The smell of fresh cut grass is carried by a cool spring breeze. The sounds of birds chirping is punctuated by the crack of a bat and the ground trembles as a crowd comes to its feet with a roar. I smell it. I hear it. I feel it. Baseball is coming.

In two days time, the first pitch of the 2015 Major League Baseball season will be thrown in Chicago and the season will begin. Some people may find America’s favorite pastime to be a boring or slow paced sport. Those people can go read something else. This article is for the fans.

The MLB.com At Bat app has long been one of the best stand alone sports apps on the Play Store. It offers an enormous amount of media content, stats, and news for avid baseball fanatics. In preparation for the start of the new season, the app has been updated with new features, UI improvements, and other enhancements including:

  • A complete overhaul of the app to bring it in line with Material Design standards.
  • A new UI for individual team pages. Each team page now sports appropriate accent colors in addition to quick access to team news, scores, schedule, videos, and quick ticket purchasing.
  • A beautiful new box score widget for checking game progress on the fly.
  • A new layout for tablets with 7-inch screens. Before this season's update, 7-inch tablets displayed the same UI that was designed for phones.

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tablet ui

The new update looks great and performance is better now than ever before on my Sony Z3. Some really nice new animations and transitions give the app a much more polished look and the addition of team specific accent colors has given the application some much needed punch.

While some basic functions, such as checking scores and stats, are available to all users of the application, the best features are reserved for paying customers. For a monthly fee of $2.99 (a great option if your team stinks and will be out of contention by the All-Star break) or a one time yearly fee of $19.99, members can enjoy live game day audio, highlight videos, and free streaming of one pre-selected game every day. As always, MLB.TV Premium subscribers receive these features free of charge and also enjoy live streaming of every out of market MLB game.

Let’s play ball!