By Matt Pepin
Boston.com Sports Editor
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.
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.