Whether it is a live video stream of the 100-meter dash, on-demand replays of diving, or notifications when the national team wins a medal, the mobile app is likely to play a greater role in the 2012 London Olympic Games.
Nearly 30 percent of 1,330 people questioned in an online survey said they would watch the games on their smartphones, and 31 percent planned to view it on their tablets, according to TechBargains, a California-based deal aggregation website for electronic products, which conducted the poll.
There are no shortage of apps available.
NBC Olympics Live Extra, which is available for iOS and select Android devices, will stream live video of the events and award ceremonies as well as provide access to replays taken from a variety of camera angles.
“It’s the app that allows you to take the games with you,” said Chris McCloskey, vice president of communications for NBC Sports Group, adding that the app provides more than 3,500 hours of video coverage for all sports and medals.
NBC Olympics, a second app from the network, has more information, including medal counts, news and athlete biographies.
The app also features the Prime Time Companion, which syncs with NBC’s primetime broadcast and allows users to access additional trivia, polls, slideshows and videos on what is currently being aired.
“If you’re watching something on Michael Phelps or Ryan Lochte, it may have a popup that tells you to read their bios, offers you a slideshow of Ryan Lochte, or a video of Michael Phelps from Beijing,” said McCloskey.
Both apps are free, but NBC Olympics Live Extra requires a subscription with a cable, satellite provider or telephone company. Without a subscription, the app provides four hours of streaming. It is only available in the United States.
People looking to stream the event in Britain can download BBC Olympics for Android, iOS and Blackberry, while viewers in Canada can download CTV Olympics for Android, iOS, BlackBerry and Windows Phone.
London 2012 Results is one of several official apps from the International Olympic Committee. It provides event results, schedules, medal counts and information on athletes and venues. The app is available worldwide for Android, iOS, Windows Phone and Blackberry devices.
National teams have also released their own apps.
2012 Team USA Road to London lets fans send messages to U.S. athletes via Facebook or Twitter, and provides the latest updates on the team. The Australian team has an app called Australian Olympic Team London 2012.
When a major event happens at the games, the Canadian Olympic Committee plans to release updates through its app, Canada Cheers 2012.
“This year’s games are supposed to be the most social games ever,” said Dimitri Soudas, executive director of communications for the Canadian Olympic Committee. “We’ve really turned up the heat on being more interactive and engaging and providing more information to our fans.”
For strictly medal counts, Medals 2012, released by eGames Consulting, provides push notifications when the user’s national team wins.
The London 2012 Olympic Games began on Friday and run until August 12.