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Get ready for Super Bowl Sunday with these iPhone apps

by David Lister

One of the many wonderful things about the App Store is that when something big is on the horizon, heady developers take advantage of the hype and release relevant apps. You may have heard about this Super Bowl thingy on Sunday, and likewise seen a number of football-themed apps make appearances.

This is a gift and a curse, though, as sifting through all these contenders can be tedious. Fortunately, the sifting has been taken care of, so whether you want to follow the hype surrounding the game, you’re an ambitious party thrower or you want to lose yourself in the game itself, the following list of Super Bowl apps will be of interest.

Not interested in the game? Don’t worry

The massive amount of attention the actual game gets has made everything surrounding the Super Bowl that much bigger, whether it’s the commercials shown during the game or the extravagant halftime show.

ADBOWL is simply a wonderful idea that combines two of America’s favorite things: commercials and voting. The free app links to YouTube videos of the commercials, and then allows you to rate them on a five-star scale. ADBOWL later posts the top ten commercials on their website; true advertising enthusiasts can check out their past results dating back to 2002.

People who simply aren’t into voting can get many of the same commercials with A+ Superbowl Commercials (also free), which also links to YouTube videos of the big game’s biggest ads, but lacks the interactive touch that ADBOWL has.

The NFL has decided to go slightly more contemporary with their halftime entertainment this year, booking the Black Eyed Peas. Fans of the Peas can check out BEP360, a 99-cent app that includes a 360-degree music video of the band’s single The Time (Dirty Bit), an augmented reality feature and a puzzle game.

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Plan your Super Bowl party

Speaking of events surrounding the Super Bowl, some are likely as excited about the party potential the game offers as the match-up between the Packers and Steelers.

Use Simple Soiree ($1.99) to plan your party, and grab the app’s football-themed invitation for free for this week only. In addition to tracking your guests, the app has handy features such as a built-in to-do list, shopping list and the ability to include menus. A free lite version is also available.

If you’re looking for a more in-depth shopping app than is offered by Simple Soiree, look no further than Grocery Gadget ($4.99 or the free lite version). A sure-fire hit for fans of organization, the app offers features such as learning your grocery store route and the ability to share editable lists with other users. You can also take pictures of your favorite products and scan barcodes, just a few of the many goodies inside this app.

For those who are more concerned with what to do with your groceries once you get them, New York Times columnist Mark Bittman’s cookbook, How to Cook Everything ($4.99), has come to the App Store. It includes 2,000 recipes, how-to illustrations and built-in timers to make your Super Bowl meal a little more super. In what’s becoming a recurring theme, the app also has handy shopping lists, as well as a free version you can try before spending five bucks on the full thing.

The game itself

In addition to commercials, halftime shows and parties, rumor has it there might be a football game of some importance on Sunday as well. Of course there are plenty of apps to help you follow that as well.

The official app of the NFL, NFL.com Game Center 2010 is unfortunately limited when compared to similar apps from the MLB and NBA. But this $1.99 release is still just about the best way to go if you want all the up-to-date stats at your fingertips during the big game, and features such as audio highlights will be appreciated by some.

Historians or people trying to settle bets may be more interested in Super Bowl Winners, a free app that is pretty self-explanatory. In addition to listing every winner dating back to 1967 the app also includes a little Super Bowl history in general. For $1.99 you can upgrade to Professional Sports History, which boasts winners for all major American sports and more.

Packers fans should already own Official Green Bay Packers, given that it’s free and includes exclusive video. Steelers fans can revel in the game’s most exciting defensive player (and put your face on his head) with Polamalooza, a blatant advertisement from Head & Shoulders, but entertaining nonetheless.

Finally, iPad users can get Super Bowl XLV Official NFL Game Program, a free app/souvenir game program that chronicles the 2010 season for both Pittsburgh and Green Bay, and provides some Super Bowl history on top of that.

Related: Make travel to the big game super with these iPhone apps