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Washington Nationals Fans Can Now Use Apple Pay to Purchase Food and Drinks From Their Seats

Square has announced that its handheld payment terminal will be piloted at MLB's Nationals Park, allowing Washington Nationals fans to use contactless payment methods like Apple Pay and Google Pay to purchase popcorn, peanuts, beer, and other ballpark favorites directly from their seats. Square has also partnered with food delivery service Caviar to offer a skip-the-line, order-ahead experience in the ballpark. Fans who open the Caviar app from their seats will be able to order their concessions in advance, including beer and wine, and receive an alert when their food is ready to be picked up. The new ordering options are ready to go for Opening Day, with the Nationals kicking off a three-game series against the New York Mets at 1:05 p.m. local

Apple Pay Now Widely Accepted at Yankee Stadium, Coors Field, Comerica Park and Two Other MLB Ballparks

Fans of the Colorado Rockies, Detroit Tigers, Kansas City Royals, Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim, and New York Yankees are now able to use Apple Pay either for the first time or in many more places at each team's respective stadium. Los Angeles company Appetize today announced it has launched its modern point-of-sale solution at five Major League Baseball stadiums, including Angel Stadium in Anaheim, Comerica Park in Detroit, Coors Field in Denver, Kauffman Stadium in Kansas City, and Yankee Stadium in New York City. While some of the ballparks already accepted Apple Pay to a limited extent, Appetize's technology extends Apple Pay widely to concession stands, team merchandise stores, and other new areas. The NFC-enabled terminals also support other EMV-based payment options such as Chip-and-PIN cards and Masterpass. Appetize said wait staff will also be using its iPad mini-based handheld point-of-sale solution for in-seat ordering and delivery. A spokesperson for Appetize told MacRumors that most of the ballparks were previously using legacy point-of-sale systems, primarily with swipe-only functionality for credit and debit cards. Kauffman Stadium did widely accept Apple Pay at concession stands during the 2014 World Series in partnership with MasterCard. Appetize had already installed its solution at Dodger Stadium in Los Angeles, Fenway Park in Boston, and Citi Field in New York

MLB.com At Bat and NHL Apps Take Advantage of Custom Icon Option in iOS 10.3

iOS 10.3 includes a new feature that allows developers to change app icons after an app has been installed, bringing custom app icons to the iOS Home screen. Both the MLB.com At Bat and NHL iOS apps are now taking advantage of the new custom icon feature following updates released this afternoon. In the MLB.com At Bat app, users can customize the Home screen icon of the app with MLB club-branded app icons representing their favorite team. Similarly, in the NHL app, app icons can also be customized with team logos instead of the standard NHL app icon. To change the icons, iOS 10.3 is required. Subscribers can go to More --> Settings --> Home Screen icon and choose a team logo. Screenshots via TechCrunch As TechCrunch points out, while developers are now able to change app icons without pushing a full iOS update, there is no support for dynamic app icons that would allow for things like a weather app icon that updates continually with the temperature. Customized Home screen icons, which Apple calls "User-Selectable App Icons" may be something that we'll see a lot more of now that iOS 10.3 is available to the public. Apple has strict rules for icon customization options, requiring visual consistency, a simple icon swap interface, and explicit user permission to change an app's icon. MLB.com At Bat can be downloaded from the App Store for free. [Direct Link] NHL can be downloaded from the App Store for free. [Direct Link]

Apple Updates Siri With Improved Baseball Acumen

Apple has upgraded Siri to improve answers to baseball-related questions in time for Major League Baseball's new season (via The Verge). Apple's voice-activated assistant is now able to draw on an updated database that includes statistics going back to the beginning of the sport's history. Siri users can also enjoy more detailed Major League Baseball career stats as well as additional information for 28 other leagues and minors. Siri has provided sports results since iOS 6. However, The Verge notes that, when it comes to sports, Siri's responses to more specific questions still feel limited. For example, asking "When was the last time the Yankees had a perfect game?" returns a generic search for the baseball team, with similar searches resulting in simple Google queries. Apple is continually working to improve Siri's breadth of knowledge and often quietly updates its responses to particular topics. The personal assistant also received additional improvements to its contextual awareness with the release of iOS 9. Siri is expected make its long-anticipated debut on Mac in OS X 10.12 later this year. Just last week, Apple agreed a deal with Major League Baseball that will see the sports league's coaching staffs use iPad Pros in dugouts to make better use of data during

Apple Will Provide MLB Teams With iPad Pros for Dugout Use

Apple and Major League Baseball have agreed to a deal that will see the sports league's coaching staffs use iPad Pros in dugouts to make better use of data during games, according to The Wall Street Journal. Baseball managers and coaches have traditionally used notebooks, pieces of paper and binders to keep track of data. A pitch frequency chart in the MLB Dugout app Teams will be able sift through performance stats from current and past seasons, weigh potential pitcher-hitter matchups, look at “spray charts” showing where a player is likely to hit a ball, even cue up videos of plays from previous games.Each team will receive 12.9-inch iPad Pros with rugged cases sporting the team's logo. MLB's Advanced Media division, with assistance from Apple, have built an app called MLB Dugout, which will serve as the central destination where managers and coaches can look at their data. "We're not just replacing binders with tablets, we're actually helping them do things that weren't possible before," Phil Schiller, Apple SVP of marketing, told the WSJ. For instance, players will now be able to watch video of pitchers during the game rather than having to retreat to the locker room. New York Mets' third-base coach Tim Teufel noted that the app will likely come in handy when the "game changes in unexpected ways," like when a pinch hitter steps up to the plate or a relief pitcher subs in. The Dugout app will serve up proprietary data for each franchise, which means each team will only draw upon their own data rather than league-wide data well. The app will be preloaded before