As Apple's MLS efforts launch, the time is now for a dedicated Sports app
One app, one focus, one 'goal'.
With Major League Soccer now available to watch on the Apple TV app as a season pass, you can easily track your favorite teams to see which matches are coming up, alongside watching back any highlights from past matches, and see every MLS regular season, playoff, and cup game live. But with more sport on Apple TV than ever before, it may be time for a dedicated sports app to avoid the potential bloat of the TV app.
It's a smart move by the company to expand its TV efforts into sports, especially with Friday Night Baseball having debuted in 2022 on Apple TV Plus as well. However, there has been criticism by fans of how there isn't a rewind feature in its MLS content to check back at moments you've missed during a match, nor is there SharePlay support to watch matches with family and friends.
The app is at risk of becoming confusing to use, so it seems like the time is right for Apple to bring out a dedicated Sports app to showcase both of these efforts, and what could be coming in the future.
How could a Sports app work?
One of the greatest app designs for me was the first iteration of Game Center in iOS 4.1, where felt was everywhere in its look, but it was fun to use. While it was very skeuomorphic for its time, you knew that this was an app related to gaming on iOS, first and foremost.
A dedicated Sports app should follow something like this - fun is something that's important in Apple's design, from Memoji to the badges you earn when using the Fitness app.
We need something where you can highlight your interests in different kinds of sports, and you'll get a curated list of soccer matches, baseball highlights, and perhaps documentaries on your favorite wrestlers from back in the day.
This could be a great way of avoiding the bloat that Apple's TV app is in danger of having. When you launch it, you've got your pick of movies, TV shows, sports, and the odd Apple Music video highlighting an artist.
When you mix in MLB and MLS, it could be overwhelming to someone who just wants to watch Ted Lasso.
Don't let the TV app repeat what iTunes became
This is how iTunes looked for me on my iMac back in 2009. It's interesting how bloated iTunes became once the App Store launched in 2008 - not only were you managing your apps on your iPhone but buying movies and TV shows, alongside arranging new music to put on your devices as well.
By the time Apple Music arrived to replace it, it felt like a relief, and you could manage your device in Finder on the Mac if you needed to.
Let's see Sports have its own app - to help avoid the potential bloat that the TV app may be facing, and so that users who love sports can have a dedicated app that they can follow and watch matches with, without having to scroll past new Apple TV Plus shows and trailers.
With rumors that Apple is looking at bidding for the rights to the Premier League once they're up for grabs, it could place the company, and a potential sports app, in a great position to showcase the best of English football, and everything else that's sports, all in one place.
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Daryl is iMore's Features Editor, overseeing long-form and in-depth articles and op-eds. Daryl loves using his experience as both a journalist and Apple fan to tell stories about Apple's products and its community, from the apps we use everyday to the products that have been long forgotten in the Cupertino archives.
Previously Software & Downloads Writer at TechRadar, and Deputy Editor at StealthOptional, he's also written a book, 'The Making of Tomb Raider (opens in new tab)', which tells the story of the beginnings of Lara Croft and the series' early development. He's also written for many other publications including WIRED, MacFormat, Bloody Disgusting, VGC, GamesRadar, Nintendo Life, VRV Blog, The Loop Magazine, SUPER JUMP, Gizmodo, Film Stories, TopTenReviews, Miketendo64 and Daily Star.