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Must-have mobile apps for the Sochi Winter Olympics

Leah Yamshon | Feb. 10, 2014
Whether you're looking for a second-screen Olympic experience or just want to keep up with your favorite athletes' Instagram posts, these Winter Games apps deserve a medal.

2014 Team USA Road to Sochi
Produced by the United States Olympic Committee, the 2014 Team USA Road to Sochi app (free; iOS and Android) could've come off as some form of PR-minded hokum (just ignore the Smucker's branding), but its true value is that it can serve as an info-packed resource even after the Olympics commence.

With a continually updating set of bios and news updates, the USOC's app features athlete Twitter updates, venue photo galleries, videos of events, and even a donation button to let users contribute to Team USA. This user-friendly design serves as a one-stop resource for anyone cheering the red, white, and blue.

Not so awesome apps
Apple featured a handful of Olympic-themed apps in the App Store as its recommended pics, yet I found two of the apps mentioned to be total duds. Users, beware.

The official Sochi 2014 Guide promises a calendar of events with news and info about all-things Sochi, but much like the city itself, the app isn't quite ready for the masses. It is buggy, crashes frequently, and doesn't have any event information you can't find in other apps. However, it has a map of the Olympic Village and event ticket information, so maybe this app will be of use if you happen to be in Sochi. Maybe Sochi 2014 Guide works better on Android devices, seeing as Samsung is an official sponsor this year.

Another app is Medal Alert, a no-frills app with the sole purpose of sending you a notification when a medal is awarded for the events of your choosing. However, in order to set up notifications, you need to select which countries, teams, or events to follow, and the app hasn't been able to load the event schedule during any of my attempts. Tapping on any sport icon yields a message: "There are no scheduled events." (Really? Because I'm pretty sure there are scheduled Olympic events this week.) This would be a great app if it worked, but it doesn't on my iPhone 5s and my Samsung Galaxy Note II, and the user reviews on both platforms suggest I'm not alone.

 

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