iOS Olympics Apps: The Freebies That Are Well-Worth A Look

With the advent of the London Olympics, officials wanted audiences following the events not just on their televisions, but on their portable devices as well. NBC paired up with Adobe just last week in an effort to roll out Olympics streaming apps for Android and iOS platforms, but which apps are worth checking out?

The start of the 2012 Olympics is just under two weeks away – July 27th to be exact. With the coming deluge of Olympics-related apps, we’ve gathered a few reviews from across the internet and put together a list of the ones worth checking out, via Ars Technica and PC Mag.

First off, the BBC Olympics app and the NBC Olympics app. Both are free, both are more or less the same, but both together are your best bet for the most complete coverage of the games. For instance, BBC Olympics offers text-based blurbs and updates, while NBC does featured video and videos-on-demand. Downsides? Despite ease and user-friendliness, BBC Olympics is kind of boring. NBC Olympics only gives you free full-access depending on your cable or satellite subscription. That, and there’s no AirPlay support, so you’re stuck on the iOS.

NBC Olympics Live Extra is a completely different app from NBC Olympics, so don’t get taken in by it. You can watch live video and do event replays with this one, with all the same caveats of the NBC Olympics app. It is free, so it’s up to you whether or not to check this one out. Just don’t get worked up over which one to get!

Then there’s the Team USA Road to London app. Officially released by the U.S. Olympic Committee, this one has just about everything that BBC, NBC, and NBC Live Extra apps have all rolled into one with the same limitations. There’s also a social networking aspect, where you can “cheer” for your favorite athletes and send messages on Facebook or Twitter. The only downside to this one is some sketchy functionality – one reviewer didn’t find it particularly user-friendly.

Early reviews on the three apps tended to favor the BBC Olympics app over the official one, but your best bet is honestly either balancing NBC/BBC apps together (BBC so you can check updates silently on your phone at work, NBC so you can watch videos on break) or just banking on the official, slightly more holistic (though sometimes buggy) app.

NBC (left) and BBC Olympics (right)

NBC (left) and BBC (right)

NBC Live Extra

NBC Olympics Live Extra

The official Olympics app: Team USA Road to London:

Team USA Road to London