Summer of Sport
You don’t have to be in London or in front of the TV to enjoy the 2012 summer Olympic Games. Starting on July 27, keep a phone or tablet near you, and these apps for iOS and Android will keep you in the loop.
The apps will provide you with all the action and drama from the London games, and we've included a few extra ones that will let you have some Olympic-themed fun, as well.
NBC Olympics Live Extra
The NBC Olympics Live Extra app will be the best and only way besides TV coverage to watch every London Olympics event live and for free. You’ll be able to watch simulcasts of all the Olympics programming on NBC’s cable channels.
For the showcase sports such as gymnastics and track and field, with multiple camera angles, you can also get alternate camera views.
London 2012: Join In
The official Join In app for the Olympic Games is useful whether you have tickets to any of the events or are watching from home.
Join In has complete listings of the events happening in London during the games, with maps and directions for all venues.
Those not in London can check live updates including news photos, and a My Games option lets you create a personal schedule to plan what you want to watch during the games.
Much as Shazam identifies the music you are listening to, IntoNow is a free app that tells you exactly what TV show or movie you’re watching by listening in for a few seconds.
It’s the features that come along with IntoNow, though, that give it potential as a tool for watching this year’s London Olympics. After IntoNow figures out you’re watching the games, you’ll be able to see who else is watching the same thing and communicate with them in the app, or on Facebook and Twitter.
You’ll also be able to see a programming schedule for upcoming Olympics broadcasts, as well as medal counts, images, athlete bios, and more.
NBC has a second app for the Olympics, but this one is to check news, videos, and photo highlights from the games for every sport, as well as all the athletes from Team USA.
You can also check for athletes from your hometown when you select your local NBC affiliate and, during the nightly NBC Primetime Show, the app becomes a companion to the televised broadcast as you use it to interact with contextual content.
London 2012 Official Mobile Game
Instead of just watching the games, train your fingers to participate, via your mobile device, in any of nine Olympic sports, including hurdles, swimming, jumping, and archery.
Some authentic 2012 Olympic venues are recreated in this official game, which has three modes: training, Olympic, and challenge. Although it's easy to play, the game can be tricky to get right.
A few in-app purchases are available in the game if you want to get extra goodies.
Apps from the BBC are another good way to follow all the action from the games, complete with commentaries, news updates, and medal ceremonies.
The BBC has the rights to stream content only in the United Kingdom (NBC has the rights to all Olympics coverage in the United States), so only UK users will be able to stream video with this app.
However, the international version will feature clips from the events, and the app will use your location (your country) to personalize content to enhance your support of that team.
London 2012: Results
The official Results app for the London games does not have live streaming video, but you will get live results and updates, as well as medal tables and athlete profiles.
You can view which events are in progress, or, day by day, which sporting events will be taking place. The medal stats will be fun to watch, as they are displayed by country, individual, and sport.
2012 Team USA Road to London
Support Team USA at the Olympic Games with this dedicated app.
You’ll get daily updates of who is making the team, and you can read up on all athlete bios. Explore photos and videos of the athletes, and cheer them on with a special button that sends personal messages to athletes taking part via Facebook and Twitter.
Reuters Olympics London 2012
The Reuters Olympics London 2012 app is terrific if you’re looking for great Olympics photography.
Featuring a steady stream of high-resolution images from London, the app also will offer access to Reuters editorial content, medal tables, event schedules, game results, and social media.
Download (free) for iOS only
London 2012 Olympics apps are great for bringing national broadcaster coverage of the games to your fingertips, but what if you want to hear from fans who are there, too? Ban.jo, an app that aggregates and maps location-tagged social media, will let you do just that at this year’s Olympics.
You can either navigate to London in the app or use Ban.jo’s new “trending places” feature to peruse tweets, status updates, photos, and any other social media from users who are inside the games’ venues.
Bonus: Curly's Pocket Guide to Sports
Who really knows all the rules to all the Olympic sports?
Curly’s Pocket Guide to Sports is a nicely designed app that features explanations, facts, tips, tactics, and stories from 74 different sports. It's a handy way to understand a sport you don't know well or to win bar bets.
Download ($0.99) for iOS