVII Official NFL Game Program app for the… (NFL )
Watching the Super Bowl used to mean sitting in front of a TV, captive to whatever the network decided to show.
Not anymore, thanks to a slew of apps that not only can turn a smartphone into a substitute for the TV but also provide an interactive experience -- all from the comfort of your living room couch.
Watching on a phone or tablet
Although the ideal way to watch the Super Bowl is on big-screen TV, you can also easily watch it on a smartphone or tablet computer. That's a good option to have in case you're running late to a Super Bowl party or someone decides to switch the channel to the Puppy Bowl.
To watch on a tablet, head to CBSSports.com. There, CBS will have a live stream of the game along with alternate camera angles. Verizon Wireless customers will also be able to live stream the game on their phones using the NFL Mobile app, available for iOS and Android.
Keeping up with the stats
How many tackles does Ray Lewis have? How many yards has Colin Kaepernick run and thrown for?
You can wait for the CBS broadcast to enlighten you, or you can turn to a number of apps to track stats live. Among the most popular are ESPN's ScoreCenter and Yahoo! Sportacular -- both free and both available for Android and iOS.
Playing the game
If you don't like what you see on TV, you can call and run the plays with Gameloft's NFL Pro 2013. The app, for iOS and Android, is by no means Madden NFL quality, but it's free and has solid graphics.
Following the commercials
On Sunday, the game is the most important thing, but the commercials are a close second. You can use the YouTube app to watch your favorite commercials after they air. The commercials also should be on CBSSports.com.
Additionally, you can "tag" some commercials using the Shazam app to unlock special offers and more content -- so you might want to have Shazam on hand.
Stats are one thing, but do you know the history of the game? For instance, who was the last non-quarterback Super Bowl MVP? And what school did Joe Flacco play for before Delaware?
The answers are Santonio Holmes and Pittsburgh, so make sure you have apps that will provide you with trivia answers before and during the game.
The best app for that is Wikipedia, available for iOS and Android. Never underestimate the power of that crowdsourced online encyclopedia (and, if you're extra diligent, check references for the facts).
Another good app if you have an iPad is the Super Bowl XLVII Official NFL Game Program. It costs $9.99 but offers plenty of articles, videos and pictures -- including a gallery of the first 46 Super Bowl rings.
The Baltimore Ravens and San Francisco 49ers kick off Super Bowl XLVII on Sunday at 3:30 p.m. Pacific.
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