Digital Logbooks

It’s an established fact that I prefer hardcopy logbooks to digital ones, but I’m also not foolish enough to stand against the march of technology. While I still believe and encourage divers to maintain a physical logbook as their primary one, there’s nothing wrong with having a digital logbook as back up. If nothing else, digitally logged dives are still logged. This post is the first part of a three part examination of some of the digital logbooks available for Android devices. Over the next few posts, I’ll be using, fiddling with, and finally rating apps; then finally deciding on Cold Water Diver’s preferred dive logbook app!

DL Archerzz LogoDiver’s Log, a Free app by Archerzz

  • Appearance: minimalistic, a simple black screen with light coloured writing
  • Ease of Data Entry: easy
  • Amount of Data Detail: standard, it asks the same info a standard PADI logbook contains, including pressure groups.
  • Units: metric or imperial
  • Back Up: none, the app saves all the information entered
  • Editable Entries: yes

DL Archerzz screenshotThis app is okay, but a touch lacklustre. One point that I feel is important to bring up is that it does not convert entries from metric to imperial or vice versa, so if you change units at some point, the app assumes all your previous entries are in the new unit. It’s not a big issue, but it can badly skew your average depth rating! It also has no NitrOx or mixed gas data entry, unless you have it in the comments. I found it hard to look at for long periods of time as well (like if you were to enter all your dives), owing to the contrast in the colour scheme. If you’re on a budget, and what diver isn’t, this app would be suitable for backing up your logbook; but without a back up feature it probably shouldn’t be your primary logbook.

FINAL SCORE: 3/5, easy to use, no back up, eye strain

DL Opeplace LogoDive Logbook, a $1 USD app by Oneplace

  • Appearance: minimalistic, a white background
  • Ease of Data Entry: very easy, all features are accessible from the main screen
  • Amount of Data Detail: low
  • Units: metric
  • Back Up: yes
  • Editable Entries: yes

DL Oneplace SShThis app is a solid entry to the field for a busy diver. This app dispenses with pressure groups, but has visibility and dive star ratings, a NitrOx entry, and it is easy on the eyes. It is also unrepentantly metric, something I have no issues with. The dives are also easily edited, and can be exported, imported, and saved as .xml files. If you’re a metric diver like me, you’ll probably love this app and have little issue with its low cost. If you’re an imperial/customary units diver, the lack of listed units for depth will be okay, but the bar and kilo measurements for breathing mixture and weights may be an issue.

FINAL SCORE: 4/5 easy to use, easy to back up, no imperial units

About the author

Graeme Barber 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. In addition to being the head of Cold Water Diver, he's a full time student working on a degree in Archaeology.