Tuesday, July 24, 2012

gearing up for the Olympics sans cable {app review}

The thought occurred to me as I was driving home from work yesterday, how am I going to watch the Olympics since we don't have cable? I don't know why it hadn't hit me already, but our experience of the London 2012 Olympics will be much different from those of past Olympics without a direct (cable) line feeding it to our television starting on Friday.
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The good news is that there are plenty of ways to follow along thanks to today's technology. The tele (as they say in London) is no longer the sole nor even main source of information about the Olympic Games. A google search yields all kinds of results ranging from the official website to  broadcast networks to sponsors like Coca-Cola, among other brands. 

I also did some research to see what apps are available to follow the Olympics and I came across quite a few. Since I have an iPad, I decided I should take the London Games as an opportunity to realize its full potential (apps highlighted below are specified if only available on Android OR iPhone devices, otherwise available on both).


London 2012 (free, for iPhone) The official mobile app of the 2012 Olympics is full of interactive screens that will allow you to peruse the schedule, events, maps and more. Favorite your sport(s) of choice and filter results to keep up with the team(s) you want to follow. 
Reuters London 2012 (free, for iPhone) Features photos from award winning photographers (bios included) and everything is laid out in a timeline to show chronological order. This will be a place to look for amazing photos to follow the Olympic highlights.
NBC Olympics (free) Features live updates, news results, TV/online listings, medal counts, and more. It makes it easy to engage with your favorite athletes through Twitter and Facebook.
NBC Olympics Live Extra (free) Taking it a step further, you can watch live coverage of the Olympics on your handheld device if you have a cable TV subscription. Without a cable subscription you cannot login to access its full features. A limited amount of content including event replays will be available, but basically all that is already on the previously mentioned app and NBCOlympics.com.
Team USA (free, iPhone or Android) Full of trivia about Team USA (facts rotate on the opening screen), you can learn the latest news, event schedule and even shop (How American is that?!). In the days leading up to the Olympics, they feature a different American athlete. You can also link up with Facebook and Twitter to share articles/images.

I have to say, my favorite app thus far is the London 2012 because of the maps of the Olympic Village and ease of navigating from one thing to the next. I will also use the NBC Olympics app a lot since we don't have cable. I was pretty disappointed to see you have to be a cable subscriber to benefit from NBC Olympics Live Extra...I guess ad space will only get you so far. And be warned, each of these apps has some kind of pop up/banner ad running, but they are all free.

The Olympics will be here before we know it (just three days)! The world will listen, watch and follow from more devices than probably ever before. How will you be keeping up with it? I'm pretty sure I'll end up keeping tabs via Twitter and the usual news outlets I visit online or listen to on the radio. If you have any ideas for tracking the Olympics I've overlooked, please share!

P.S. I may or may not have been playing Fanfare for The Common Man while I was writing this ;-)

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for sharing these apps! We don't have cable either (we always watch shows on Netflix, DVD or online), and I was wondering how I could still keep up with the Olympics...I'll definitely check these out. :)

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