There are some questions about whether Russia is actually ready for the 2014 Sochi Olympics. (Opening ceremonies are Friday.) But you can be prepared for the games by downloading a few apps in advance. Here are four to get you started.
NBC Sports Live Extra
The app lets you watch all Olympic events in their entirety, either as they’re broadcast or after the fact — as long as you have a subscription to a cable, satellite or telco TV service. Logging into my Comcast service through the app was easy. But if you haven’t yet set up online access to your pay-TV service, now’s the time to do it.
NBC’s app sends you push notification reminders for events you don’t want to miss. And it’s not just an Olympics app. You can also watch other NBC sporting events, such as NHL games and the Golf Channel.
The app is far from perfect — many users complain about technical problems in their reviews. But as far as Olympic viewing apps go, it’s the most complete.
NBC Olympics Highlights
Don’t have a pay-TV subscription? This free Android and iOS app for U.S. viewers serves up video highlights as well as news and photos. Let’s hope the developer (NBC Universal Inc.) gets around to updating the app’s descriptions on the iTunes and Google Play stores, however — both still beckon you to “follow every event from London.” Whoops.
ESPN’s iOS app was just updated with a new Winter Olympics tab, which promises to keep you in the loop on event news, scores and medals awarded. ESPN’s updated app also adds enhanced Twitter integration and iOS 7 improvements. As of this writing, however, the SportsCenter Android app has not been updated for the Olympics.
Sochi 2014 Medal Alert
Developed by the International Olympic Committee, this free Android and iOS app does one thing: notifies you whenever a medal is awarded in your favorite sporting event and to the teams you follow. That’s it. But if you want to stay updated and don’t have much time to watch the events, that’s plenty.