One of the greatest things about application development is how much simpler it is to access information you need on-the-fly. There are even products on the market that make it feasible to bring your smartphone on a shallow dive with you, although insufficient information is available on how many people are actually braving that. But since the majority of smartphone owners are likely to have their device with them at all times — even on the dive boat — creating apps that will be beneficial to divers is a no-brainer. Here are a couple of our favorite apps that can help you enjoy your dives just that much more.
Released by the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute, the Fishes: East Pacific app identifies over 1,300 species found in the eastern tropical Pacific, spanning from Baja California to the Galapagos Islands. It is an adaptation of their website Shorefishes of the tropical eastern Pacific, and is touted as being functionally equivalent to the online version. In addition to detailed information accompanied by colorful illustrations and photographs, the app has a notebook feature that allows you to compile your own lists that can be recorded into the app’s database, and denotes the IUCN red list status of each species on its profile page. The Smithsonian intends to release two more apps similar to Fishes: East Pacific, which will cover fish species in the Greater Caribbean and Brazil. For just a freebie, this app is a great resource for knowledge-thirsty divers. Available in English and Spanish interfaces.
This app from Network Software Services is one of the cooler apps available to divers, for the social function it provides. Although the team behind this app have done extensive research to bring you a comprehensive guide for over 4,200 dive sites worldwide, it is set up so that divers can share their own pictures, comments, and dive sites, thereby perpetually growing the database. Information given for dive sites includes weather, water temperatures, humidity and wind conditions, as well as multi-day tide tables for most areas. To submit a new site or more information on an existing site, you just touch the plus (+) icon on the top right hand of the first page. Frequent updates to the app ensure that the most up-to-date information will be right in your hands when you need it. This is definitely a cool and inexpensive way to bring divers around the world together, and open up our underwater world.
Image via Gabriele B.