Apple gears up for World Cup with Siri, News, App Store refinements

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in General Discussion
The U.S. may not be in the World Cup, but Apple is jumping in with a variety of features added to help users watch and enjoy Earth's biggest sporting event.

World Cup News app


The quadrennial World Cup soccer tournament gets underway in Russia later this week. The U.S. didn't qualify for the tournament this year, but the World Cup, like Apple, is popular all over the world, so Apple has unveiled a variety of features, across its platforms, to help fans follow the action more easily.

On Apple TV, cable subscribers with access to the FOX NOW app in the U.S., TSN and RDS in Canada, and BBC Sport in the U.K. can follow the games that way.

Siri, what's the score?

World Cup Siri


Another big part of Apple's efforts is Siri. The voice feature, Apple said, has added support for soccer in nine countries -- Brazil, Russia, Denmark, Finland, Malaysia, Turkey, Thailand, Saudi Arabia, and Israel -- in addition to the 26 who already offered it. In all of those places, Siri can now answer questions about scores, match times, rosters, and much more. Users can set notifications on iOS devices to tell them when their favorite squad is playing.

Fans of football, as Apple calls it in the announcement, can also follow the tournament on Apple News, which will curate coverage of the World Cup, while Apple Music will feature special playlists from all 32 nations competing in Russia. It has also added soccer content to the Clips feature.

Meanwhile, Apple Podcasts and iBooks will feature curated collections, both of them called "The Beautiful Game."

Apple and Soccer

Soccer has traditionally been much more popular outside the U.S. than in it, but the gap has closed in recent years, in large part due to wider availability of game broadcasts on U.S. cable channels. American teams, in the Major League Soccer league, have also grown in popularity; one team in that league, Orlando City FC, made news last year when it began selling tickets directly through its iOS app.

However, some U.S. corporate partners for the World Cup, including broadcaster Fox, have been left holding the bag when the U.S. team failed to qualify for the tournament, therefore reducing -- but certainly not elimating -- U.S. interest in this year's matches.

The World Cup starts Thursday and runs through July 15.

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 7
    boltsfan17boltsfan17 Posts: 1,899member
    Glad to see Apple adding these features for the world's most popular sporting event. Bummed no USA this year, but I can't wait until the tournament starts. 
  • Reply 2 of 7
    georgie01georgie01 Posts: 143member
    Thanks to AppleInsider (and Apple) for giving respect to football and the World Cup. Americans tend to be oblivious! (I’m an American, before someone presumes otherwise). 
    edited June 12 adm1
  • Reply 3 of 7
    boltsfan17boltsfan17 Posts: 1,899member
    georgie01 said:
    Thanks to AppleInsider (and Apple) for giving respect to football and the World Cup. Americans tend to be oblivious! (I’m an American, before someone presumes otherwise). 
    The World Cup is actually quite popular now in the U.S. The 2014 World Cup saw record viewing numbers. It was also the most streamed sporting event ever in this country. The final in 2014 averaged 20 million viewers on ABC.
  • Reply 4 of 7
    avon b7avon b7 Posts: 2,206member
    Shame Holland didn't qualify either. As long as Spain or England do well, I'll be happy. It would have been nice to see the US qualify, especially as they cut their teeth  a couple of years ago against Mexico. Anyone that can go to Estadio Azteca and live to fight another day is good enough for the world stage.
  • Reply 5 of 7
    adm1adm1 Posts: 808member
    avon b7 said:
    Shame Holland didn't qualify either. As long as Spain or England do well, I'll be happy. It would have been nice to see the US qualify, especially as they cut their teeth  a couple of years ago against Mexico. Anyone that can go to Estadio Azteca and live to fight another day is good enough for the world stage.
    meh, even Scotland gave Mexico a good go a week or so ago at the Azteca. I'll be rooting for Poland since I got them in the office sweepy lol. Be nice to see Argentina get far for Messi's farewell competition too.
  • Reply 6 of 7
    avon b7avon b7 Posts: 2,206member
    adm1 said:
    avon b7 said:
    Shame Holland didn't qualify either. As long as Spain or England do well, I'll be happy. It would have been nice to see the US qualify, especially as they cut their teeth  a couple of years ago against Mexico. Anyone that can go to Estadio Azteca and live to fight another day is good enough for the world stage.
    meh, even Scotland gave Mexico a good go a week or so ago at the Azteca. I'll be rooting for Poland since I got them in the office sweepy lol. Be nice to see Argentina get far for Messi's farewell competition too.
    Wow. Your post brought Archie Gemmill to mind and that goal against Holland. He's 71! Seems like yesterday to me.

    Being an Ipswich fan, I have fond memories of a few of the Scottish greats like John Wark and George Burley. My brother lives in Scotland too.

    Alas, no World Cup for Scotland this time.
  • Reply 7 of 7
    smiffy31smiffy31 Posts: 162member
    Glad to see Apple adding these features for the world's most popular sporting event. Bummed no USA this year, but I can't wait until the tournament starts. 
    Two things about Team USA, they drew 1-1 with France in the last friendly before the tournament and it appears from reports that one of the largest groups of supporters present in Russia are Americans (though a large proportion of Latino supporters for all of the south American teams present).
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