Perhaps the most innovative thing about the use of apps in the modern world is their ability to track personal data. People around the world are now more in tune with their health, checking their diets, their blood pressure, their exercise routines. People even go so far as to monitor their own sleep patterns.
You can pretty much track anything these days, and sometimes it’s overkill verging on OCD. But there are certain situations where the utility of data-tracking apps really delivers and the S.C.U.B.A. logbook “Diving Dude” is a prime example.
First and foremost, the app allows you to keep robust and detailed records of all your dives, including the exact GPS location. You can record the weather conditions, time of day, sea conditions and temperature, visibility, the type of equipment used and how you used it. You can also rate the dive and add commentary.
As you might expect, the app can also be synched with Facebook and Twitter so you can share your dive experiences with colleagues and friends. In addition, the app itself has a social networking function that allows you to maintain a group of “buddies” who are fellow Diving Dude users.
Some of the criticisms suggest an over-emphasis on the social aspect. Another weakness is that you can search for good local dive spots, but the number of pre-programmed locations that come with the app is seriously limited.
Having said that, you can easily rectify this by also downloading the free “World’s Best Dives” app, which is far more comprehensive.
You can search for dive shops using Dive Dude, but again the list is not comprehensive as it only includes the shops which have paid to sign up. However, for the ones that do, it’s a valuable tool. You can call or email the shop via the app, and shops can also post information and dive schedules in their listings.
Despite some of the drawbacks, it’s currently the best we are aware of to date. The app is simple and easy to use, with navigation via six icons representing the following:
-Dive Deck: News and updates from Scuba Diver Life’s blog, along with updates from your favorite scuba shops and your buddies’ dive trips.
-Logbook: All of your stored information about your dives.
-Scuba Look Up: A search engine for finding dive trips and courses.
-Shops & Clubs: Detailed information on dive shops.
-Dive Spots: Find dive spots near your location.
-Buddies: A list of your contacts who are also Diving Dude users.
Logically, the app could be far more useful with a Yelp!-style review tool, giving you a quick overview of numerous dive spots. Consider the possibilities if data and dive reviews from multiple users were pooled together. It would be an invaluable resource for divers across the globe.
Alas, it hasn’t reached this level of sophistication yet, but neither have any of the competitors. For now, it’s still the best option available, and we’re not the only ones to consider Diving Dude so highly. Scubadiving.com called it “a great way for divers around the world to communicate and share their favorite dive sites and logs.” And Diver Magazine said it is “more than a dive log, more than a contacts book, Diving Dude is a one-stop diving community.”
Currently Diving Dude is only available on iTunes – and therefore only functions on iPhone, iPod Touch, and iPad.
The app is free to download and we would recommend also downloading the “World’s Best Dives”, for its more comprehensive log of top dive spots around the world.