The London 2012 summer games are almost upon us. If you’re a fan like I am, you’ve been waiting for this day ever since the closing ceremony in Beijing 4 years ago (or at least since Vancouver 2 years ago). With an official Facebook hub and an official Twitter account, the London 2012 Olympics have all the makings of a first ever social Olympics, and as such, I expected to be able to experience it through mobile apps as well.
Surprisingly, while the various app markets are full of London 2012, very few of them are worth the effort and the download. I spent several hours going through numerous apps, only to be disappointed by the poor interface and lack of information in most of them. Nevertheless, I did manage to find 3 worthy apps in my quest, which I deem the best. These 3 apps will help you experience, stay updated, and learn about the London 2012 games. So get downloading as you will want to be ready for the opening ceremony!
London 2012: Join In [Android 2.2+/iOS/BlackBerry, Free]
London 2012: Join In is the official app for the London 2012 games. Since this is the official app, I wasn’t sure what to expect when I first launched it, but I was pleasantly surprised. While the app struggled a bit on my lower-end Android 2.2 device, is still worked well with no unseemly crashes or bugs, and provided every piece of information I could wish to have about the upcoming Olympics.
The app includes information about the ongoing torch relay, the Olympic games and the Paralympic games which are to be held at the end of August. You can browse the events by date or by sport, read up-to-date news, and find exact locations of venues on a map.
Aside from sports-related information, the app also includes other stuff you can do in London, if you’re lucky enough to actually be there during the games. If you’re not, the app makes sure you still get to enjoy the events by providing a vast image gallery and videos from the events.
The app includes a full-blown London 2012 guide with ticket information, accessibility information, and anything else you can wish for. Don’t get caught without it!
London_2012 [iOS, Free]
London_2012 (yes, with an underscore) is a nice app I found by accident while browsing iTunes for Olympics-related fun. This a video-oriented app, and is aimed solely at providing videos from the 2012 games in London. You won’t find any additional information, maps or explanations – only videos.
The videos can be filtered by sport or event, after which the app can display videos from today, from the last week or from the last month. As you would expect, the videos populating the app at the moment are all trailers and coming-soons, but once the games really start, this could be a great source of live action, curated to your favorite sport. The videos can be easily shared on Facebook and Twitter.
[Android 2.2+, Free]
If you’re a hardcore fan, and staying updated using an app is simply not enough, you’re going to love this London 2012 live wallpaper. Not only does it get you in the London mood with its ever-present London skyline, it also keeps you updated with the @London2012 Twitter stream in a very original way. You can choose the frequency of these updates, and every once in a while an Olympics zeppelin will cross your screen bearing the latest update from Twitter. If you wish, you can enable day and night, how long they are, and even if it rains on your screen or not. A really fun way to get into the spirit of the games.
Do you know of other apps we should be making use of this summer? Is there an Olympics must-have we missed? Share in the comment!