• Sun
  • Sep 21, 2014
  • Updated: 9:13pm

Beeb runs rings round rival

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 24 July, 2012, 12:00am
UPDATED : Tuesday, 24 July, 2012, 12:00am

BBC Olympics vs London 2012
Both free
Rating 9/10 for BBC Olympics, 5/10 for London 2012

According to the BBC Olympics app, there are 39 athletes from Hong Kong participating in the London Olympics. Go Hong Kong! But according to the official London 2012 Results app, the athlete list will 'officially be announced on July 13'. It is now 11 days past that date, and this gaping hole in the official app is not encouraging.

The BBC app is a pleasure to view and navigate; clear text and images with videos and news. A schedule tab allows you to view the events playing out on any particular day; for example, tomorrow the Games kick off (unofficially - the opening ceremony is on Friday) with soccer. The app write-up promises detailed results for every event and a medals table. And a week before the start of competition, the app was also relaying news of exhibition matches.

There are guides to individual sports with latest news, but also a short history of that sport in the Olympics, and even why participating in it is healthy. We learn that a canoe slalom burns 287 calories per hour, and fencing burns a worthy 408 calories per hour. You'll also find write-ups about athletes, including Hong Kong's, who will compete in various sports.

The London 2012 app - officially called London 2012: Official Results App for the Olympic and Paralympic Games - makes full use of the controversial spiky style used for the logo and, as a result, is not as pleasant to look at. Beyond the aesthetics, it also features a schedule that you can browse by date or by sport. We are also promised details of all the sports; latest news, pictures and background information - and athletes' profiles.

Promises aside, a highlight of the app is that you can customise it in the 'My Games' section, selecting a country, or a selection of sports or athletes you want to follow. You can also set reminders. The BBC app tries to be clever and gives you the results based on your location, which, for the international Hong Kong app user, may not be a good match.

It is disturbing that the official app is so lacking this close to the Games. One hopes that it is not an omen of the Games to come. I'll be sticking with the BBC.

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