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Thursday, 2 October 2014

App Time (an occasional series)

The last tide application I talked about, "UK Tides" has for the past couple of months not been functioning properly, due to the UKHO changing the address for its data source.

So, I've been forced to trawl the pool of applications on Google Play.

I've settled on "Absolute Tides", which appears to be a really good app. Not as well laid out and clear as UK Tides, but with the extra features very useful.

The first downside with Absolute Tides is it isn't really a free app. The app is free to download, but there is a data bundle you have to download yearly which currently costs £2.

Its a pain the free app doesn't do anything without the data bundle and its not easy to find either because its not made explicit in the blurb for the main app that you really need the data bundle and there is no link pointing to it.

However its understandable that they charge, because the UKHO themselves charge for the data. To be fair though, the tide data is pretty accurate.

Anyway, lets have a look at the initial app screen:

 As you can see it gives you a week's worth of tide data. This is great, although a downside of the app is it only gives you the tides for this month. At the end of the month there doesn't appear to be a way of showing what's happening next month even though that may be a few days away.

Another criticism of the app is this screen is not that clear. It could look better with some thought.

Tap on a day and you can get a graphical display of the day's tides:

All very useful and pretty run-of-the-mill. However Absolute tides goes a bit further if you tap the "Tidal Streams" button on the bottom right.

You get this screen:

Yes you get a representation of the current tidal stream, like you get on the back of charts.

You can scroll forward so you can see what the tide will be doing in a couple of hours, etc.

It has its downsides or rough edges, but essentially its a very useful application that is worth £2 a year to get accurate tidal data.

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