Now reporting for Spring Training: MLB.com At Bat 13.
The top sports mobile app in each of the past four years was launched on Thursday by Major League Baseball Advanced Media with a suite of new features across iPhone, iPad, supported Android smartphones and tablets and Kindle Fire -- right in time for those first Major League Baseball exhibition games this weekend.
In addition, At Bat will debut on the new BlackBerry Z10 by Opening Day, as announced in January.
MLB.TV Premium subscribers again may upgrade to At Bat for free, unlocking all premium features. Fans also may subscribe to At Bat for the one-time annual fee of $19.99, covering the entire season through the World Series. iOS users may pay $2.99 per month with the recurring billing offering.
"The At Bat 13 Android app is a great way to follow the Brewers when you live in Little Rock, Ark.," Patrick Reardon said in an email to MLB.com after finding the update in Google Play. "And that includes the ability to listen to Bob Uecker for every broadcast. The pitch-by-pitch information, the team and individual statistics and game graphics provide a comprehensive, realistic feel of the ongoing action. Game video highlights are available on the app within minutes of the play.
"I have a lengthy work commute so it is great to unwind by listening to any ballgame I want by hooking my Droid Bionic to the car radio for the drive home. You won't need another app to get all the information you need on your favorite team."
Rangers fan Geoffrey Turner of Abilene, Texas, immediately updated At Bat on the Apple App Store for his iPhone and iPad and called it "an essential part of my baseball experience."
"It is an incredibly valuable tool for me while I am watching a game, or if I don't get the chance to watch a game and I am listening through the app," Turner said. "There are so many incredible parts of the app -- the 'listen live' feature, ability to watch live games on my phone with MLB.TV Premium, pitch tracker, highlights, etc. I don't always get the chance to sit and watch my favorite team play, but I always get to stay informed during their games by either watching Gameday or by listening live to the home radio feed."
The Opening Day update will be coming soon. In the meantime, here are new features for 2013 you can enjoy with the Spring Training update just announced:
• Multi-platform live audio access for At Bat subscribers, offering account portability to listen to live games on Mac/PC desktops and laptops.
• Universal iOS and Android support for At Bat subscribers, full feature accessibility across all supported smartphones and tablets.
• Sortable batting, pitching and fielding statistics, plus favorite team enhancements (iPad and Android tablets).
• Redesigned individual team pages, updated news section interface, and expanded video highlight integration (iPhone and Android phones).
• Classic games video library archive, re-architected app navigation, and searchable video highlight library expansion to include access to complete video archives (all devices).
• Additional push notification options (iPhone).
• In-app annual subscription purchase (Google Play).
Starting with four games on Saturday, you can watch live streaming of more than 200 available Spring Training games with a subscription to MLB.TV Premium (iPhone, iPad, select Android phones and tablets).
Also this spring, At Bat users get the following on all the supported devices: Listen live to available Spring Training radio broadcasts; track league-wide scoreboards and batter-by-batter action for every game; see breaking news, schedules and interactive rosters and players stats for every team; and find full-season schedules.
"I have been a baseball fan my whole life and the At Bat app has changed the way that I watch and enjoy baseball," Turner said. "It enhances the entire experience of watching a baseball game."
At Bat is the official application of MLB. More MLB.com apps will be gradually rolled out as the season nears.
"Anything to get us closer to the game, help us understand more, get more information is great," said Royals pitcher and Stanford graduate Jeremy Guthrie, an At Bat user. "I know the fans will eat it up as well as some of the players. I'm more of an iPhone guy than an iPad guy, but I have an iPad and use it on occasion. It'll be on my phone."
"It is a must-have and especially for me, who's traveling all over the country during the season," said ESPN analyst and former Major Leaguer Aaron Boone. "When I can't catch a game or catch what's going on in the games, I go to that spot all the time, watching games on my iPod, watching on my computer, whatever. It's definitely a must-have for any baseball fan."
Mark Newman is enterprise editor of MLB.com. Read and join other baseball fans on his MLB.com community blog.