- Real-time MLB game scores
- Comprehensive news section
- Schedules adjusted for your time zone
- Live video app (one game per day) costs $15
- App must be repurchased each year
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 for US$14.99. Fifteen bucks for an iPhone app? That was my first thought, too.
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 app worth $15? That depends on how much you love Major League Baseball. Fifteen dollars is a lot of money to spend on an iPhone app, but 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 you shell out $15, 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. MLB.TV subscriptions are $19.99 or $24.99 per month, depending on which package you select.
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.
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. Overall rating: 4 stars out of 5.
What You'll Need