Apple's first Sports app update adds MLB and March Madness support, but it still might not be enough to make people use it

Apple Sports app on iPhone 15 Pro Max
(Image credit: Future / Apple)

The Apple Sports app has been around for a little while now, and while the App Store is already full of apps that offer similar functionality, the clean and fast nature of the app has the potential to make it a must-have for sports fans. Unfortunately, the initial launch had some issues, but a new update goes some way to trying to rectify at least a handful of them.

The new update, the Sports app's first, brings the version number up to 1.1 and adds a couple of new sporting options as well as a change that means final scores are now sorted by league for the first time. That limitation was a complaint from the initial release that Apple has now thankfully fixed, but there are still more that need attention if the Sports app is to take its place on Home Screens everywhere.

Alongside the new score sorting, Apple has added support for March Madness as well as MLB ahead of the new season.

Play ball!

Apple's release notes detail exactly what users of the Sports app can look forward to. The addition of league-based final score sorting is joined by two notable additions.

"Ready for March Madness? Follow the Men's and Women's NCAA Basketball Tournaments for real-time updates," Apple explains, adding "Starting with Opening Day, go deep this MLB season with play-by-play updates, betting odds, box scores, and more for all of your favorite teams." 

The app was initially released last month and displays information across a variety of sports including baseball, soccer, basketball, and ice hockey with big leagues like the Premier League, NBA, MLS, and more included. Stats include the team lineups, scores, standings, and upcoming games while betting odds are also shown where supported.

This new update is a welcome one, but there are still areas where the app lets itself down. Thankfully one annoyance — the fact that soccer lineups weren't ordered correctly — does appear to have been fixed even though it wasn't mentioned in the release notes. That suggests that there might be other improvements as well so be sure to give the app another try if it didn't quite hit the spot for you previously.

The release of the Sports app continued Apple's focus on sporting content and services. The MLS Season Pass offering cost Apple $2.5 billion for a ten-year contract, while the company also teams MLB content as well. There are constant rumors that Apple wants to sign up other sports and leagues, with the Premier League and La Liga just two soccer leagues that have been mentioned in the past. So far, there has been no sign that these deals are likely to happen, however.

Apple was also thought to be keen on bringing the NFL Sunday Ticket to the Apple TV app before the league signed an exclusive deal with YouTube.

As for the Sports app, that's now available for everyone to download via the App Store. It's a free app, as you'd expect, but it is currently only available for the iPhone. There is no iPad or Mac version of the app, but that could change in due course. Apple's upcoming June WWDC event may give Apple a chance to announce versions of the Sports app on other platforms to tie in with the preview of macOS 15 and iPadOS 18, for example.

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Oliver Haslam
Contributor

Oliver Haslam has written about Apple and the wider technology business for more than a decade with bylines on How-To Geek, PC Mag, iDownloadBlog, and many more. He has also been published in print for Macworld, including cover stories. At iMore, Oliver is involved in daily news coverage and, not being short of opinions, has been known to 'explain' those thoughts in more detail, too.

Having grown up using PCs and spending far too much money on graphics card and flashy RAM, Oliver switched to the Mac with a G5 iMac and hasn't looked back. Since then he's seen the growth of the smartphone world, backed by iPhone, and new product categories come and go. Current expertise includes iOS, macOS, streaming services, and pretty much anything that has a battery or plugs into a wall. Oliver also covers mobile gaming for iMore, with Apple Arcade a particular focus. He's been gaming since the Atari 2600 days and still struggles to comprehend the fact he can play console quality titles on his pocket computer.

  • Just_Me_D
    The app in it current form isn’t bad if you want to view scores and the time remaining. I have it set to display NBA scores and it’s pretty accurate. Now if I can figure out how to show the scores of my favorites in the Dynamic Island, that would be great. It might not be possible at this time.
    Reply