Reuters Olympics London 2012 Brings Home the Gold via iPad

As anticipation builds for the 2012 London Olympics, fans of the games must try Reuters Olympics London 2012. This universal, photo-centric app is also free. Go download it right now. We’ll wait for you.

Now that you’ve installed the app, we can move along. Whether you plan to watch the games on a big screen TV or iPad — or are lucky enough to be going to the competition in person — this informative and entertaining app will enhance your Olympic experience.

When the user first opens Reuters Olympics, he/she can choose to take a tour. To take the tour again at any time, tap the settings icon in the upper-right corner, then tap the orange button.

The main portion of the app comprises a photo timeline. The timeline is updated frequently and captures images that Reuters photographers post to the wire service. Even before the games have begun, I still found plenty to keep me busy, including a photo-shoot with Jamaican sprinter Usain Bolt that was posted to the app just 7 hours ago. While I might be able to find much of the information with a Google search, it was much more pleasant to sit back and explore Reuters Olympics.

Users can also view images through the photostream, a slideshow that adds new photos constantly. To start photostream, tap the play button in the upper-left corner of the screen. Configure photostream’s speed in the settings, and return to the timeline by tapping the back arrow.

Tapping on an individual photo brings up a full screen view of the image. Users can find out more information about the subjects of the photo, and even the photographer who snapped the shot, with a single tap. In full screen view users can also share photos via Twitter and Facebook.

Many of the photos connect to full news stories that open in the app’s built-in browser. Readers can navigate through Reuters’ site as if they were on the Web, or open a particular page in Safari. I caught up on speculation about the condition of Bolt’s hamstring, and the possibility that the world’s four fastest men (Bolt, Yohan Blake, Asafa Powell, and Tyson Gay) could square off in the men’s 100m race. If you just want to read a bit of trivia, some of the photos have embedded info-graphic content that a user can access with a pinch-to-zoom gesture.

Tap the reference menu to stay on top of the Olympics’ massive schedule and track results and the all-important medal tally. I love Bob Costas, and am even fonder of Canadian sports commentator Brian Williams, but I may spend less time slogging through TV summaries since I can get results easily and faster through the Reuters app.

Like any good app, Reuters Olympics allows a user to tailor updates and push notifications to suit personal interests. While I’d love to be able to track progress of a few particular athletes, including women’s pole vaulter (and fellow Western New Yorker) Jenn Suhr, I’m thrilled I can keep up with events such as Table Tennis and Rhythmic Gymastics, which tend to get overlooked by US and Canadian broadcasters.

Download Reuters Olympics London 2012 for free from the App Store.

What I liked: Reuters Olympics was gorgeous. Looking at the action shots reminded me how much I love the Olympics. I can’t wait to use the app, particularly with my Apple TV, while the games are underway.

What I didn’t like: Nothing!

To buy or not to buy: Any iPad (or iPhone/iPod touch)-owner would be remiss not to give Reuters Olympics a try.

About Emily: Emily is a freelance writer who loves discovering new apps whenever she can pry the iPad away from her children or husband. You can contact her via Twitter: @whatwentwrite