Apple unveils new Sports app with a focus on scores

Macworld

Apple today announced the launch of Apple Sports, a new free app dedicated to supplying sports fans with their favorite teams’ latest scores and stats.

The app covers NHL, MLB, men’s and women’s basketball, and numerous soccer leagues including the Premier League, Serie A, MLS, LaLiga, and the Bundesliga. When you first set up the app, you’ll be asked to tell it which leagues and teams you’re interested in (if you haven’t already done so in Apple News); from then on you can choose to tailor your view to show recent, current or upcoming matches involving either your favorite leagues or your favorite teams.

At this stage there are a number of surprising limitations, suggesting that it is still half-finished. The most obvious gaps are in the supported sports and leagues: the NFL isn’t covered yet, although Apple insists this will become available for its upcoming season. (Oddly, Apple says the same thing about MLB coverage in its press release, but that’s already available as a selectable favorite in the app even though there aren’t any games close enough to be listed.)

In an interview with Fast Company, senior VP of services Eddie Cue said that the app’s simple interface is by design. “You can spend five seconds to go look at the score, or you might spend 30 seconds, or you might spend three minutes going play-by-play because it’s the end of the game. It’s all about that. It’s getting you in, giving you what you need, and doing it really quickly.””

Moving outside the traditionally most popular sports in the U.S., this reporter was surprised to note the absence of any cricket coverage. This, after all, is the second most popular sport in the world, behind only soccer. It’s also the second sport of the U.K., one of the three countries where Apple Sports is initially launching (along with the U.S. and Canada). Indeed, it might be worth mentioning that the U.S. hosts the Cricket World Cup later this year. But sure, Apple, carry on ignoring cricket.

Functionally, Apple Sports is limited by a strict focus on leagues and an apparent ignorance of cup matches. (A Chelsea fan in the Macworld office laments that his team’s cup final appearance on Sunday is not listed, yet the less important league game postponed to make room for it is.) It’s also strange that you can’t go back any further than yesterday to see older results, or further than a week into the future. And there’s no news tab, nor any kind of long-term schedule of matches. It doesn’t even support Live Activities. You’ll still need to visit the TV app to follow a game on the lock screen or Dynamic Island.

One possible clue to the makers’ priorities can be found in the betting information (the odds for each team, the spread, and so on) listed prominently for certain matches. Apple isn’t keen on even the appearance of moral murkiness so it’s hard to see this developing into a full betting feature, but the option is there, and would be hugely lucrative. Ultimately, of course, Apple will want the Sports app to tie into its live streaming of matches on Apple TV+. It will be interesting to see how it develops from here, but for now, it won’t be replacing your sports app of choice.

Entertainment

​Macworld Macworld

Apple today announced the launch of Apple Sports, a new free app dedicated to supplying sports fans with their favorite teams’ latest scores and stats.

The app covers NHL, MLB, men’s and women’s basketball, and numerous soccer leagues including the Premier League, Serie A, MLS, LaLiga, and the Bundesliga. When you first set up the app, you’ll be asked to tell it which leagues and teams you’re interested in (if you haven’t already done so in Apple News); from then on you can choose to tailor your view to show recent, current or upcoming matches involving either your favorite leagues or your favorite teams.

At this stage there are a number of surprising limitations, suggesting that it is still half-finished. The most obvious gaps are in the supported sports and leagues: the NFL isn’t covered yet, although Apple insists this will become available for its upcoming season. (Oddly, Apple says the same thing about MLB coverage in its press release, but that’s already available as a selectable favorite in the app even though there aren’t any games close enough to be listed.)

In an interview with Fast Company, senior VP of services Eddie Cue said that the app’s simple interface is by design. “You can spend five seconds to go look at the score, or you might spend 30 seconds, or you might spend three minutes going play-by-play because it’s the end of the game. It’s all about that. It’s getting you in, giving you what you need, and doing it really quickly.””

Moving outside the traditionally most popular sports in the U.S., this reporter was surprised to note the absence of any cricket coverage. This, after all, is the second most popular sport in the world, behind only soccer. It’s also the second sport of the U.K., one of the three countries where Apple Sports is initially launching (along with the U.S. and Canada). Indeed, it might be worth mentioning that the U.S. hosts the Cricket World Cup later this year. But sure, Apple, carry on ignoring cricket.

Functionally, Apple Sports is limited by a strict focus on leagues and an apparent ignorance of cup matches. (A Chelsea fan in the Macworld office laments that his team’s cup final appearance on Sunday is not listed, yet the less important league game postponed to make room for it is.) It’s also strange that you can’t go back any further than yesterday to see older results, or further than a week into the future. And there’s no news tab, nor any kind of long-term schedule of matches. It doesn’t even support Live Activities. You’ll still need to visit the TV app to follow a game on the lock screen or Dynamic Island.

One possible clue to the makers’ priorities can be found in the betting information (the odds for each team, the spread, and so on) listed prominently for certain matches. Apple isn’t keen on even the appearance of moral murkiness so it’s hard to see this developing into a full betting feature, but the option is there, and would be hugely lucrative. Ultimately, of course, Apple will want the Sports app to tie into its live streaming of matches on Apple TV+. It will be interesting to see how it develops from here, but for now, it won’t be replacing your sports app of choice.

Entertainment 

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