I’ve said this before, and I’ will probably say it again: I like gadgets. A lot. And one of my favorite gadgets is my iPhone. It’s a fantastic platform for gaming, photography, video, music, and—believe it or not—making phone calls. The bizillion apps available for the iPhone make it a dynamic, useful 9necessary?) gadget. And along with Angry Birds, Words, and NBA Jam, there are also several very good outdoor centric apps. Below are a few of my favorites.
MotionX GPS $0.99
This is one of the most robust GPS apps available. I used it quite often while ski touring. It features:
– 5 Map styles: Road, Satellite, Hybrid, Terrain, Marine.
– Records up to 101 tracks, which can used later for navigation.
– Records time, distance, speed, average speed, elevation, ascent/descent data in real time.
– Ability to take and geotag photos.
– Has iPod integration.
– Voice cues. “You are traveling 5 miler per hour. You have traveled 5 miles in 1 hour.”
– Stores up to 400 waypoints.
– Is integrated with Facebook, Twitter, and Wikipedia.
Mammut Safety Free
This is another must have for any backcountry skier. It’s free, and quite useful. It includes:
– General Avalanche Facts.
– Risk assessment questions.
– Geo tagged SOS.
– Camera enabled clinometer.
Blue Dot Free
Blue Dot is an ongoing creation from Dave Harris. It’s a nifty way to track any SPOT-equipped riders during events like the AZT 300, The Tour Divide, and so forth. The app is still being developed, but it’s already proved to be a very addicting addition to the already time-consuming pastime of watching multi-day racing.
Star Walk $2.99
Star Walk uses augmented reality to project constellations onto your screen, based on your location. My kids love this app. It’s a great way to identify constellations, stars, and planets. And with no internet connection needed, it proves useful in the mountains. Features:
– Time Machine (see position of stars on dates in the past)
– Astronomy picture of the day.
– Event calendar (eclipses, etc)
– Star spotter
Steep and Cheap Free
This is little more than a mobile version of SteepAndCheap.com. But it’s a great way to check for anything useful on the site while you are away from the computer.
Weather HD $0.99
Weather HD is a image driven weather app. It’s more eye-candy than anything, but I like it.
This app is will keep you informed on the ski reports for resorts anywhere in the world. Features snow totals, weather data, new snow alerts, and REI store locations. Also features twitter feeds from resorts. If you are a ski junkie, this is a great app for getting your fix.
Offline Topo Maps Free
This has become one of my favorite apps. I’m a map junkie. I love staring at maps. Offline Topo allows MyTopo maps, which are very detailed, to be downloaded to your device for offline viewing. For a map lover like myself, this is a spectacular time-waster. And it looks great on the iPad.
Pano assists in creating panoramic photos with your iPhone. It’s perfect for those summit shots.
– Will use up to 16 photos
– Uses transparency to help you line up each photo
– High-res photos.
– Creates the pano quickly and automatically.
Hipstamatic is my favorite photo app. It’s just fun to use. And while the mobile vintage photo trend might be overcooked, I find it hard to care. Plus, aren’t we all closet urban hipsters anyway?