If you haven't heard by now, there's something big coming to Vancouver in just over two weeks. Some kind of…winter….sport…..competition….thing. Vancouver 2010. I can't believe that we found out about Vancouver –Whistler hosting the Winter Games, almost seven years ago. It's amazing to think that the world will be looking in this direction and watching what I call home (hey you! Stop picking your nose!). With the temporary surge in the population, there will most definitely be a surge of BlackBerry users as well. With this in mind, I looked for applications, sites and themes to bring you what you need to experience the games. Just a fellow BlackBerry user looking out for another BlackBerry user. Time to bring home the Bold, I mean, Gold.
Welcome to Vancouver
Our first stop takes us to the realm of the blatantly obvious. There is a Vancouver 2010 mobile site available, which is designed to give you pertinent information when you need it. The site has quick links to the latest news, schedules, results, history and facts for spectators. Check out the site at vancouver2010.com/mobile.
You can also follow Vancouver 2010 on Twitter:
@2010Tweets - VANOC communications team.
@followtheflame – follow the Olympic torch relay. Hot stuff!
@code2010 - The Cultural Olympian's digital edition.
I am hoping to see an official mobile application pop up soon.
Fun? Sorry, there's no room for fun in the schedule.
This first thing you should do before attending is make sure you are organized. An application like TripCase will keep you on the ball. TripCase makes sure you are informed about any flight updates, including; arrival status, claim location and wait times. You can also easily view your itinerary, rentals, hotel information and other details. Just make sure you don't forget to go to the Games. TripCase is free.
Dude, where's my car?
We all know you have the same odds of parking near one of the venues as I have winning a gold medal. Parking anywhere during the Olympics is going to be absolutely insane, as is the number of people wandering aimlessly trying to find their car. The smart ones will be sporting VQ CarFinder on their BlackBerrys. All you have to do is park your car, lock it (for safety) and set your position with the application. When you're ready to leave, simply choose to find your car. VQ CarFinder is available for $4.99.
His left turn signal has been blinking for 10 minutes!
Ah the commute; is there no better way to meet people from around the world than by yelling at them to get out of your way? Of course I'm kidding, but if you do want to get around a little easier, turn to Beat the Traffic. This application will keep you in the loop by giving you live traffic maps, as well as displaying speeds and incidents on the major routes. There are going to be quite a few road closures, so this is definitely one application you should keep on hand. Beat the Traffic is available in two versions; the free version and the premium version ($9.99). The premium gives you a very specific list of all incidents in your area. So while on the roads, don't slug it out, hug it out.
If you've come this far to celebrate and support your Country's team, then show your pride! I want to see painted faces, flags waving and anthems sung loudly and proudly. While you're at it, you should change your BlackBerrys background image as well. I was able to find a simple application that will help me express the Canucklehead in me. Proud Canadian will stand on guard for thee, as the Canadian Maple Leaf Flashes in red and white on your BlackBerrys screen. Your BlackBerrys LED will also blink along, while the national anthem will play. There is another application by the same developer called Proud American. If anyone has found something similar for their country, let us know! Though pricey at $2.99, it's fun to show off your pride.
They have McDonald's in Canada too? How cute.
Sometimes, your choices of where to eat or shop, in another Country, could be a little overwhelming. You don't necessarily want to stick to one place, but you may be afraid of what you might get yourself into. I say get crazy, go out and discover. Try out Yelp when you are trying to decide where to go. With Yelp, you can easily discover restaurants, businesses and more. The application can also browse for reviews, see what's open, map the location and even call them. The miser in you can also search based on price. There's more to Canadian cuisine than poutine, Tim Hortons and BeaverTail. Yelp is available for free.
Yes I am aware that there are over 500 Tim Hortons in the United States, but that's nothing to the 2900+ we have in Canada.
See Vancouver, be Vancouver
I was surprised that I found this. Try to immerse yourself in your surroundings, especially when in another Country. Enjoy Vancouver while you're here and take a piece of it with you with the Embrace Vancouver theme. This rotating background theme will, every ten minutes, switch between 10 different images that capture different views of Vancouver. This Embrace Vancouver theme will cost $5.99.
Didn't make the cut? You can still compete!
Whether you are watching the games live, or from your couch, you always get caught up in the action. You may even imagine yourself competing for a medal, while sitting on the toilet. Over at Bplay, I stumbled upon the Official Vancouver 2010 mobile game. The game allows you to compete in 5 different events, which include; freestyle moguls, cross-country skiing and speed skating. Make your country proud and train your thumbs in order to bring home the gold. I'm surprised that I couldn't find this at the Vancouver 2010 official site. You can pick up Vancouver 2010 – Official Mobile Game for $6.99.
So there you have it folks. The only thing left for you to do is come on down. I wish the best of luck to all of the athletes, but I am rooting for Canada. Hopefully you can find these apps useful. As always, please leave a comment about an application that you think would be beneficial. If you are heading to Vancouver, don't forget to say hi! With that said, I leave you with this: