APPS. IT’S ALL ABOUT APPS. Every dive-computer maker has a dive-logging app, and has had for years. Some of them are good, some not so much. Some do stuff other than just allowing you to log your dives, such as planning or unlocking extra functions on your new computer, or updating it to keep it future-proof.
But I had never been told to look at the app and then look at the computer until I was handed an Aqua Lung i770R. Download the app to your phone, I was told, and you’ll be amazed at how easy it is to set up your new computer and make adjustments.
So I did. The app, DiverLog+, is available for Android and Apple, and it downloaded and installed on my not-top-of-the-range Samsung phone in a couple of minutes.
That gave me time to unzip the neat black carry case, liberating the i770R, and trying to set it up the old-fashioned way.
The app for computer settings, showing the alarms page.
The unit has three buttons, one top right and one each bottom left and right. They’re big and easy to push when you want to, but tucked out of the way and not easily pressed by accident, so you won’t find yourself looking at your computer and seeing some rarely used sub-menu, with no idea of how to get back to the dive information you need.
You use a series of short and long presses of the buttons to scroll through menus, enter sub-menus, select and adjust settings and confirm your changes.
Basically, the top-right button does select and save, and the two bottom buttons scroll through menus and available settings.
Without so much as a glance at the instruction book I had the unit set to my basic preferences as quickly as the app installed.
That gave me a couple of minutes to enjoy the screen. It isn’t huge. The whole unit is neat and relatively small, but the screen is bright and colourful and really easy to read. Some day all computer screens will be this good. A screen-protector film comes ready-fitted as standard.
As we’re discussing the unit overall, it feels nice and solid in the hand, satisfyingly weighty without actually being very heavy, and big enough to be useful without actually being that big.
It comes fitted with a heavy-duty webbing strap with a black metal buckle, but in the box, as a nod to long-term usefulness, there’s a kit to convert the i770R to use bungee cord.
There is also an instruction manual on a CD and some other printed stuff, but they’re largely optional if you’ve ever used a dive-computer before. To be on the safe side you can download a PDF version of the manual to the same device as the app if you like. I did, and have yet to look at it.
Back to the app, which had finished installing and told me how to pair the app with the dive-computer, a process requiring me to turn on Bluetooth on the i770R and then press a button marked Start on the screen of the phone.
Seconds later, I was whizzing through set-up menus and altering gas mixes and setting PO2 limits and alarms like some sort of tec-Jedi.
Piece of cake, if you’ll forgive me mixing Star Wars references with WW2 RAF-slang.