Despite my desire to avoid spoilers, I'm too digitally connected to avoid receiving updates about the Olympics. So, rather than fight it, I'm relishing it and have found a few applications that provide comprehensive coverage of this year's Olympic games.
The best – NBC Olympics Live Extra –
I can’t believe it’s free. Granted I have to pay for my DirecTV subscription but having all the streaming content I could want is amazing when I sit back to think about it. I haven’t gone through and scrutinized all the functionality because I keep getting tied up in the live video feeds. This is a good thing! I know you can set up alerts for your favorite events, you can view the overall schedule, and you can watch live events as they happen. Plus you can view the video feeds from the major channels providing coverage. Your “mileage may vary” depending on your connection speed but my experience has been fantastic with the application and I appreciate the ready access to all the Olympic content I can absorb.
Major sections include (what I would call) the Home/Live page, Sports, Schedule and Favorites.
The home page shows video updates of the major events and below that, what is happening right now – live in London. Tapping on one of the videos will require you to login to a television service provider. You generally see a quick advertisement and then you’re taken to the live or replay video feed. Live feeds are designated by a red bar at the bottom of the thumbnail or ‘play’ icon.
Under Sports, you see all the Olympic sports. You can drill down in to each sport to see video updates about the sport and live events, if they are taking place.
The Schedule section defaults to what is happening right now or as close to ‘right now’ as possible. Again you can click on an event and drill in to the video feeds for those events. You can go backwards as well to view videos for events that have already completed.
Under Favorites you can view Live Now, Sports, and Events. The content will fill in depending on selections you’ve made.
The app works well and other than a little trial and error training on the application, I've had no issues.
You can get the application here.
The “London 2012: Official Results App for the Olympic and Paralympic Games” If you want to know what is going on right now, with little to no video views, or if you want to know who won what events. This app works well. The interface is simple and intuitive –
Along the bottom are 5 icons – Schedule, Sports, Medals, Athletes, My Games
Schedule – tells you what is going on right now, under the “live” view and you can view the whole schedule on the “Calendar” view.
Sports – This section shows you all the events at the Olympics. You can drill in to each event to see different categories. For example, under Beach Volleyball you see a breakdown of Men’s Beach Volleyball and Women’s Beach Volleyball – You can mark either of those as a favorite. Further, you can drill in to the event to see all the matches. If I tap on Women’s Beach Volleyball – I can see all the completed matches plus the ones that are coming up. I can then set an alarm that will alert me about the upcoming matches. Furthermore, you can view News, Photos and “About” for each different sport. There’s a lot of content and under “about” theres a link to the iocmedia channel on YouTube.
Medals – “Overall” section – Put simply this is the medals leader board sorted by total number of Gold Silver and Bronze medals. Tapping on the type of medal at the allows for sorting by that medal type. You can also view the list by Medalist, by Sport and you can view Info. About the London medals.
Athletes – This portion of the app provides a list of “featured” athletes, all athletes by sport and all athletes by country. Each breakdown is searchable and uses a “contains” type query – Example – I searched for “may” under U.S. Athletes and received back Maya Lawrence, Misty May-Treanor and Maya Moore. From these search results I can mark favorite athletes.
My Games – My Games is broken in to 4 sections – News, Favourites, Reminders, and Shop. Plus there’s a Settings button tucked in the upper left corner. News seems to pull in data from your default country (selected in Settings). Favourites shows any favorite Events or Athletes you’ve selected. Reminders shows any events you’ve tagged for reminders. You can delete them from here if you’ve over allocated yourself. Under Shop you can visit the London Olympics store to buy merchandise related to the Olympics.
The app will also provide access to the Paralympic Games information but as of this writing, no content is available.
Great app overall and free – Get it Here
The final app is my ol’ faithful ESPN ScoreCenter – the app I use the most for sports updates. ESPN have added a 2012 Summer Olympics page within the application – (Go to Settings, Add a Sport, Olympics). One the page you can view Scores (the Medal leader board), News, Twitter and Video. This is where I go for quick hit updates plus ESPN does a nice job with push notifications on some of the more popular sports/athletes.
Each app is slightly different and each can add to your enjoyment of the games. Check them out or let us know your favorite apps in the comments.