I tried the MLB and NBA apps in Apple Vision Pro — and sports bars are in trouble

Apple Vision Pro next to MLB app for Vision Pro
(Image credit: Future)

I'm not saying that sports bars are going out of business anytime soon, but they could definitely be in trouble if the Apple Vision Pro is a sign of things to come.

I just tried the MLB App for Apple Vision Pro, and it brings a new level of immersion and interactivity to watching America's Pastime. I know what you're thinking. Baseball season hasn't started yet, but the MLB App is providing fans with a taste of the future — or, in this case, the past — with access to Game 1 of the 2023 Worlds Series between the Texas Rangers and Arizona Diamondbacks, an 11-inning nail-biter.

Apple Vision Pro – MLB App


♬ original sound - Tom’s Guide

I was immediately drawn in by the video player with a box score underneath and player stats on the right-hand side. And then I looked down and saw a 3D digital rendering of the ballpark showing all the players and who was on the bases. It gets better.

I could easily toggle between this field view and a vantage point right behind home plate showing the pitches as they were coming in. You could effortlessly see which pitches were strikes and which ones were balls based on the path of the ball. And when Leody Taveros walked, I toggled back to the field view and saw his icon float toward first base. 

The spatial audio in the MLB App is also impressive, as I could clearly hear the roar of the crowd enveloping me. It feels like you're part of the action. This is definitely one of the best Vision Pro apps so far. 

Apple Vision Pro – NBA App


♬ original sound - Tom’s Guide

The NBA App on Apple Vision Pro is awesome, especially for those who like to keep tabs on multiple games at once. With the Multiview feature and a League Pass subscription, you can stream up to 5 broadcasts live or on demand. And it's easy to glance at real-time player and team stats around the action as you watch. 

This app will get even better as the NBA starts to roll out Immersive video, giving users a courtside view and more. As NBA Commissioner Adam Silver told The Hollywood Reporter, “It can take you anywhere on the floor. It can give you the perspective of a player, it can bring you places that you could never otherwise go and absorb it.” 

Apple Vision Pro – PGA Tour Vision

PGA Tour Vision app Vision Pro

(Image credit: Future)

I'm not much of a golf fan, but PGA Tour Vision really brings a new dimension to watching the sport. You can view the actual holes from the biggest PGA Tour events in 3D, complete with live shot tracking. And there's a dedicated immersive mode if you want to feel like you're on the course. 

As you'd expect, there's a real-time leaderboard and quick access to live player scorecards and live stats, but it's cool to see the shot trail animations. You might not feel like you're one of the players, but you'll feel like your caddy-close to the action. 

Bottom line and what's next

It's going to take a while for truly transformative Immersive Video to permeate these sports apps, as it takes multiple 8K camera rigs shooting 180-degree video to create good-looking 3D footage. But even after just a couple of weeks, I can see how the Apple Vision Pro can change how we watch sports forever.

Personally, I'd love to see what the NFL can do with this technology. Feeling like your Patrick Mahomes scrambling for your life and then side-arming a pass to Travis Kelce would be pretty sweet. But for now, I'm content to feel like I'm behind home plate to watch my Yankees this season. 

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Mark Spoonauer

Mark Spoonauer is the global editor in chief of Tom's Guide and has covered technology for over 20 years. In addition to overseeing the direction of Tom's Guide, Mark specializes in covering all things mobile, having reviewed dozens of smartphones and other gadgets. He has spoken at key industry events and appears regularly on TV to discuss the latest trends, including Cheddar, Fox Business and other outlets. Mark was previously editor in chief of Laptop Mag, and his work has appeared in Wired, Popular Science and Inc. Follow him on Twitter at @mspoonauer.

  • Predtek
    Seriously? The friends? The buddies? The beers? The girls? The friends? The bar fights? The cheers? Even if an Apple Vision app manages to inject some social features, do you think they will let you meet other strangers?
  • SourScenes
    Predtek said:
    Seriously? The friends? The buddies? The beers? The girls? The friends? The bar fights? The cheers? Even if an Apple Vision app manages to inject some social features, do you think they will let you meet other strangers?
    And at $3500, that's a stupid amount of money for missing out on all that stuff.