APP OF THE DAY: London 2012 "Join In" for Android, iOS and BB
There's a lot to hate about the Olympics, the oppressive weapons on tower blocks and parkland across London, and the copyright and branding nightmares that will befall anyone who dare show a logo or mascot without approval. But, none of that should get in the way of the amazing sports that are about to arrive on our shores.
So to make sure we're all getting the best of the Olympics, there's the "Join In" app for Android, iOS and BlackBerry. Here, you'll find a lot of ways to get the best out of your Olympic experience, and there's plenty of stuff that doesn't cost the earth either.
London 2012 "Join In"
Obviously, we're in the final days now of the Torch relay, but London is still seeing some of the action as the flaming symbol makes its way to East London. The app will tell you where to go and, it has to be said, is clearer and easier than the official Olympics website, which is the usual mess that comes out of any sports event, devoid of both humor and passion.
Perhaps most charming is the abundance of information about community events in your area. It's here that the whole Olympic machine is less obvious, and people can get together to enjoy a bit of sport, and hopefully celebrate some British wins. There's also plenty of chances to celebrate other cultures too, so everyone should be able to get something from this app.
Events, places and sports can all be bookmarked, so you can get a notification when events you're interested in are about to start. That applies to everything, which is great if you want to be told when the Torch relay passes, or a local party starts. There are also photos of the events that have already happened, and they're great quality too. As events progress, you get to see more and more.
You'll also find event venue information, which tells you where the Visa-sponsored cash machines are, and how to find the Coke-sponsored urinals.
Of course, it's not perfect. For one, there's a pretty chunky database involved in accessing the data, this isn't part of the original download, but has to be delivered after. If you don't start the app when you're connected to Wi-Fi, you'll hammer your data tariff to the tune of nearly 100MB. Plus, the app contains all the usual sponsorship nonsense from the main, international sponsors.
The other issue is that to get results, you need a separate results app. We'll look at that soon too, but we can't see why all of this isn't in one, single, 2012 app. Still, the Join In app provides plenty of info, a valuable reminder system and generally feels less corporate than most Olympic things we've encountered so far. Apart from when you shake your phone, and those hell escapees Wenlock and Mandeville pitch up and do something stupid on the screen.