Last year it was reported that Major League Baseball fans would soon be able to take advantage of iOS 7′s iBeacon support inside professional baseball stadiums. The technology would be utilized in the MLB.com At The Ballpark app to customize the app’s interface to any given ballpark.
The app could direct users to their seats or points of interest such as concessions stands. Similar to Passbook’s lockscreen functionality, plans were also reportedly underway to allow the app to automatically present a ticket upon entering the gate.
The rollout for this technology has recently been started, and is expected to be completed in twenty different ballparks—with around 100 iBeacons in each—in time for opening day. An update to the At The Ballpark app will be required before customers can take advantage of the new sensors and should be hitting the App Store before the new season opens on March 30th.
T-Mobile has announced that customers who download At Bat 13 before June 30th will get free access to MLB.TV Game of the Day streaming and live & away radio broadcasts and highlights from the MLB.
This move is the fruit of a deal between T-Mobile and MLB, and is available between May 1 and June 30. As soon as you download the app, the entire season’s streaming, worth $19.99 will be yours. If you’re interested in taking advantage of this deal as a paying T-Mobile customer and a baseball fan, then you can download At Bat 13 here, but please be aware that you must download the app over T-Mobile’s data network, not Wi-Fi, in order to qualify.
The offer is available for devices running Android 2.2 or later, and iPhones and iPads running iOS 5.0 or later.
If you are a fan of any of these 13 MLB teams, get excited: the Baltimore Orioles, Chicago Cubs, Detroit Tigers, Milwaukee Brewers, Minnesota Twins, Oakland Athletics, Pittsburgh Pirates, San Francisco Giants, New York Mets, Boston Red Sox and Kansas City Royals. Why? Well, because these teams will all be taking advantage of Apple’s newest foray into mobile payments: Passbook. The MLB also said that there are 3 other teams that will be accepting the new ticketing system, however those have yet to make any official announcement. MLB tickets can be bought in the free MLB At Bat application.
MLB tickets were one of the main points of the Passbook application back when Apple announced the service with iOS 6, with Scott Forstall even showing how it could show your seat, row, and section. Finally, the MLB stadiums are beginning to adopt the slow growing service. Other companies including Fandango, Starbucks, and recently Delta Airlines also support Passbook. Personally, I believe there is a lot of potential in Passbook, however companies are taking longer to adopt it than many expected.
In the spirit of the holiday season, Apple has released variable iTunes gift cards to third party retailers. The cards can be bought at any value between $15 and $500. They work in exactly the same manner as the previous iTunes cards, the only difference now is that you can choose just how much money you’d like to spend on buying it, making it an ideal gift. This really steps up the variety of the card, considering that before it was only possible to purchase 15, 25, 50 or 100 dollar cards in retail stores.
The cards aren’t available online, so if you’d like one, you’d best check your local store. According to 9to5 Mac, there is one supermarket and one retail chain that has these on the shelves already, expect more stores to follow suit very soon.