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Apple’s New Sports App Isn’t a Game Changer, But It Does Have One Standout Feature

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Apple-Sports-AppPhoto by Tucker Bowe

Apple’s New Sports App Isn’t a Game Changer, But It Does Have One Standout Feature

Apple released its first sports app for iPhone. It’s called Apple Sports.

Apple has officially released its first dedicated sports app for iPhone. It’s called Apple Sports and it’s different from most other sports apps (like ESPN or Yahoo Sports) out there — specifically, it’s more basic.

Instead of bombarding you with all kinds of editorial coverage (like trade rumors, game previews and recaps, hirings and firings, fantasy recommendations, etc.), Apple Sports is designed to give you real-time game scores and stats. That’s it. According to the press release, the app prioritizes “speed and simplicity.”

Once downloaded — the app is free and available right now — you simply select your favorite teams and leagues that you want to follow, and then they’ll appear on your main feeds within the app. You can check on past games, on-going games and upcoming games. 

In addition to scores and stats, Apple Sports will give users a few other nuggets of info. You’ll be able to see live betting odds for all games (although you can’t link Apple Sports with any sports betting apps at this time). And when you select a live game, you’ll see live broadcast and streaming information. So you can easily turn on your TV to that channel or, if you’re subscribed to one of those apps, you can start streaming that game on your iPhone or Apple TV. 

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Apple Sports allows you to see live scores of all your teams and leagues in one place.
Apple
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You can select a live game and get real-time stats and betting information.
Apple

If there is a standout feature of Apple Sports, it’s that it’s made by Apple and therefore is poised to work better with your iPhone. Most notably, you can set it up so that these real-time scores appear on your iPhone’s Lock Screen while the game is in progress. This way, you’ll be able to check live scores without touching your iPhone or receiving a push notification about a score update. And that’s pretty neat. If you have an iPhone with a Dynamic Island, you’ll also be able to see these live scores in that little floating bubble, too.

You’ve been able to have these real-time scores live on your Lock Screen before, however it’s really only been for sports like MLB baseball and MLS soccer. Now with Apple Sports, you’ll be able to see even more games from different leagues and sports (like international soccer matches from the Premier League, La Liga or Bundesliga). 

A word of caution, however. Apple Sports is prioritizing speed (in addition to a simple interface) when it comes to real-times scores. This seems great when pulling from its own broadcasts and services, like MLS Season Pass or Friday Night Baseball, but when working with other streaming platforms that are typically a couple seconds behind (at least), like games on ESPN+ or Peacock, you may risk seeing the score on your iPhone before you actually see it on the stream. So maybe don’t have iPhone nearby when streaming games in real time.

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The simple interphase makes it easy to follow specific teams and leagues.
Apple

To have these real-time scores appear on your iPhone’s Lock Screen, you’ll have to make sure Live Activities are enabled. To do this, open the Settings app > Face ID & Passcode > toggle on Live Activities.

The Apple Sports app is available to download now. It’s free.

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