Apps for Sailors Reviewed: AyeTides
Having accurate tide and current information is invaluable when planning your trip through shallow waters or anticipating tidal changes when setting your anchor. Many of the popular navigation apps include tides and currents. Alternately, there are dozens of stand-alone tides apps available. AyeTides is a popular option for displaying tides and currents information.
There are a few key considerations when selecting a tides app. Probably the most important is that the app should not require Internet access when displaying tide and current information. The app should be easy to use, allow you to select or search for nearby stations, display the day’s tide range (both in table and graph formats), page through multiple days, and show sun and moon (astronomical) information. If you are in the U.S. and sailing in a large bay, estuary or channels with strong currents, current flow is important to you, too.
AyeTides is available in two versions: AyeTides on the iPhone and iPod Touch, and AyeTides XL on the iPad. Both versions work pretty much the same, though AyeTides XL has a larger screen format and shows the tide table, graph, a tide calendar and map display on a single screen. In practice, AyeTides works fine on the smaller screen.
AyeTides supports worldwide tides and U.S. currents station data. Tides and current stations are displayed separately because tides measure the depth of water at a location, while currents measure speed and direction of the water.
To show tides or currents for your area, select from more than 10,000 tidal stations worldwide that you can search alphabetically, geographically, nearby using your current location or entering longitude/latitude, or from a list of recently opened stations. Once a station is selected, it can be added to favorites for easy selection. Viewing tides shows the height of the tide, whether the tide is rising or falling, and a list of times of each tide change. You can also view different dates by scrolling left/right, selecting ‘+’ or ‘-,’ or selecting a date from a calendar. On the iPhone/iPod Touch, rotating your phone shows the tide graph. Currents stations work similarly and show the phase of the current, speed, slack, ebb and flood times.
AyeTides does not require internet access to view tide stations; however, other features such as showing the station on the map and sending an email or SMS message require internet connection.
AyeTides is very easy to use and is as simple as selecting a nearby tide or current stations and viewing the results. There are free or lower priced alternative tides apps; however, many are limited to the United States only, require Internet access and don’t show currents. If linked from iNavX and SEAiq navigation apps, then AyeTides is a great addition. I give AyeTides good grades for its ease of use, worldwide coverage, and tides and currents capabilities.
Name: AyeTides, AyeTides XL (ayetides.com)
Available on: AyeTides—iPhone/iPod touch; AyeTides XL—iPad
Score: Five stars out of five stars