MLB.com At Bat IPhone App Review

MLB at Bat app
image credit Major League Baseball

The Good

  • Real-time MLB game scores
  • Comprehensive news section
  • Schedules adjusted for your time zone

The Bad

  • Live video app (one game per day) must be purchased
  • App must be repurchased each year

Purchase at iTunes

Baseball season is underway and what better way to enjoy it than with a new iPhone app? The MLB At Bat 2011 app is one option for baseball fans who want to track every minute of the season. It tops the list of our top iPhone baseball apps.

 

MLB.com At Bat Lite

There are two options when it comes to the Major League Baseball app: You can download the free version, MLB.com At Bat Lite or upgrade to the paid version, which does at first glance seem pricey for an app.

The MLB.com At Bat Lite version offers real-time scores, game schedules, breaking news, and current Major League Baseball standings. The news content is relatively comprehensive, with dozens of articles posted each day. You can also elect to view news by team, which is a pretty nice feature. Each article is illustrated with a thumbnail picture. The standings tab is a little cluttered, but as long as you’re willing to look at lots of little numbers, you can figure out which teams are currently in the lead.

The live scoring also works well and scores are updated nearly instantaneously. The app lists times (automatically adjusted for your time zone) for games that haven’t started yet and dates for upcoming games.

MLB.com At Bat Paid Version

With a strong free version, is the upgrade to the MLB.com At Bat worth it? That depends on how much you love Major League Baseball. The upgrade does include live radio coverage for all MLB games, some video highlights, and the app also supports push notifications for breaking news and scores.

 

There’s also live video in the paid app, but even after your purchase, you can only view one live game per day (and the app specifies that’s for the regular season, so that might change for the playoffs). To make matters worse, you don’t even get to choose which game you watch -- the app chooses for you. If you have a subscription to MLB.TV, only then can you access live video for every Major League baseball game. 

And then there’s the issue of what happens after the end of this baseball season. Basically, the app is worthless. You’ll need to repurchase the MLB baseball app again if you want to use it next year. 

I only tested the free MLB.com At Bat app, but reviews at the App Store indicate that most users are happy with the paid version. It enjoys a four-star rating and while there are a few gripes about the price, most reviewers are happy with the video quality.

What's Changed Since the Original Review

This review was originally published in April 2010. Since then, a number of things worth noting changed in the app:

  • There is no longer a Lite and Paid version of the app. The app now uses in-app purchases, rather than upfront payment, to let you subscribe to various game packages.
  • You can now purchase the Game of the Day; streams of Home, Away, and Spanish-language radio broadcasts; 60 frames/second video; pitch-by-pitch game recaps; and the ability to watch classic games from the MLB archive.
  • If you subscribe to MLB.TV Premium, log in to your account in the app and you can watch every out-of-market game. 
  • An Apple Watch app gives users access to scores both in the app and on the watch face via a complication, as well as a pitch location chart, and more.
  • In iOS 10 on 3D Touch-enabled devices, the app's Notification Center widget lets you watch highlights without launching the app. 

The Bottom Line

I was pretty happy with MLB.com At Bat Lite. The live scoring is fast and seamless, and the news section is comprehensive and frequently updated. It's a great deal if you just want to keep up-to-date on the latest baseball news and don't need access to live streaming videos.

 

What You'll Need

Both versions of the MLB.com At Bat app are compatible with the iPhone and iPod touch with iPhone OS 8.0 or later. There’s a separate version for the iPad.

Purchase at iTunes