Before television, radio broadcasts were the only way you could follow updates about World Cup matches, and football in general. The first radio transmission of a game was made from Uruguay on 1 October 1922, according to a article on the history of football coverage.

In 2018, football fans can access every bit of information on their mobile phones. And when it comes to the World Cup in Russia, the official Fifa app is a must for any fan. Designed with the colours, themes, fonts and shapes of Russia 2018, it’s a visually pleasing product.

The landing page has four main sections: home, live scores, news and favourites. When you are setting up the app, you can personalize it by selecting your favourite team from among the 32 sides competing at the World Cup. The favourites section allows you to choose the teams you want to keep an eye on. You can set up notification alerts for all of them—these can be anything from kick-off alerts to yellow card and goal alerts.

An interesting feature is the option to add other favourite competitions. You can choose international competitions from Fifa or continental tournaments or even select domestic leagues from across the world—imagine getting updates from not the only Premier League in England, but, say, the Veikkausliiga in Finland.

The spinning loading wheel has been replaced by a bouncing Telstar 18 ball that gives the loading time a sporty touch. The information hub for a match is loaded with sub-sections and information.

A lot of work has gone into creating informative player profiles. Every player’s individual profile comes with a short bio of their journey so far in international and club football. The news section gives you access to the latest feature stories from the tournament in Russia. There are also photographs and videos from the current edition and a look-back at previous World Cups.

There are some minor hitches though. Sometimes, the content in the news section either fails to load or is unavailable. Some player profiles are accompanied by their picture on top, others are not. The app did not have pictures of Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo in their respective profiles (glaring misses!). But the profiles of Spanish players David de Gea and Gerard Piqué had pictures of them in their national kits.

Overall, the app is a useful addition to the existing football apps—the official app has a more authentic feel and will keep your phone beeping with notifications during this month-long sporting extravaganza.

Available for free on iOS and Android.