WITH the London 2012 Olympics due to commence on July 27, The Scotsman gives its verdict on the Games’ official iPad app
MUCH has been written about the increasingly corporate face of the Olympic Games. While it is not the business of this review to delve into the debate, it would suffice to say that the London 2012 app confirms the suspicion that this is less a useful tool for spectators and Olympic enthusiasts than a hi-tech PR trinket.
Indeed, within an instant of launching the app, a certain electronics manufacturer competes garishly with the London 2012 logo for our attention, inviting us to recognise that this is an official Olympic Games product. Indeed, you might afford yourself a wry smile for the fact that it is the only official Olympics app available.
The app primarily presents itself as a news source for all things London 2012, providing fixture lists, statistics, torch relay updates, travel information and notifications for spectators. Unfortunately, many of these updates don’t seem to serve a useful purpose, and could be easily found on any reputable national news source. On a brighter note, there are several sections that media professionals and statisticians will undoubtedly find useful. The athlete profiles, for example, offer a handy, at-a-glance guide to participating athletes.
More welcome still is the section on past Olympians. Profiles of Carl Lewis, Steve Redgrave, Mia Hamm, Steffi Graff and many others are provided, though the app would have benefited substantially from expanding on the fabled history of the Games. Archive photographs from past Olympics, for example, would have really given the app some substance.
As it is, the feeling persists that the app is only another ceremonial bauble for the Olympic parade, and not something that will prove useful or interesting for the duration of the competition.
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