New York Yankees center fielder Aaron Judge, #99, hits his 62nd home run to break Roger Maris’ record during the game between the Texas Rangers and the New York Yankees at Globe Life Field in Arlington, Texas on October 4 , 2022

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An apple on Wednesday released a new free iPhone app for tracking sports scores, its latest effort to become a major provider of sports content and news.

The app, called Apple Sports, does one thing well: it shows sports scores from all the major teams and leagues. Users in the US, Canada and the UK can download it on Wednesday, the first day of the Major League Soccer season.

Apple service chief Eddie Cue said the company designed the app to be quick and easy for multiple quick checks a day. It will stand out from other sports scores apps because Apple doesn’t represent a team or league and isn’t incentivized to engage users for long sessions, he said.

“You want your results to be basically real-time. You want them to be really easy to get to. And let nothing else get in your way. And that’s the main purpose of the app,” Cue, hoarse from Super Bowl cheers, said in an interview last week.

Apple has moved into sports in recent years, buying rights and broadcasting games from Major League Baseball and Major League Soccer, adding additional sports journalism to its news app and broadcast sports-related documentaries about teams like the Golden State Warriors and New England Patriots on Apple TV+.

Apple also bid for rights to National Football League games last year before losing out to YouTube, CNBC reported, and is expected to be a player in upcoming rights negotiations for the National Basketball Association. Apple, like Google and Amazonsees major live sporting events as a potential mainstay for its streaming services.

This new app, which will not come pre-installed on the iPhone, is tightly integrated with Apple’s other service apps, such as the TV app and the News app.

For example, it will take the user’s existing preferences for favorite teams, sports and leagues from those apps, so when the Sports app is first opened, many will already see scores from their favorite teams.

Notifications and live activity are also handled by the Apple News and Apple TV apps, including existing features such as game start time notifications or an alert for a nearby game that the user is interested in.

Most game pages will include sport-specific information such as who scored, which players are on the court, or who is on first base. The pages will also include live betting odds, but users can turn them off in the settings.

Game pages also often include an Apple TV button. This means the user can tap the button to watch a live stream of the game. It works for sports that Apple carries, as well as games on streaming services that link to the Apple TV app, many of which still require a cable subscription but will increasingly be offered by the most popular streamers.

“In an ideal world, when I’m watching the Duke game, it says open the TV app, I’d like it to take me to the basketball game,” Cue said. “And that’s what we’re trying to do.”

It should be noted that there is no special edition for Apple’s new Vision Pro headset, which is Apple’s best product for watching sports on a large virtual display.

Cue talks about Apple’s desire to fix sports distribution even before Apple has a streaming service. He criticized cable channel guides in 2016 iinterview with The Hollywood Reporter, and how hard it was to find the Duke game. In 2019, Apple looked at Sports Illustrated in a military hall the company built to monitor games and send notifications.

Cue said Apple is doing a lot behind the scenes to work with app developers and streaming providers to make their services work seamlessly with Apple’s services, for example. Apple’s goal is to make it easy and clean to find sports information and ultimately seamlessly start the game with a few taps.

“As a big sports fan, there’s never been a better time, there’s never been a worse time,” Cue said. “It’s the best time that almost everything in the world is televised in some way. But it has never been worse. Because of the amount of services, the rights, the interruptions, the restrictions.”

Apple will also have features that will allow users to follow college basketball’s March Madness tournament in the app, Cue said.

Here’s a list of leagues Apple says it will support:

  • MLB
  • NFL
  • NCAA football
  • WNBA
  • MLS
  • NBA
  • NCAA Basketball (Men’s and Women’s)
  • NHL
  • The Bundesliga
  • La Liga
  • Liga MX
  • League 1
  • Premier League
  • Series A

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