Sometimes you just need a quick update on the latest sports scores on your iPhone and Widgets provide the best way to do that. Widgets simply sit on your iPhone or iPad home screen and display regularly updated information you can quickly consume without opening the applications. There are plenty of great sports widgets for iPhone if you know where to look beyond the first-party offerings from teams, leagues, and even broadcast networks. Here are the applications I found that I think are best. These applications support as many sports, and leagues, as possible while providing useful, easy-to-read Widgets.
Sports Alerts is possibly the most complete sports Widget out there right now. You can add Widgets for dozens of different sports leagues all around the world. The selection includes America’s biggest professional and college sports as well as soccer leagues from around the world (including the NWSL, which I’ve had trouble finding in other applications.)
The app offers two main home screen Widgets—one showing you today’s scores for any given league and another focusing on a specific team. You can add as many of these widgets to your home screen as you want, meaning you could in theory add multiple leagues for an overview. Add too many apps and things start to look cluttered rather quickly, but that’s more than made up for by how information dense and up-to-the-minute accurate these Widgets are. If you want to monitor an entire league without having to open an actual app this is the widget for you. There are also a couple of PGA-specific widgets for golf fans.
This is the only application I found that offers support for Live Activities, which show up on the iPhone lock screen before you even unlock it. This adds extra details beyond the score, like who is up to bat in an MLB game or who scored the most recent goal in an NHL contest. It’s the best way I’ve found to keep up with a game short of actually watching it, and it gets better: live activities also show up in standby mode and even the dynamic island at the top of the display on certain phones.
Sofascore offers two main Widgets: a small one that shows you the score for the current game or a medium one that shows both the most recent game and the current and/or upcoming one. It’s not a lot of Widget variety, granted—it lacks the option to see scores from an entire league. But where Sofascore falls short in the Widget category it makes up for in the sheer number of leagues that are supported. I easily found the big four American organizations, of course, alongside every NCAA league you can think of. You can go so much further, though. I found darts—darts!—in this app. From what I can tell if a sport exists this app can give you a widget to track your favorite team and/or athlete in it.
Superfan offers a variety of extremely customizable Widgets that win when it comes to design. The problem: the free version only offers one simple Widget, which shows the current score for games on now or the time and broadcast information for the current game. I like seeing what channel a game will be on—none of the other apps I tested offered this in a widget—and for that reason I think some people will prefer even the free version of Superfan to other apps.
Superfan offers more to people who are willing to pay. There’s customizable Widgets offering the scores for multiple games and even league standings. There’s also Live Event support, allowing you to see the score on the lock screen or in the dynamic island. The problem, and it’s a big one, is that the price is $2.99 per month—just short of $36 a year. That’s tougher to swallow than a one-time purchase price.
Apple TV has (some) built-in support for Live Events
I’ve talked a bit about Live Events, which allow you to see live sports scores on the iPhone’s lock screen and on the dynamic island. You don’t necessarily need an app to use this feature. The Apple TV app, which comes pre-installed on your iPhone and iPad, offers it. Just open the application, scroll down until you see Live Sports, and open that. Find the game you want to keep track of, tap it, then tap the Follow live button.
This feature doesn’t work for many leagues at the moment—it’s limited to the NBA, MLB, MLS, and some European soccer matches. And it’s a little annoying to turn on. You’ll have to repeat these steps every time a game you want to follow live. Still, it’s nice not to have to install anything. Hopefully they add more leagues soon.