Having an Android or iPhone can really go a long way towards satiating your hunger for sporting knowledge. In recent years, it has become the norm for major sporting events to have their official iOS apps accompanying them. Being a fan of several sports myself, I was pretty satisfied with the Euro 2012 and Wimbledon apps for iPhone. The next big thing on the sporting calendar is the Olympics, and if you are looking for a decent app for the London games, NBC just made life a lot better for you with the release of NBC Olympics and NBC Olympics Live Extra. As can be expected, the apps are available for both Android and iOS. Although the official app for the Olympic games has been released, too (by the name of “London 2012”), the NBC apps will let you view all the events live on your iPhone or Android device! You will need to be a subscriber of any cable network in order to get the videos and streams, but even if you don’t have that, the apps have a lot on offer. We’ll take a look at both of them just past the fold.
Before we dive into all praise for the app, let’s discuss some of the negatives. The app is a bit slow, and the interface is not as smooth as you would expect from an official NBC app (feels like a wrapper for a web interface in some places). However, when you look at all that is on offer in the NBC Olympics app, we can live with a little lag in the interface. The top bar on the main page of the app features the latest news and videos related to the games, and you can view each item’s details by just tapping it once. The Top News menu will keep you up to date with all the latest happenings in London 2012. NBC Olympics comes with Facebook, Twitter and Google+ integration, and you can share any news story over these networks with a single touch.
If you want to watch any of the videos available within the app, you will have to link your cable account with it. This can be done in the app’s Settings menu, and almost all major service providers in the US are supported. Videos can be filtered by category, popularity or sports. The NBC Olympics app has a dedicated menu for Team USA that acts as a hub for all the latest news, photos, videos and schedules for each event in which USA is involved. In case you are looking for information on a particular participant of the game, go to the Athletes section and perform the necessary search. The app will come up with a complete profile of the player.
NBC Olympics Live Extra
While the NBC Olympics app is all about providing you with all the relevant content for London 2012, Live Extra is the app you will need if you want to actually watch any of the events live on your smartphone. As discussed for the Olympics app, you will need to have an account for any cable provider in order to enjoy the functionality offered by NBC Olympics Live Extra. The app does not have any of the bells and whistles that are attached to the NBC Olympics app, and it is strictly about live streaming. There are fixture lists and schedules for all sports, but that’s about it, and you will see a list of channels and live events once the games start. Live Extra can also send you reminders whenever an event of your favorite sport is about to start. To configure these reminders, go to the Sports section of the app from the top bar, and hit the heart icon next to the name of the sport. That game will be added to your reminder list.
NBC Olympics and NBC Olympics Live Extra are free apps, though ad-supported, and available for both iOS (as universal apps) and Android. If you are living outside the US, you might not be able to download the apps.