Digital Logbooks 2

Time for the second round of Digital Logbooks! If you haven’t looked at it already, check out the first installment. I’ve been trying out a few more, and it’s time for the final reviews and selection of the Cold Water Diver’s preferred app! As per the last set, these have been tested using an Android device, specifically an Acer A200 tablet running ICS.
ScubaLog

ScubaLog, a Free app by capylabs

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This app was an exercise in futility for me. Apparently designed to fuse your logged dives with your social media accounts, it requires that you sign in using either Facebook or Twitter. I tried Twitter, and nothing happened. So I reinstalled it, and reauthorized it to use Twitter. Still nothing. Based on the few reviews in the Google Play store, this has happened to other users. Further investigation revealed that this is a reduced capability free app, and that full functionality requires payment. Over all, a profound disappointment that I’m glad didn’t cost me any money. FINAL SCORE: 0/5, failure to launch, wants access to your social media accounts

Diving Logbook Diver Logbook, a Free (?) app by Studionovesei

    • Appearance: simple
    • Ease of Data Entry: moderate
    • Amount of Data Detail: moderate
    • Units: metric and imperial
    • Back Up: yes
    • Editable Entries: yes

This digital logbook wasn’t too shabby by any standard, but gave some contradictory ideas out. Like that you can purchase it to avoid the adverts and donate button. I visited the site they specify, and it was an Italian only site with a link back to the Google Play store. It’s a decent app, but utterly fails to stand out in anyway. FINAL SCORE: 3/5, UI isn’t as intuitive as it could be, adverts and a giant donate button, no way I could find to actually purchase this app

Dive Log Dive Log, a $1.38 USD app from Rob Knapen

    • Appearance: simple
    • Ease of Data Entry: moderate
    • Amount of Data Detail: heavy
    • Units: metric and imperial
    • Back Up: yes
    • Editable Entries: yes

This app has a lot of potential, but falls down with a UI that could use some good polishing and the need to buy a separate key to get full access. In all seriousness, for the price asked, why not just make it a purchasable app? The certifications and memberships part is nice though. Whether it would be accepted instead of a c-card? That’s up in the air. Over all, not a bad app, but it needs polish for UI and to either go free or go paid. FINAL SCORE: 3.5/5 needs polish, have to purchase a key after you download the program, needs basic conversion abilities

LDCLondon Diving Chamber, a Free app by Boxed Rocket

  • Appearance: simple
    • Ease of Data Entry: easy but long
    • Amount of Data Detail: moderate
    • Units: metric and imperial
    • Back Up: no
    • Editable Entries: yes

This app was a strange one. It seems to be a dive medicine and safety app that someone decided to add a logbook to. They did a good job though! The logbook section is simple to use, but takes a bit longer to enter dives because of how they decided to do the data entry. The medical sections and pre-dive check are fantastic! It also gives you the ability to contact their 24/7 dive medicine service. I can definitely recommend this for divers who deal with high risk dives on a regular basis. FINAL SCORE: 4/5, strange but functional UI, great medical information, needs that data entry system streamlined

MDLMy Diving Log, a sort of free app from Gintaras Fomin

    • Appearance: minimalistic
    • Ease of Data Entry: easy
    • Amount of Data Detail: moderate
    • Units: metric and imperial
    • Back Up: yes
    • Editable Entries: yes

I wish I could give this app a higher rating. The UI was fantastic, it was intuitive and easy to use, offers all the right functions, and it’s easy on the eyes to boot. But then it nails you with in app purchases for extra dive entry slots! It can back up your dives too, but only to their website. The certifications and medical were a nice addition as well. Even still, this app falls short of where it could have been because of its progressive cost as you dive more. FINAL SCORE: 3/5, fantastic everything, backups are on their site, you have to buy more entry spaces (in Euros)

So… that’s seven digital logbooks examined. Some were good, some, not so much. After a lot of careful thought, I can say that My Dive Logs should have been the winner here. It had everything that makes an app easy to use, but hamstrings itself with steady payments to expand it for active divers. That said, it’s only really good competition was in the form of Dive Logbook by Oneplace. This minimalistic app was full of useful and easily accessed features, and at $1 USD, a deal. However, if you absolutely must have imperial units for your digital logbook, I’d recommend London Diving Chamber. Remember, only logged dives count, so log them!

About the author

Graeme is a professional diver, qualified as a PADI and SDI Divemaster, DCBC 40m Unrestricted Commercial Scuba Diver, 30m Restricted Surface Supply diver, and CAUS Scientific Diver Lv.2. Graeme has an Associate Degree of Arts in Environmental Studies, where he focused on archaeology and physical geography, and an Advanced GIS certificate.