Found On The Mobile Web – Winter Olympics Special Edition

Vancouver  2010 Mobile

Amazing Super Bowl win by the underdog New Orleans Saints!  But theres no time for sports fans to rest as the next big event on the sports calendar is the 2010 Vancouver Winter Olympics, starting the Friday.  This week’s Found on the Mobile Web is an Olympics special bringing you the best mobile sites to follow all the games action.

Found on the Mobile Web is a weekly WAP Review feature listing newly added and updated sites on the mobile portal and WapReview mobile site directory. With these latest additions the directory and portal now list 2119 mobile sites.

All the Olympics sites listed below  can also be found in the  Sports/Winter Olympics section of the directory and portal for easy access with your mobile phone.

NBC Olympics      Mobile

Vancouver2010 The official mobile site of the 2010 Winter Olympics has ticket information, live results, medals, schedules, athlete bios, teams, news and photos. The news section uses a feed from the AFP news agency. The feed items are nicely formatted for mobile and are full items not excerpts. The sheer quantity of news in amazing and a bit overwhelming. The games haven’t even started yet and the site already has 65 pages containing over 900 articles in its news section! Unfortunately there is no way to search the news. At 80 KB this works best with smartphones and maybe too large for the  embedded browsers of some feature phones..

BBC Olympics    Mobile

Vancouver2010 also offers a free iPhone app featuring a location-aware spectator guide, maps to all the venues and real time results.
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NBC Olympics NBC seems to have one of the biggest and most feature rich Winter Olympics sites. It has news, photos, videos, live results, schedules, medal counts, athlete profiles, video, polls, trivia, TV and online programming grids and Vancouver information.  You can sign up on the site to receive a variety of free Email and SMS alerts (US Only) and to customize the mobile site content to emphasize your favorite sport.

ESPN Mobile -    Olympics 2010

NBC also promises free iPhone and BlakcBerry apps that are “coming soon”. With the games five days away lets hope that’s real soon!

There are about six stories covering today’s events plus athlete interviews and prognostication on the likely outcome of upcoming events. The stories are quite in depth for a mobile site. Not surprisingly, coverage emphasizes US athletes.

The site works best on smartphones. It looks great and is easy to navigate on my Android phone,  Nokia N95 and using Opera Mini.  NBC and their mobile design partner, Starcut Media, made some effort at adapting content to a variety of handsets by varying image and video size and quality but the homepage weighs in at 64 KB, still too large for the embedded browsers of many feature phones.
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The       Score Mobile - Olympics 2010

BBC Sports generally has  excellent Olympics coverage and I expect this year to be no different.. The site offers news, results, photos and Olympic quizzes. At this point there are only a handful of news items on the site but this will surely change once the games get started.

The BBC also has some free Olympics mobile wallpapers for download in various sizes.

Typical of BBC Mobile, page and image sizes are small enough  to work with virtually any mobile browser.  There’s even a version of the site for old WML-only phones.
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The  Guardian - Olympics 2010

ESPN dominates TV, online and mobile sports coverage especially with US audiences. The dedicated ESPN Olympics 2010 page has comprehensive coverage with in-depth, sport by sport analysis, news headlines, polls, trivia and extensive background features covering Olympics history and page for each Olympic sport with the event’s history, rules, 2010 schedules and top competitors.

ESPN does extensive content adaptation to make the site is usable even on five year old feature phones.  Newer phones and better browsers get more and larger images and ESPN automatically delivers a slick, touch version of the site to Android and WebOS devices and the iPhone.
Content ****_ Usability XXXX_New York    Times Mobile  - Olympics 2010

The Score Canadian cable TV sports channel, The Score‘s mobile site has an unusual design with an auto-refreshing front page that displays the latest live scores for a specific sport. For the Olympics, The Score has built a page dedicated to Canada’s nation sport, hockey. It will provide full, in-game coverage of men’s and women’s hockey along with medal standings, hockey tournament standings, men’s hockey stat leaders, and news updates from all Olympic events.
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The Guardian Big UK newspapeThe       Guardian - Olympics 2010 r and major online news outlet The Guardian has a hit on it’s hands with its $3.99 iPhone app which has been widely praised for its usability and overall quality. I don’t have an iPhone but The Guardian’s recently revamped mobile web site is pretty slick too. The site (and I presume the app too) has a dedicated Olympics page with 20 well written news items with photos.
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The New York Times is the premiere US newspaper and one of the best of the old media at adapting to the online world, including the mobile web. The “Gray Lady” can always be counted on to deliver timely and comprehensive cover of the news, including sports. In advance of the games, the paper’s mobile site has a large collection of current and archived Olympic 2010 news items and background pieces. I expect the New York Times will provide some of the best and most balanced Olympics coverage on the mobile web.
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Sports   Illustrated Mobile  - Olympics 2010

The Vancouver Sun The Winter Olympics’ hometown has two daily newspapers, The  Sun and The Province which are under common ownership. Both papers have mobile sites with virtually identical coverage including a dedicated Winter Olympics page with over a dozen news stories with photos. With lots of reporters and photographers on the scene and local expertise, I expect The Sun and The Province to have outstanding Olympics coverage with an emphasis on the local angle including  features on local Olympic athletes, tips on finding tickets and the impact of the games on residents and local businesses. The two paper’s sites are very similar. Both are rather slow loading, but the Sun’s seems a little faster.
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Washington Post - Olympics 2010

Sports Illustrated has one of the more interesting mobile Olympics sites with loads of original, in-depth articles from the magazine’s stable of award winning sportswriters along with news, results, photos and the latest medal count.

SI and their mobile publishing partner, Crisp Wirelsss have done a good job aof adapting the site’s content all all devices with, WML, XHTML and Touch versions of the site.
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The Washington Post The Washington Post has good mobile Olympics 2010 page that promises to deliver the latest news, scores, features and photos from the games.
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