Behind the making of the amazing BlackBerry 10 Sochi Olympics app

By Adam Zeis on 6 Feb 2014 09:56 am EST

This week I had a chance to talk with one of the developers of the Sochi 2014 app for BlackBerry 10 — what will be my go to app for the Olympics this year. The app itself is beautiful. It has a great UI, it's fast, and it works ridiculously well. If you haven't downloaded it yet, go get it right now.

The Sochi app was made for BlackBerry 10 by Eventbase, a company that specializes in event-based apps. In addition to the Sochi 2014 app, they've also created the Sundance 2014 app this year as well as previous apps for the Vancouver and London Olympics. Sochi 2014 is their first Olympic offering for BlackBerry 10 however (it's also available for BB7 devices).

With the app you'll have access to everything you need during the games in Sochi. There are schedules, an event catalog, athlete listing, medals, news & photos and much more. You can stay informed with up-to-the-minute news and receive push alerts through the app, right on your device.


The team used Cascades for the entire app, migrating the BB7 app design to BB10. Using Cascades also gave them the option to have faster code exchange for other platforms as well as a faster development process. The app also makes use of Cascades transitions to give it a fast, flowing UI that fits right in with the native BlackBerry experience. The Sochi app was a big undertaking and is one of the most robust apps put out by Eventbase, but due to the scale and popularity of the Olympics it was also very necessary. 

BlackBerry gave great support all along the way — from integrating the Push services to nailing down platform-specific features, the Sochi app fits in extremely well with the overall BlackBerry 10 user experience. 

The app also integrates with the official data sources in Sochi during the games and actually repackages it so it can be stored on the device for offline use (social and other online features excluded). This is especially key for those that are traveling or may not have constant data access as they can still get to the info they want, when they want it. They're also using the BlackBerry Push services to bring alerts for reminders, results and more during the games. I'm told an update is on the way before the games kick off that will bring even more features into the app. 

It's a drag that such a great app has such a short lifespan though. It will be an extremely popular app for just a few weeks' time, and then just go to the wayside as Olympic fever fizzles out. That's what Eventbase does though. They make awesome event apps that sometimes have a shelf-life of just a few days, then they're deleted and forgotten until the next big event rolls around. However some, like the Sundance 2014 app, feature year-round content to keep things going beyond just the actual event dates.

The games officially kick off tomorrow with the opening ceremonies on Friday at 11am ET, so grab the Sochi 2014 app free from BlackBerry World and stay in the know through all the action!

More information/Download Sochi 2014

Adam Zeis Adam Zeis "Mobile Nations Content Strategist" 3740 (articles) 2892 (forum posts)

Reader comments

Behind the making of the amazing BlackBerry 10 Sochi Olympics app


At least everyone who needs to take a dump will never be lonely with their double toilet setup!

On a serious side note, I LOVE this app. It is so well made and a pleasure to use.

The same can be said for a lot of Games in the past. Remember the tremendous security in Salt Lake City after the terrorist attacks in September, 2001? Vancouver had a massive police and security operation. Sad that grievances and special agendas (not to forget fears of violent attacks) have become the norm rather than the exception for Olympics.

By the way, the app rocks. Will be using it a lot.

Have had the app for awhile. Great app. Just wish they would update the athletes, none available. We have a local person competing and would like to follow.


I haven't looked lately, but just going to the CBC Olympics coverage via the web browser on the Playbook or Q10 brought up what looks to be the app advertised. Perhaps it is HTLM5 and the BlackBerry browser runs it without an app?


I tried it in the PlayBook and videos don't play. You get a prompt to use the app, which of course doesn't exist.

The rant is about CBC, the official broadcaster, not producing an app for BB10 even though they made one for Androis, iOS, and WP. People need to learn to read sometimes and not be a simpleton.

Same here: "Not available for this device" (Z10).
The Olympics will be half over by the time AT&T comes out with their update. Grrrr..

Posted via the incredible BlackBerry Z10

Don't use the link. Go to BlackBerry World and search it. I've had this app since it came out. Works great on my Z10

Posted via CB10

CBC is advertising their coverage of the games and at the end they say to download the iOS or Android version implying there is no BB10 version! Shame on CBC!

Posted via CB10

No worries. We have a great browser that will get you all you need. The others need a limiting app.

Posted via CB10

This has to be one of the most fluid, and responsive ap's I have ever used on my Z10. So well laid out, and easy to use...
It still needs a few more features added to its empty categories it has right now, but top notch ap.. Hats off to the developer(s) for this well put together ap.

Just downloaded it. Great app. Go Kaetlyn Osmond! (However, I hope our mutual home town flies the rainbow flag during the games along with most of the rest of Newfoundland).

Posted via CB10

You realize if the olympics find out about this app that they'll shut it down so fast you won't even know what happened

There was an update right after I installed it and opened it up, I don't know what it was for though. It is one of the best looking apps I have seen in a while!

On my awesome BlackBerry Z30

I'm wondering why there are two apps(Sochi 2014 Guide and Results) for iOS, Android and WP 8 and the BlackBerry App was realized in one App :/

My question is, how did they get the blue action bar/menu in cascades? I.E is it a custom control or were they provided early access to upcoming features?

YES! I would love to know this as well. If this is indeed an indication of what future app development can bring, it's darn amazing.

That's great to know! I've already designed a custom action menu but wasn't sure if using it would go against B4BB guidelines but since these guys have looks like I can hop on board =)

I was invited to do an on-site usability test with the developers and was pleased they were including BlackBerry 10 in the mix.


