intro: Believe it: the 2012 London Olympics is going to be the most connected event in history. And that's not just on the ground in London where there are tap-to-pay kiosks for phones, a Ferris Wheel that changes color based on tweets, and lots of tech gear. It's also with viewers, who are going to be able to watch on more than just their TVs. The Olympics is coming to smartphones and tablets -- you can stream the events, see the results in a dedicated app, and hear right from the athletes via Twitter. These are the best (and free!) apps to experience the games on your smartphone or tablet.
quicklist: 1 title: NBC Olympics and Olympics Live Extra text: NBC's apps are the place to get up-to-the-minute Olympics information if you are in the United States. (If you are in the UK, the BBC's apps will be more valuable.) The Olympics Live Extra app will stream the games live to your Android or iOS phone or tablet. With help from Adobe and YouTube, NBC is streaming all the games live and you will even be able to rewind and pause within the app. (The opening and closing ceremonies will not be streamed, however.) The NBC Olympics app will have more details on the schedule and video. (Android, iOS)
quicklist: 2 title: Official London 2012 Results text: But sometimes you aren't going to have time to watch the games and you just want a quick-fix of the latest scores and leaderboards. That's where one of the official Olympic apps comes in. The Official London 2012 Results app provides a grid of all the sports (swimming, diving, etc.). Tap a sport and you can see the results of specific events. You can also view a schedule of events and what events are happening live. There's also an overall Olympic medal count which can be sorted by country and by sport. (Android, iOS, BlackBerry, Windows Phone 7)
quicklist: 3 title: Team USA Road to London text: Go USA! The Team USA Road to London app is your guide to all of the American athletes participating. Leading up to the Games the apps has included information on who has qualified and made the team, but during the event it's perfect for learning more about the athletes. There's also a cheer button, which lets you tweet at athletes with accounts. Even better is the iPad optimized version. (Android, iOS)
quicklist: 4 title: Twitter text: Speaking of Twitter, while it's not an Olympics-specific app, it is a must have for this year's games. Not only is NBC officially partnering with Twitter to get out the news about the games, but tons of athletes are going to be on the service, tweeting right from the ground. It's going to be one of the best and fastest ways to keep up with the news. Get started by following some of these athletes: @rickyberens, @nicksymmonds,@hopesolo. (All mobile platforms)
quicklist: 5 title: London 2012: Official Mobile Game text: In between all that though you might get your own urge to play. Sure, you could go out and actually play a sport or you can just play a digital Olympic game. The London 2012: Official Mobile Game is another official Olympic app, with nine games in one. You can pole vault, participate in the 100 meter butterfly or freestyle, or the 110 meter hurdles. You can customize your avatar and set it to one of three competition modes ? train, Olympic, challenge. The games are fun, but the app is large in size. It took awhile to download. It's best to switch to WiFi to get this one. (Android, iOS)