NHL Coaches Provided With iPad Pros During 2017 Stanley Cup Playoffs

Apple has partnered with the National Hockey League to provide coaches with iPad Pros for use behind the bench during the 2017 Stanley Cup Playoffs, which began on Wednesday, as reported by The Associated Press.

Toronto Maple Leafs coach Mike Babcock (Image: Sportsnet)

All sixteen NHL teams that qualified for the playoffs have up to three iPad Pros available to them to review plays. The real-time video footage will help players make shift-by-shift adjustments during games, while coaches can better decide when to challenge offside or goaltender interference calls, aka a Coach's Challenge.
“By the time the player gets off his shift, that content is available within a minute, I guess, from the time it actually took place,” NHL executive vice-president and chief technology officer Peter DelGiacco said. “Today generally speaking a lot of that would be done between periods and there’s a limited amount of time. ... This kind of gives the coaches and the players real-time access so that they can make adjustments.”
The arenas of all sixteen NHL teams that qualified for the playoffs have also been outfitted with Macs for video coaches as part of the collaboration with Apple.

The NHL's plans to outfit arenas with iPads and other Apple products were revealed by Canadian sports network TSN in December.

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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]

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Apple and NHL Close to Striking ‘Major Partnership’ to Bring iPads to Team Benches

Apple is in late-stage discussions with the National Hockey League regarding a "major partnership" that could see iPads and other technologies implemented on team benches and elsewhere in arenas, according to Canadian sports network TSN.

(Source: Getty Images)
(Source: Getty Images)
The report claims the NHL has been in negotiations with Apple and Microsoft for several years, adding that talks with Apple have accelerated recently after similar talks between Apple and the National Basketball Association failed to materialize.
“The NHL Apple deal is more a major partnership than a sponsorship,” said a source familiar with the NHL’s plans. “Right now, some teams have iPads or other tablets and some don’t. Some have good Internet connections, some don’t. This deal is about having a consistent platform that every team can use in every rink.”
Major League Baseball's digital operation BAMTech has been involved in the negotiations, after reaching a six-year deal with the NHL last year for the rights to distribute live out-of-market games, according to the report.

BAMTech's parent division MLB Advanced Media also owns the rights to the NHL's website, mobile apps, operations, and distribution of the league's streaming platform NHL GameCenter Live, available on iPad and other Apple devices.

The deal could resemble a $400 million partnership between the National Football League and Microsoft, ongoing since 2013, which provides team coaches with Surface tablets to use on the sidelines during football games.

The Walt Disney Company acquired a minority 33% stake in BAMTech earlier this year.

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