Diving with the DiveMax Dive Planners

DiveMax® AirThe digital age continues to march on, and scuba divers are continuing to reap the benefits of modern technology! With the advent of the smartphone, the digital resources that were once bound to the confines of a desktop or laptop computer are now available at all times to divers, and a variety of apps have sprung up to help divers do everything from logging dives to planning them. In this first instalment in the new Digital Diver category, we’ll be looking at CodeSpace’s twin diving apps, DiveMax® Air and DiveMax® Nitrox. Cold Water Diver trailed the Air version during the dives to Fintry, and found it quite handy!

According to the DiveMax site, the idea for their apps came DiveMax® NitrOxafter a a diving incident in Thailand where their guide had to be hospitalized after a too fast ascent. Bothered by the incident, the divers checked their dive plans against the tables and discovered they had been diving at the margins of safety. Shortly thereafter in 2011, CodeSpace released DiveMax® Air. Both Divemax® Air and Nitrox use the conservative Bühlmann decompression algorithm; one popular in many diving computers, such as the Oceanic series. The apps are identical in usage and design, differing only in that the air one is set to 21% oxygen breathing mixture, and the nitrox version is set to 32% oxygen breathing mixture. The Nitrox version is set permanently to a conservative 1.4 PPO2, and displays your cumulative daily CNS% as well. There is also a capacity to download your dive profile graphic.

Pros:

  • both apps feature an intuitive, easy to use graphics based UI
  • easy to understand: green is good, yellow means caution, red is bad
  • multiple dives are easily planned
  • waiting time until it’s safe to fly is displayed a the end of the dive day
  • accurate bottom time given
  • metric and imperial measurements, 12hr or 24hr time
  • inexpensive and available on both iOS and Android

Cons:

  • “square dives” only, cannot plan multilevel dives
  • maximum depth of 35m (115ft) for Air and 30m (98ft) for Nitrox
  • only 21% and 32% gas mixes are available, and are separate apps
  • could be a single app with a breathing gas selector


Overall, these apps are great tools for recreational divers looking to plan safe dives. The only drawbacks are as noted above, which renders the apps useless for planning dives with other gas mixes, or deep, non-technical dives to 40m. The apps are at versions 1.6 and 1.03 respectively, so they still have lots of development time ahead of them, and hopefully more features. As of the writing date of this post, DiveMax® Air is $2.99 CAD for iOS, and $0.99 CAD for Android. DiveMax® Nitrox is $2.99 CAD for iOS, and $1.99 CAD for Android. Android users can also download a free version of both; but at such reasonable prices, I just spent the three bucks and called it a day.

Cold Water Diver Rating: 4/5 The DiveMax Apps have a great UI, are easy to use, use safe and conservative tables/settings, and have great prices, but the apps are missing a few features that could take them to the top.
4 for 5

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.