DIVE-LOGGING IS A BIT OF A divisive subject in the diving community. While some diligently fill in a logbook at every surface interval, others take pride in having “so many dives” that they don’t bother logging them anymore.
I would argue, however, that, in some form or another, we all log our dives, whether it be as an amusing anecdote to tell in the pub, a memorable marine-life encounter, a cherished photo, or an artistic depiction of the dive-site.
Increased access to technology means that pretty much everyone today has either a smart phone or tablet, and with a wealth of apps available, dive-logging should be easier than ever. Here at DIVER we decided it was high time to test out the best dive-logging apps out there.
SCORING THE APPS
How well does the app function as a logbook? Which features are included, and how much information can you record?
Is the app easy to use, or am I left bashing the screen in frustration?
How does the app look and feel to use? Is it a slick piece of technology with mouth-watering visuals?
How does the price match up with the offering?
Each app review also has a note stating whether it offers the following functionality:
Perhaps the biggest selling-point of a digital logbook is the ability to upload all the information directly from your dive-computer. With the latest generation of computers, equipped with Low Energy Bluetooth functionality, this can often be done via Bluetooth. For less advanced computers, it can usually be achieved via specialised USB dongles.
The thought of losing all your preciously recorded dives is terrifying and, for many, a paper logbook just feels more secure than a digital file. How does the app address this issue? Does it provide the option of backing up your logbook and the option of moving them to other formats if necessary?
A few notes:
This review covers apps for use with phones and tablets but not desktop-only. The idea is to uncover apps that can easily be used on a dive-boat, and phones and tablets are a more likely option in this situation.
I used iOS devices to test the apps. Where possible I looked at those that can be used across several platforms but, as a starting point, each app reviewed is available at least in the Apple app store.
The idea was to cover apps relevant to the widest possible community of divers and, as such, to ignore those designed solely for a particular brand or model of dive-computer.