London 2012 – Can you report using just a smartphone?

Just a few days ago I set myself a challenge. Using only a smartphone, would it be possible to run a website, updating posts, answering emails and responding to tweets? Is it then possible to go mobile, reporting on the biggest event happening right now in London? Snapping photos? Capturing video, editing it on the fly? Writing stories?

Well, yes it is. Sure, at times I kinda had a craving for a laptop and a “normal” keyboard, but Swype on the Samsung Galaxy Note performed brilliantly.

So, for the geeks amongst you, here’s what I used. Firstly, the main core of this site is powered by WordPress. There’s a rather excellent WordPress Android app which lets me create, edit and delete posts easily, plus I can insert images quickly and without fuss. Some of the articles were written as I waited for the Tube. To be honest, I wasn’t waiting for long either – the London Underground seemed to be coping very well with the extra visitors. The free WiFi down there was a brilliant addition which left you wondering why it hadn’t ever been installed years ago.

On the train journey to Manchester and back, I watched the live video from London using the BBC Olympic app. Connectivity on a moving train is never ideal but it worked for a decent amount of time using a mixture of WiFi on the Virgin train plus the Orange data connection which was boosted through the on-train signal booster. I didn’t have a stand with me, so I used a makeshift one with my wallet 🙂

On Friday I walked around the Olympic Park. The atmosphere was electric. Sure, you can perhaps get caught up in the emotion of it all, but I definitely got a sense of change, of hope. Even from those who didn’t have tickets to get in..

Pictures were snapped on the Galaxy Note and uploaded using Flickr (perhaps the only Yahoo! product I use) using the Flickr Android app. They then appeared directly on the main page, and I used Connectbot – Android SSH app for accessing Linux servers – to adjust the main page to include the Flickr code.

I also uploaded shots using the official Twitter app for Android. Oh, and just to get around the Tube a little easier I used TubeMap.

During my walk around the Olympic Park I was utterly amazed, Everyone was happy and willing to talk. They posed for photos and I learned about Pin Trading and how the future generation are being encouraged to take up sport. The sun was out and people were draped in flags. Some had their faces painted, others had strange hats, but everyone was smiling.

The next day, heading up to Manchester, I was lucky enough to watch Japan and Egypt play at Old Trafford. It was almost like a party atmosphere, with people waving huge flags, singing songs and camera crews filming some pretty crazy characters. The security was strict and it was hot too, but despite the queues and delays everybody around was in such a fantastic, positive mood.

Inside the atmosphere was tremendous. Old Trafford was packed and I saw dads, moms and kids waving and cheering for every goal, no matter who scored. Everyone was just happy to be .. happy.

So, below I’ve included some of my most favourite shots from my time at the London 2012 Olympics. I know we’re in a recession, I know we’re all skint, I know it’s been raining for months. But, for 5 minutes, while the sun is out, enjoy this moment.