January 9, 2013
In the middle of winter there can be few more spine-chilling thoughts than the idea of slipping into the ocean for a dip. But at least one group of people are attracted to the idea of year-round: scuba divers.
While high technology and water don’t mix well as a rule, the smartphone and tablet revolution has expanded to diving. Divers now have many apps to help them plan, execute and even train for their dives.
For beginners who need to pass certification tests before they can dive freely, the Scuba Exam app (a restricted-feature version is free on iOS and on Android) is an ideal helper. Novice divers will enjoy its short history of diving, back to early diving-bell experiments by Guglielmo de Lorena in 1531. It also has a dictionary of diving terms and expressions, and you’ll get more terms with the app’s full version on iOS and Android ($4 each). But the app’s main feature is a practice quiz about best diving practices, with plenty of questions to prepare you for your diving qualification test. The app is not pretty to look at, nor is it very sophisticated. But the simplicity of its straightforward design will be useful to help you refresh your knowledge in your spare moments.
For seasoned divers, apps can help you log dives; you can enter data on your smartphone while every detail about the dive is fresh in your memory. The $12 iOS app Dive Log offers one of the most comprehensive diving logs. A quick tap on the “+” button takes users to a prompt to either enter a new dive in an empty template, or use the last dive’s log as a template. The interface for entering dive data is intuitive — twirling dials to set dive depth, for example, or choosing from a prepopulated list of dive types (like “fun” or “wreck”). It can even sync with dive logs on your computer, show you your overall diving statistics and keep track of your diving buddies’ details. The one criticism is that the app is so complex that it’s easy to get a little lost in its menus.
Read more at the NY Times…
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