I like how the events can sync to your calendar. Allows me to make sure I don't double book work over a hockey

Posted via CB10

I thought I loved this app until I downloaded the Android Sochi Results app, which has all the same stuff, but the most important part, it has live results for athletes, so you can actually follow each event live.

Posted via CB10

One complain around the Sochi app for BB 10, it did not offer French language (only English or Russian).
This is kind of frustrating since french language is available for the same app on all other OS platfom (iOS, Android, Windows)

Posted via CB10

Please ask them how they are able to skin Cascades??? I've never seen it before till now. The blue skin is really cool... Wish more app developers have the ability to skin their cascades apps.

Let me see if I'm understanding this right. Someone made an app that's only good for the 2014 Olympics? I'm not knocking him/her but that seems like a lot of work for just one year unless I'm mistaken.

Keep The Faith  BlackBerry Q10 

It's by a company called Eventbase. They make amazing apps for all kinds of events.

It requires 10.2 to run. (Not available for me either.)

Posted via my Q10, SQN100-2,

Nice app, but I won't be watching Sochi Games for the lack of human rights and the level of hate that is being promoted

Posted via CB10

I love the blue action bar! I hope more apps start using different colored action bars instead of the black one were used to!

Posted via the Android CrackBerry App!

This shows how nice a Cascades app can really be, it's got to be one of the nicest I have. The colours, transitions, etc... are all at a level I've yet to see. I wish other apps would look this nice instead of the basic white on black.

Only problem is the slow map performance, but I think that has more to do with the Z10 being a little slower. I think if I was using it for directions to get around Sochi I'd be a little frustrated with the speed of the map rendering.

I also used an app for a conference I attended (Aero Montreal) done by the same company. They guys do a great job for event guide apps.

Posted via CB10

Is it (partly) headless too? I see that it's asking for permission to run in background.

Btw, I'm from a tropical Asian country where people only know about the summer Games but I'm downloading this because of all the positive reviews.

Posted via CB10

Great app, love the subtle transition effects. A little flare goes a long way!

Posted via CB10

OK, good hint but where to find it? I found it with 'Snap' in Google's play store. I searched for 'CBC Olympics' and I was then able to watch the Sochi Olympic opening ceremony on my Z30 which did not work from the CBC website. I then used Miracast and watched it on a big screen. Impressive opening ceremony; you can stream it tonight if you missed it.
IGeeve wrote:The Sochi cbc app works pretty good as well. Confirmed and thx!

How did they customize the color and gradient of the actionbar in Cascades. When they mean it made cross-platform development easier, do they just mean they used QT cross-platform?

Posted via CB10

Not available for PT9982:(. BlackBerry why just map z10 to PT device in BlackBerry world?

Posted via CB10

Not available for ATT in the US.

Maybe a year from now ATT will provide an upgrade to BB 10.2.1 OS as they haven't provided a single BB 10 OS update since June of 2013.

Seriously Cascades? As a developer I would have guessed they used WebWorks since it is not possible to change the color of the bottom bar using the current Cascades API's. Unless they have access to closed API's of course...

Posted via CB10

Anything that saves me from that scourge of broadcasting that calls itself NBC and that insufferable boorish jackass Costas. I'm in!

So awesome. I have a lumia 920 which runs very well but I will definitely be using this version a lot more. Cascade is amazing. The Olympics and blackberry. In heaven

Posted via CB10

I watched the Women's Snowboarding Slope-style during Thursday morning. Amazing athletes and Canadian Spencer O'Brien qualified.

Posted via the BlackBerry Q5 using CB10.

I have a Z10 and it's saying, "Unavailable for this device." What gives? I love the Olympics and sad not to have this app.

Posted via CB10

Too bad for me: "unavailable for this device" is message to Z10 owners with T-Mobile US. We still don't have updated OS.

Posted via CB10

Wow. Sweet app. Very cool. Is really well done. Looking forward to using it throughout the Olympics. Great job.

Via CB10 & Z10 or Q10

I'm totally against the hypocracy that is the Olympics. The IOC make millions of $'s while leaving most, if not all hosting countries saddled with Olympic debit and venues with little to no use..

Countries and the IOC like to declare operating profits while they've incurred huge losses on major expenditures that may not be recovered for decades in most cases (creative Accounting). Beijing trumpeted a $171 million profit made on operating costs, while neglecting to mention the $40 billion-dollar infrastructure buildup it made ahead of the 2008 Games. The $5 billion to $6 billion the London Olympics earn will not even begin to cover the cost of infrastructure and security alone. And if the countries happen to make any money, half of revenue is split among International Olympic Committee members. REALLY!

But I digress, the app is pretty nice..

JUNK.... What this guy isn't telling us is that AT&T users cannot get 10.2 till sometime in July.... this is what AT&T tech support told me. a lot of good that will do for the Sochi 2014 App...egh. Way to go BlackBerry... good thinking. I know I'm stupid, but my guess, and it's only a guess, is that there ain't no Winter Olympics in July....

Help? I went to Blackberry World to download this app and it says it is not available for my device and I have a Z10. Is there something I am missing here? Please help.

Posted via CB10

I downloaded this app when it first came out and then again when they updated it.

While reading this post I got two notifications about upcoming events in the Olympics from favouriting different athletes and events. Everything integrates into the calendar. A great app and a great app experience.

Posted via CB10