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Apple's Next Step in Sports: a New App to Track Your Favorite Team's Scores and Stats

Courtesy of Apple

In December, Apple completed the first season of a ten-year deal to serve as the exclusive broadcast partner of Major League Soccer—to date, the most ambitious of the tech company’s forays into the world of sports, and a hint at its ambitions for that lucrative corner of the entertainment world. Today, the Cupertino giant is launching a new product that, while smaller in scale, counts as another effort to deepen the relationship between fans and the sports they love: a free iPhone app called, simply, Apple Sports.

The concept is simple: Apple Sports allows fans to track scores, stats, and more from their favorite teams and leagues, all in one place and in real time. In that respect, it’s not unlike the scores-and-news apps provided by the big players in sports media—only, where those other apps are focused on delivering stories, videos, and maybe a side of hard-to-reach scores, Apple Sports is built to deliver one thing, and one thing only. ​​“We created Apple Sports to give sports fans what they want—an app that delivers incredibly fast access to scores and stats,” Eddy Cue, Apple’s senior vice president of Services, said in a press release.

The live scoreboard page…
The live scoreboard page…
Courtesy of Apple
…and the up-close game view.
…and the up-close game view.
Courtesy of Apple

Features are fairly straightforward. Users can select their favorite teams and leagues to follow, or swipe among the ten active leagues available at launch (NBA, MLS, EPL, men’s and women’s college hoops, and more). There, they can see all the day's games—scheduled, in progress, and completed—and tap into individual games for live-updating scores, stats, and betting odds. They’ll also be able to jump straight from a given game to the Apple TV app, where they can watch it live via Apple or another connected streaming service.

Last year, I spoke at length with Cue for a story about the MLS deal and what it revealed about the company’s interests in this new arena. His first priority, he told me, was to build a great product for MLS fans. And at Apple, “great product” means something specific. As his colleague Oliver Schusser put it to me then, “We're a product company, we're an innovation company, and we like to design things in a way that they're simple and intuitive and beautiful for people.” This new app certainly fits that bill: it is, from day one, a simple and intuitive way to keep up to date with scores and stats.

Users will be able to choose their favorite teams to follow.
Users will be able to choose their favorite teams to follow.
Courtesy of Apple

But Apple Sports is perhaps most interesting for what it portends for Apple’s continued interest in…yes, sports. It’s not too hard to imagine a world where, with Apple extending further and further into sports, the app becomes something like a hub for its efforts—a way to check scores, but also perhaps to read up the stories behind the games collected in Apple News, or to stream games like those currently home on services like MLS Season Pass. And, well—if you know a sports fan who hasn't idly wondered how the company's Vision Pro headset might transform the game-watching experience, I'd love to meet them.

That’ll all come later. Until then, there are plenty of games to be played—and scores to check.

Originally Appeared on GQ