It’s that time again: that summer every four years where people all over the world gather to watch their country compete against and with the greatest athletes in one arena to quite literally bring home the gold. It’s time for the Summer Olympics.
A lot has changed since 2008. Many of the competing countries have new leadership – including my home country, the USA. Lots of new discoveries have been made, including very recently, the Higgs Boson particle. And, of course, Android has become a household name.
Because of that, there are lots of great ways to keep up with the Olympics on your Android device. In this roundup we’ll take a look at a few of the best.
What better way to start off this roundup than with the official apps? The London 2012 Join In App allows you to “plan, enjoy, and share your Games experience.” This app will give you a calendar of events as well as maps of tracks and routes, photos, videos, news, and more.
Once the schedule is finalized, you’ll be able to set favorites to create your own calendar of events. The app even adjusts for your timezone, which is a nice touch. It looks like this app is a nice companion for those of you lucky enough to have tickets, too.
The main drawback of this app is that it is hefty, especially for a mobile app. The initial download is 8MB, but it will require another 60-80MB of space when it’s fully installed, so make sure you’re on Wi-Fi when you download it!
The Results App is a lot more scaled down than the previous app, simply granting you access to scores, schedules, rosters, and of course results. You’ll also be able to catch some of the featured action live. This app is perfect for those of us who might have to work while a lot of the games are going on. With a wealth of information, live updates, and a full schedule of events, you can easily stay up to date using this app.
If you’re looking for something less official, or more lightweight, the Olympic 2012 app might be the one for you. This free (ad-supported) app currently has a countdown to the official start of the games, followed by an alphabetical list of the competing countries and medal counts for each. This actually provides a really nice overview of the leaderboard, right from the moment you start the app.
Much like the official apps, you can also bring up a schedule by sport, set reminders, and more. I think the leaderboard feature alone is worth the download.
While this isn’t an Olympics-specific app, ESPN is the worldwide leader in sports(tm). With this app, you’re bound to get the latest breaking news, updates, and more regarding ESPN’s coverage of the Olympics.
If it’s half as good for the Olympics as it was for the Euro Cup, we’re in a for a treat!
This busy little app is a news aggregator for the latest info regarding the Olympics. It will give you a scrolling headline, teaser text, and a thumbnail image, with a link to the website where the news came from. However, it’s a bit a rough around the edges.
It’s self-serving in the fact that it throws ads and like buttons at you, and the stories it displays usually require side-scrolling since it’s just framing a desktop site’s story. I think if it can clean up its act before the games start, it could be a nice little app for news.
Requires: Android 2.1 or above
Google Play Link: London Olympic Games 2012 News
Developer: Best Fan Apps
This app brings the official website to your Android device in a very mobile way. You can view news, photos, schedules, results, and more. You will also get all of the pages/menus you get on the official website! The only issue with this free app is that they jam an ad at the top of the page, which looks a bit out of place and can get in the way of the menu button.
The BBC has launched an official Olympics app to help you keep up with the games. Through their app exclusively (as far as apps go, that is), you can watch 24-hour coverage of the games right on your device. You can also get news, stats, player info, and results, all from what looks like a beautifully designed app.
I say “what looks like” because unfortunately, the app isn’t compatible with any of my Android devices. Further, the app requires Flash, so if you have a newer Android device (like one running Jelly Bean), you’re out of luck.
NBC has also released two official Android apps for the Olympics. The first one, simply titled NBC Olympics, is a beautifully designed app that will bring you news, results, schedules, and more. You can even choose to get “hometown coverage” by putting in your zip code, which is a really nice touch for those of us following along from the USA. The app is definitely geared that way too, as there is a separate area dedicated to Team USA.
All in all, this is a somewhat bulky app at 13MB, but the folks at NBC did a really nice job designing it, even following Android’s design guidelines.
Last, but not least, is NBC’s second official Olympics app, NBC Olympics Live Extra. This app is definitely designed to be a companion app to be used while watching the Olympics on NBC. You’ll get alternate camera views of live events, instant replays, and the ability to favorite events that you’ll be reminded about via push notifications.
Just like NBC’s first app, this one is beautifully designed and inline with Android’s design guidelines. They also include more user-friendly language, like “7PM My Time” instead of giving a timezone. I thought this was a really nice touch.
So there you have it – nine free apps that will help ensure you don’t miss a moment of action in this year’s Summer games. Which apps will you be using?