London 2012: The Official Results App

The Olympic Games are without doubt the greatest sporting spectacle in the world; combining 36 major sports and only the very best athletes, the games also pose a logistical nightmare for organisers and spectators alike. If, like me, you aren’t fortunate enough to have tickets for your favourite events, keeping track of specific competitions and where to watch them can be a truly thankless task.

For the Beijing Games in 2008, I drew up a shortlist of events I wanted to see, complete with times, locations and where to watch them — only to inadvertently miss Usain Bolt smash Michael Johnson’s 200m sprint world-record, one of the most spectacular moments in the history of Athletics. However, thanks to the London 2012 Results app, it’s almost impossible to make such a mistake again. Check it out after the jump.

More Than Just A Results App

Though it is slated as a results app, the developers have managed to pack in a multitude of other features that make it exceptionally easy to keep with with everything in the Olympics. However, the results are perhaps the most important feature, with up-to-the minute updates on every event taking place, allowing you to track the performance of your favourite individual teams and athletes.

A small medal icon is displayed next to events with medal deciding competition taking place on any given day.

A small medal icon is displayed next to events with medal deciding competition taking place on any given day.

Accessing results information is possible from a number of different pages. From the home screen you can select a live event from the interactive menu and an individual event page will display the most up-to-date results. Finding results for specific events, during or after play, is also possible from the Sports page; tap your desired event to find a list of all stages and/or results from the choices given.

Scroll down the calendar to see events being held at a later time.

Scroll down the calendar to see events being held at a later time.

The iPhone app’s “calendar” differs significantly from that of the iPad due to the vastly reduced screen size. Accessible from the opening screen, the layout is not as intuitive as its iPad counterpart, however the information provided is equally as good. Select a date on the calender to show a list of every sport in play on that day and between what times. To get specific start times for individual events, simply tap the required sport and a sub-list of events is presented to help you make a choice. Although this app is free, and therefore advertisements can be expected, the sponsor’s ad takes up a large amount of screen real estate, which can be distracting.

Push Notifications: The Holy Grail

There’s nothing quite like watching world-records being broken live as you watch; similarly, the anguish caused by missing such an event is equally as powerful moment, for all the wrong reasons. With the London 2012 Results app this pain need not be felt. By visiting the Sports page you can see a list of every  event taking place at the Olympics by selecting from the images displayed; from here there are various options for you to choose from.

Each icon displays a small image of its representative sport; tap your favourites to get a wealth of information to read.

Each icon displays a small image of its representative sport; tap your favourites to get a wealth of information to read.

As you can see from the screenshot above, there is a ton of information available for your enjoyment. There is a wealth of news at your disposal to keep up with the latest updates on athlete preparation. You can also read more about the sport’s history from the About tab, and view photographs from previous events. However, the two stand-out features are accessible by selecting an individual event from the left hand side of the screen.

Manage your reminders and favourites from the My Games page.

Manage your reminders and favourites from the My Games page.

By starring an event you can add it to a list of favourites, which can act like a personalised calender of sorts by displaying only your chosen events. Setting push notifications to remind you when an event is starting can be done from the Sports page or the calendar; a timer icon is displayed to the left of every event, simply tap it to virtually guarantee that you don’t miss any action. The lack of synchronisation between the iPad and iPhone versions is frustrating, and means that you must select your reminders twice if you own both devices.

Information Galore

For the iPad version of this app, I was almost waxing lyrical about its quality, but rather unfortunately, the iPhone doesn’t quite match up. The developers have done well with the app, but the best experience is definitely to be found on the iPad. Having said that, the information quality and depth is identical on both apps, allowing a great insight into the Olympics and the sports involved.

Every Athlete has their own page; read their biography and see the latest results they have earned.

Every Athlete has their own page; read their biography and see the latest results they have earned.

From the Athletes page you can find a list of every individual taking part in the Games, including a brief personal biography. Although the bio is limited to basic details, there are also extensive results information available. Every event the athlete is taking part in is displayed, and any results they have had so far, including the amount of medals they have earned. News flashes have a dedicated section below the results, but, rather disappointingly, this service hasn’t been updated so far.

As well as the ability to view every medal table, you can also read about the medals' history!

As well as the ability to view every medal table, you can also read about the medals’ history!

Although athletes are battling for individual glory, perhaps the most important target of the Olympics is the team medal count. There are various ways of viewing what medals have been awarded: first, you can access a full table of medals sorted by nation; second, you can sort the table view by athlete; and third, by individual sport. This is especially useful if you want to check on how many medals an athlete has won so far.

Support Your Team

Although the app has been developed by the London 2012 organisers, it is by no means limited to, or biased towards, Team GB. You can follow any nation taking part by changing the default team on the My Games page. After selecting your nation, a list of news flashes fill the screen with updates and results news. You can also see any reminders you have set for your favourite events and edit them accordingly.

Help support your nation's team via Twitter.

Help support your nation’s team via Twitter.

Twitter has been utilised to its full capabilities with the London 2012 Results app; this may be the first Olympic Games that can properly showcase the true value of the popular service. By taping the “#supportyourteam” option, you can tweet from within the app itself and help support your favourite sports and home nation by boosting their Tweet count.

The Verdict

Having used this app intensively for the past week I would highly recommend it to anyone looking to keep up with the Olympics for the next little bit. Incredibly, despite the vast array of great features, this app is free; I for one would have been happy to pay for the information provided, and especially for the push notifications. The only disappointment I found was the lack of synchronisation of personal settings and notifications between the two universa’ apps, a problem endemic in many apps throughout iOS. Don’t risk missing out on history — go grab it and enjoy London!


Summary

An impressive app for keeping up with the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games.

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