When it comes time to head out to sea, one of the perks of smartphones and tablets is that you can install a ton of useful apps on a tiny device.
In addition, they allow you to effectively use your own navigation system on board. Even if the chartplotter or selected cartography can be difficult to use. But calling it a good navigation aid would be an underestimate of your phone or tablet.
Stops and marinas
If you are a seasoned cruiser, you are probably familiar with ActiveCaptain from Garmin. It provides information on nearly 18,000 berths, just under 13,000 anchorages and over 146,000 reviews of various maritime businesses around the world.
The free app is compatible with Android and iOS platforms. ActiveCaptain provides access to information about points of interest to the user. For example, fuel prices at docks or marina reviews.
ActiveCaptain also includes community access. There you will find user-written reviews and business reviews. Community information can be displayed as a layer on top of Navionics cartography. This will provide additional navigational information for decision making when sailing in unfamiliar waters.
Reserving a berth or dock for the night can sometimes be tricky. Right here Snag-a-Slip can be a great virtual companion. The app is designed to help you find parking in North America and the Caribbean.
Users enter data (dimensions of the boat and estimated date of anchorage), and the app helps to filter options. Payment is made by credit card without commission. The app can also directly connect yachtsmen with private yacht owners. Snag-a-Slip works on Android and iOS platforms.
Catch a big fish ...
Fishbrain is a free app that allows anglers to record their catches and share their whereabouts. The app also has a Species Recognition tool that helps anglers identify their catch. Works on Android and iOS platforms.
Fishbrain contains information about where the fish bite and what kind of bait is needed. As stated Fishbrain has over 10 million users. There is also a built-in social network for communication with other anglers.
The paid version of the app called Fishbrain pro, includes access to all common fishing spots, private chats.
Communication, communication, communication!
Whatsapp not boat specific software. But it allows users to communicate using the smartphone's internet connection rather than cell towers.
Whatsapp uses end-to-end encryption to ensure that only those you call or write to can hear or read what you have sent. This is especially useful when using unsecured access points at the marina.
The app works on Android and iOS. Users can send photos, videos and voice memos, as well as documents with just a few taps of the screen. The app also supports group messaging. This makes it easy and safe to keep in touch with family and friends.
An equally cool option would be Telegram... It offers an absolutely identical set of functions, but it is even more user-friendly. Telegram offers intuitive controls, delete messages without a trace, group chat with group calling and much more!
I fly high, I look far away
One of the most enjoyable aspects of a charter in the new waters is the opportunity to experience the flora and fauna. Birds stand out separately, of course.
The problem, of course, is identifying species that you don't know. Comes to the rescue iBird Pro Is a paid app that includes a deep database of all birds in North America, Great Britain, Ireland and Palau.
The app provides detailed illustrations of each species in its database. Its search engine allows bird watchers to match characteristics such as their GPS location. Even the type of bird song! In addition, the app contains over 4,000 bird songs. The Birds Around Me feature lists common birds using your device's location information.
For the stars and beyond
Apart from the contemplation of fire, then few things are as exciting as stargazing. Star walk 2 provides a virtual map of the night sky in real time. Users can simply point their phone at the sky and the app uses gyroscope and GPS data to match stars, planets, comets and constellations to a real-time map. Works on Android and Apple mobile devices.
The paid features of the Visible Tonight and What's New app allow lovers to gaze at the stars. This will allow you to know about upcoming events in time and enjoy them with your friends and family. Users can also use the watch face icon to see the sky at different dates and times. You can also learn more about celestial objects and events such as meteor showers. In addition, using the app, you can learn more about the planets or even trace the International Space Station.
Wonders of the deep sea
Whales top the list of the most memorable megafauna species. Although they are not always easy to identify by a cursory glance at the fin or tail. WhaleGuide can help with this! The application offers detailed descriptions and about 850 photographs of 68 species of whales and dolphins.
By purchasing the app, you can get 560 more images and 80+ video clips. The paid app, available for Android and Apple platforms, offers descriptions of the behavior of each species, regional habitats, and fun facts and figures.
Search function WhaleGuide helps users identify whales using their device's GPS coordinates and a few details that are observed. Also WhaleGuide can be used as a tutorial on what to expect when meeting a whale.
C-Map: Boating designed to provide users with real-time information about what is happening at the moment around them. The app has a nice appearance and automatically adjusts the color palette and contrast. This will ensure the readability of the map data that comes from official hydrological services and is constantly updated.
The app is free. But users cruising out of cellular coverage will want to upgrade to the premium version of the app. It has the ability to download and store maps on your mobile device.
The app's Autorouting feature makes it easy to plot a course to a port. The Tracks function shows the route already traveled.
AIS targets (within a radius of 54 nautical miles) can be overlaid on the map. Access to attractions and weather information can be accessed from the app. Users can personalize their maps with images, notes, and selected units of measure. Help a friend - share and share your favorite (or recently opened) anchorages with them. The app is available for Android and iOS platforms.
Navigation station in your pocket
Application Navionics boating provides mariners with access to a variety of vector Navionics and NOAA charts. Available for Android and Apple devices.
Creating routes is a simple tap on the screen and selecting waypoints. Inside the app, you can easily explore the features of the map or add points of interest.
Users can pair a mobile device with a Wi-Fi-enabled AIS receiver (or a chartplotter connected to the AIS receiver) to overlay AIS targets on charts. Community info ActiveCaptain (see above) is also available through the app.
The Community Edits feature gives users access to POIs. Additional features include access to weather and tide information. Plotter Sync enables wireless transfer of map layers, routes and waypoints between mobile devices and B&G or Raymarine chartplotters. Connections helps you keep track of your nearby friends.
Two more handy apps
Money can be a headache when currency exchange and money transfers are required. Xe Currency & Money Transfers will help solve both of these problems! The application allows travelers to check the current exchange rates of more than 130 currencies and track money transfers.
Users can easily add recipients and set up the app to notify about currency rate changes.
WiFi Finder may simply be irreplaceable. The application allows you to search for hotspots Wi-Fi (both local and global). Its offline functionality allows you to download this information as a map for later use. Works on both Android and iOS.
Users can filter hotspots by location such as hotels, cafes, etc., and the app also works offline, further reducing dependence on cellular overseas.
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