London 2012: Official Join In full review
Free for Android phone, Android tablet, iPad and iPhone, the official Join In app from the London 2012 organising committee is intended to help everyone feel part of this summer's Olympic Games. To that end it focusses on more than just the Olympic sport: Join In showcases the myriad sporting and cultural events that make up the modern Olympiad, helping you to get involve in events close to you. See also: Best Android Apps.
Download: London 2012: Official Join In App for the Olympic and Paralympic Games 2.0.
Unlike the London 2012 Official Results App, the Join In app offers information on all kinds of Olympic-themed activities, including exhibitions, concerts, partcipatory sporting events, and the Games themselves. It will help you get more from the Games if you are attending the Olympics or watching the action on TV, yes, but perhaps more importantly it will assist those for whom the sport holds little interest. And that's the case regardless of where you are in the country: a critical factor for those who oppose the London-centric nature of London 2012. See also: How to watch the London 2012 Olympic Games online.
There's a lot going on this summer, and a lot of information in the London 2012 Join In app, but it is well laid out, and the interface is intuitive, so it's pretty simple to find things in which you are interested. By default the app opens on a listing page for today, and you can scroll through to future days to find information about them. At the top of the page are filters for 'All', 'Sport', 'See & Do', and 'Torch'. See also: Best iPad/iPhone apps.
Clearly, the Torch information is going to be much less useful once the games start, but the Sport section will come into its own, even if you are glued to the couch for the duration. A Calender option lets you jump to a day of your choosing, and there are filters letting you select to see only events at certains times of the day, or within a mile, 10 miles, or 50 miles of your location. A map view lets you browse events that way too. See also Samsung Galaxy Ace review.
London 2012: Official Join In: what's going on?
And there is a lot going on. You could consider London 2012 Join In a guide to what to do this summer, whatever you are into, and wherever you are. We tested London 2012 Join In on our Android Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1, and iPhone 3GS. It looks pretty good, and very 'London 2012' on both, although it is clearly designed for smartphone rather than tablet. On both devices - neither new - it was a very stable app.
Each event is stuffed with information about what is going on and when, as well as a map to take care of the where. Each category of event has its own symbol, via which you can see other similar events. Within the app you can find all the London 2012 social feeds, as well as travel and accessibility guides, and ticketing news (although that ship has well and truly sailed). You can upload photos of yourself at events, check in, and so on. There are also augmented reality features, for those phones and tablets that can handle such things.
Downsides? Well, we could have lived without the constant interference of adverts for/'useful' links to London2012.com. And London 2012 Join In does require regular web and GPS connectivity to work properly. The first time we opened it London 2012 Join In downloaded just shy of 30MB of data, and it needs to suck up updated info every time you open it, as well as making use of your GPS, of course. (You are warned about this before you install.)
London 2012: Official Join In: Specs
- Requires Android 2.2 and up. (Confirmed compatability with Samsung Galaxy Note, Samsung Galaxy Nexus, Samsung Galaxy Ace Plus, Samsung Galaxy S 2, Samsung Galaxy S, Google Nexus S, HTC Desire, HTC Wildfire, HTC Wildfire S, HTC Desire HD, Motorola Droid 2/3, HTC One X, Sony Experia U.) Compatible with iPhone, iPod touch, and iPad. Requires iOS 4.3 or later.