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How Apple Sports works and why sports fans might prefer ESPN

Key Takeaways

  • Apple released the Apple Sports app surprisingly, with basic features that could be expanded upon later.
  • The app allows tracking of scores, stats, matchups, and more for selected leagues and teams.
  • It has limited league support so far, but more will be added. However, other sports apps are more comprehensive.

Apple typically doesn’t release new apps out of nowhere. Instead, the company tends to drop them with major iOS versions. But the company has thrown everyone for a loop by announcing the Apple Sports app seemingly out of left field. I downloaded it to check it out, and while anyone looking for an easy way to track their favorite sports teams and leagues might find the app helpful, it has flaws.


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Let’s take a closer look at the Apple Sports app. I’ll cover what it can and can’t do and help you decide whether it’s worth downloading and using — or if you should stick with your current sports app of choice.

Apple Sports has scores, stats, and betting lines

The Apple Sports app is designed to let you see when your favorite teams play next and the scores and stats of their games. You can also tap an upcoming game to see more about the teams. It’ll even show you the betting lines for an upcoming game (for example, my Philadelphia Flyers are heavily favored at -238 in their next game against Connor Bedard and the Chicago Blackhawks).

“You can also add entire leagues to your favorites, so if you want to see every NHL game happening tonight, you can do that easily.”

You can also see the current standings, so you know where your favorites sit as far as making the playoffs. Additional options open once a game is underway, including play-by-play information, team stats, lineup details, and live betting odds. You can also add entire leagues to your favorites, so if you want to see every NHL game happening tonight, you can do that easily. Each game on the league screen has the same options, so you can see the betting odds, standings, and so on.


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Apple Sports


Apple Sports has limited leagues at launch

Apple’s new app supports a relatively limited set of leagues at launch, but the company said it plans to add more in the future.

Supported leagues

Here’s the list of leagues you can add (all teams included in the leagues can also be individually added):

Current leagues supported

Leagues coming soon





NCAA basketball (men’s)


NCAA basketball (women’s)






Liga MX

Ligue 1

Premier League

Serie A

For the leagues that are coming soon, you can actually click them and add them to your favorites, but there aren’t any games or teams listed at this time. For example, for the WNBA page, the app simply says, “WNBA Returns Next Season.”

A notable omission for me is golf. Neither the PGA nor LIV tour is listed in the app, and Apple has made no mention of either of them being added in the future.

Apple Sports faces stiff competition

Let’s be honest, there are several sports apps already available on iOS that are more robust than Apple’s new offering. Here are just a few free sports apps that are worth checking out if you download the Apple Sports app and find yourself wanting more:

  • ESPN: If you follow sports, you know ESPN. This app is as robust as it gets for stats, scores, and news.
  • Yahoo Sports: Yahoo’s sports app is one of the company’s best offerings.
  • Bleacher Report: This is another brand synonymous with deep sports coverage, and its app is just as good as its website (if not better).

Between those three apps, you should be able to find one that perfectly suits your needs. Since they’re all free to download, you can try them all and see which fits your sports desires best (personally, I’m a longtime ESPN app user, so I’d definitely start there).


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Should you try Apple Sports?

Right now, the Apple Sports app seems pretty basic in terms of features, but it’s easy to use and provides you with the core information you want about your team. Because it’s an official Apple app, I expect to see more features added as time passes. For example, it lists what time a game starts, but it would be nice for the app to tell you the TV channel the game will be on, so you can watch it.

Another feature that would be helpful is the ability to tap on a team’s logo and see their roster and stats for the season so far. Again, the app appears to be in its infancy, and I’m sure it will get features like that in time.

One nice thing is the fact that the app links with Apple TV, Apple News, and other Apple apps. Having your favorite sports teams synced across everything could be useful if you’re heavily invested in the Apple ecosystem. However, for everyone else, there are superior sports apps available that offer more information about your favorite teams and leagues now.

Apple Sports

Apple Sports

Apple’s new Sports app offers real-time scores and stats. It’s free to download and use on iPhone.

It’s a free app, though, so nothing is stopping you from downloading it and trying it yourself.

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