Plugging into the Olympics

Jul 29, 2012, 08:49 IST | Nimish Dubey

As the Olympic Games get underway at London, Nimish Dubey lists seven apps that will deliver that Olympian feeling to you without charging a penny

London 2012: Official Join in App

The Official Join in App for both the Olympic and Paralympic Games is as much about the city hosting it as the sports events themselves. So you not only get details of what is happening in the sporting arena but also of what is going on around it, including cultural events and city celebrations. You can find out which event is happening closest to your location, plan a way of getting there in double quick time, and even check out augmented reality views (just point your phone or tablet camera at a location to get information about it) of different locations. You can share details on your social networks, check out interactive maps, and also find out what’s happening at the Games, including the torch relays, the opening and closing ceremonies and the sport. Perfect if you happen to be in London. Not too bad even if you are in another country.
Available for: iOS, Android, BlackBerry

London 2012: Official Results App

If the Join In app is all about the Games and the city hosting them, the Official Results app is about the actual action. You launch the app, check the schedule and pick the sport that interests you, and not only will you get the latest updates from what’s happening in it, but also basic details of every athlete who is competing. You can also mark certain events as favourites and get reminders for them, and in a very neat touch, you can specify your nation (or any nation that you would like to track) and get the latest news on its progress at the Games. This is very much the app to have for those who cannot take their eyes off the medal tally.
Available for: iOS, Android, BlackBerry, Windows Phone

London 2012: Official Mobile Game

Rounding off the troika of official apps for the Games is perhaps the one that is the most fun of them all. Yes, this is an Olympics oriented game where you can take part in a number of Olympic sports depending on the characteristics you choose (strength, speed, etc) in your athlete. And gameplay is tailormade for touchscreens — you tap your fingers on the screen to sprint and slide them up and down for swimming, and mix up tap and tilt timing for shooting events. The graphics are good, the timings actually realistic (we drummed our Xperia S to run the 100 metres in 9.86 seconds) and best of all, the game has a free avatar, although in-app purchases can get you more stamina. Loads of fun. 
Available for: iOS, Android


If you are among those who wants a regular sports app with a section for the Olympics, rather than a dedicated Olympics app, which will be useless once the Games are over, ScoreMobile is your best option. Well-known for its coverage of other sports, the app comes with a dedicated Olympic section, complete with medal alerts for a number of countries (alas, India is not among them). No, it does not look as jazzy as some of the other apps in this section, but it loads in a flash and works at the rate of knots, even over a relatively slow GPRS connection. And there is something to be said for that. For the stats and scorekeepers mainly, especially if they want an app for keeps. 
Available for: iOS, Android, BlackBerry, Windows Phone 


If you are of the Facebook generation, then this is the app for you. Like ScoreMobile, it is more of a sports app than one dedicated to the Olympics, but has a very good Olympics section. Fanatix not only allows you to follow events and games live, with statistics and images, but also throws in a social spin by letting you chat with your friends while an event is on. You can also check into different events (depending on what you are interested in) and recommend them to your friends. As it covers other sports as well (yes, cricket, football and F1 too), you can simply carry on your discussions well after the Games are over. A tip: keep a close eye on the integrated Twitter feeds — they are a lot more fun and opinionated than any live coverage you are likely to see. 
Available for: iOS

Reuters London Olympics 2012

Most people tend to identify Reuters with reliable news . We reckon that after they have tried out this app, they will be associating it with some brilliant photography as well. This one will focus on getting you the greatest images from the Games, with the option to view them in the form of a slideshow if you wish. Yes, you can also check out medal tallies, news and results and also set notifications for events, but this app is really all about eye candy. Who needs a thousand words when you have pictures this good?
Available for: iOS

Sports Illustrated Live from London

In best Sports Illustrated tradition, this app comes with stunning pictures — so much so that you almost ignore the other information it serves up, which includes news, results, medal counts, live Twitter feeds and a daily video recap. But you could just head to it to see the top photos of the day — this app is all about still image magic. 
Available for: iPad 

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