The 2012 Olympics are just around the corner. The games start Friday and continue to Aug. 12.
There are plenty of apps for fans to get ready for one of the best sporting events around. From apps that help you find your way around London's Olympic Village to games that let you live out your Olympic dreams virtually, you'll have lots to sink your teeth into.
NBC Olympics includes a wide range of basic Olympics coverage from the network, which has the exclusive U.S. broadcast rights to the games. The app publishes news and information about all the events, plus athlete profiles, photo galleries and more. You can even use Twitter and Facebook to link up with other fans. The network also has the NBC Olympics Live Extra app, which includes live and replayed video streams of all the events.
Those lucky enough to attend the 2012 Olympics should not be without this app. With detailed maps for all of the Olympic venues plus a spectator guide with a full listing of the various activities in and around the games, consider this app like Lonely Planet: Olympic Version. Even fans not attending the games might enjoy the app, thanks to live updates filled with news, photos and analysis of the events.
This app's for the Olympic fan who's also a gamer. It features nine events that players can compete in, including the 100 meter dash, 110 meter hurdles, the triple jump and more. The game has a role-playing game focus as players can improve the stats of their virtual athlete by training them using over 200 in-game items. This premium version comes with bonus training points that would cost more to purchase in the free version.
Call yourself a trivia buff? See if you can answer the thousands of Olympic-focused trivia questions packed in this novel little app. The questions run the gamut of all the summer Olympic sports, and players can post high scores to Facebook and Twitter and challenge their friends to top them. Fans of cartoon characters should also enjoy the big-headed avatars that players can assume as they fight for their trivia lives.
London 2012: Official Results App
(iPad, iPhone, iPod Touch; free)
Of course, if you're more concerned with the results of the events than the general hullabaloo surrounding the Olympics, the London 2012: Official Results App might prove more useful. Official Results covers all 36 events with a live schedule that notes which events are currently occurring, complete with live scoring and results, a calendar that shows each day's events, and even a medal counter. Fans can also track the performance of their favorite athletes right from the app.
Reports from Appolicious.com and the Tribune Media Services has been used in this compilation.
Lend me your e's
As public libraries adapt to the digital revolution, many patrons are borrowing e-books. A Pew Internet & American Life Project survey found that 12 percent of e-reader owners borrowed an e-book from their library. Still, 58 percent of all library patrons said they didn't know if the service exists at their local library. Virtually all Nassau and Suffolk libraries offer e-book lending.
Not your father's Walkman
Sony is giving the venerable Walkman music player a 21st century reboot with a slimmer look, big touchscreen and Android 4.0 operating system. The Walkman F800 ($270-$300) comes with several apps, including email, and can connect to Bluetooth-enabled home speakers and car audio systems, but unlike that Walkman you had in 1980, this one won't play cassettes. The unit goes on sale next month.
Virtual walk in the park
Can't make it to Yosemite this summer? Google Street View has added views of five California national parks, each in a 360-degree panoramic display. In addition to Yosemite National Park, at right, there are views of Redwood National Park, Sequoia & Kings Canyon National Parks, Death Valley National Park and Joshua Tree National Park. To see all five, go to the Google blog at www.bit.ly/google-parks. -- Peter King