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Team USA Road to London

Posted by Matt Pepin, Boston.com Staff  July 13, 2012 02:00 AM

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By Matt Pepin
Boston.com Sports Editor

teamusascreenshot.jpgReviewing: Team USA Road to London
By: United States Olympic Committee
Price: Free
Available for: iPad, iPhone, Android
Should you get it? Yes for Olympics fanatics; no for casual observers

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As someone who really enjoys the Olympics, I had high hopes for this app, which I discovered when perusing the Team USA web site as I researched some of the athletes from New England who were in line for Olympic team spots.

But it took me a few days to warm up to it and really get to know what content is located where, and the formats in which information is presented. I suspect that kind of learning curve will tax the patience of those who might have been looking for something a little more light-hearted and easy to understand.

The app follows a countdown format. Each day's splash page focuses on a sport and offers a variety of content related to that sport, such as video clips, photo galleries, stories, and a team page that explains the sport and holds profiles of qualifiers and hopefuls.

tweetblurb.jpgThere is a ton of social media used throughout the app, which I normally welcome (see: PGA Tour HD), but in this case, much of it is difficult to comprehend.

Since the Olympics thrust a lot of lesser-known sports and virtually unknown athletes into the spotlight, God (and maybe the USOC) only knows who most of the tweets that appear in cartoon-text bubbles are from. Not helping matters is that a lot of the tweets look like inside jokes or conversations among the inner-circle.

Some really solid features include a sport index, an event schedule, and a Team USA index that lets you search by athletes who are in the games as well as those who are vying for spots.

A big bummer was the latest news section. While the Team USA web site is flush with news about the teams, the app is a slimmed-down version that seemed to miss some opportunities. For example, on June 15, the US cycling team was announced in the late afternoon, yet I checked the app throughout the evening and did not find any content related to that big news. Furthermore, latest news was the slowest section to load, especially when swiping from page to page.

I recommend Team USA Road to London for those who are really into the Olympics. It's an enjoyable daily feature, but I most look forward to using its athlete database as I watch the games to learn more about the Americans as they participate, especially in the more obscure disciplines.

For others, though, letting Bob Costas and Co. tell you the back stories as you watch the Olympics will likely be enough.

About Apptitude Test blogger Kathryn Cartini

Born to challenge the "status quo," with three older brothers Kathryn's first story was probably a tattle, a skill she managed to turn into a career in broadcasting. Now as a communications specialist and CEO of Peacock Media, Kathryn continues #SharingStories that grow businesses and inspire others to follow their hearts in work and life, herself included. More »

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