Leave the hurdles to the athletes as you live like a local during the London Games by sampling these apps. Although some are Apple only, most of these apps work on Android and iOS devices for phones and tablets, such as the iPad. If an app works on other platforms, such as Windows, it's noted.
Most of the apps require a data connection, so be sure to get an international data plan before you leave so you don't come home to a bank-breaking bill.
London 2012 Join In App, by the London Organising Committee of the Olympic and Paralympic Games: This official app lets you plan itineraries based on where competitions are scheduled. You can find events, cash machines, food and drink, toilets, etc. Free for iOS and Android. Later this summer, a free Official Results app for Android and iOS will be released.
2012 Team USA Road to London, by the U.S. Olympic Committee: This Team USA app provides info on the American team along with Olympic history. For example, the shooting competition began at the 1896 Olympics for men, but women didn't get to shoot until 1984. Free for Android and iOS.
2012 Summer Games London Offline, by Tidels: This app provides sports, venue and schedule info without an Internet connection. For Americans traveling without an international data plan, it's a decent option without the bells and whistles of the Join In App. $2.99 for iOS.
Viddy lets you capture and embellish short videos with music and special effects, then share them by email, Twitter, etc. It's the equivalent of video Twitter, but instead of a 140-character tweet, Viddy lets you share 15-second videos across your social network. Free for iOS.
Photo fx by Tiffen: This app provides basic editing tools, such as cropping or adjusting contrast, along with special lighting, lens, photographic and image effects with tints, diffusion, film processing, etc. Edited photos can be shared using Facebook, Twitter, etc. $2.99 for iOS or $4.99 for Ultra version for iPad.
PhotoWizard-Photo Editor: This intuitive photo app not only lets you edit and add special effects, but it also lets you blend two images. Photos can be emailed or shared across your social network. $1.99 for iOS; $2.99 for iPad version.
Condé Nast Traveller London City Guide: This comprehensive guide includes maps and Augmented Reality views (computer-generated views on top of real views) and goes beyond typical guidebooks to include local tips under "Word of Mouth." Free for iOS.
Trover: This photo-driven app uses your phone's GPS to show you what locals and visitors have photographed nearby. When I tested it in Santa Monica, the app showed more photos of museums and sights in London versus images of food and drink in Santa Monica. Free for Android and iOS.
Tube Map: This app works with the Oyster card to help you navigate the London Underground with a journey planner and train status updates. Routes can be mapped without a data connection. Free (with ads) or 99 cents (without) for Android, iOS, Windows, BlackBerry and Nokia.
Bus Guru: This app provides real time TFL (Transport for London) bus info and can show you the nearest place to buy an Oyster transit card (which gets you discounted fares). Free for iOS and Android.
Hailo: This Black Cab app promises to get you a cab in two minutes. Free for iOS.
Shopikon London: This app catalogs a variety of London's best local shops, including bookstores, food and flower markets. Free for iOS.