Posts Tagged ‘mobile apps’

Review: Dive Centre HQ, Part I

Sunday, September 6th, 2015

For most divers around the world, scuba diving is purely a recreational activity, something you do for fun. But for a great many people, scuba diving is also a business, an industry, a way of making a living. And just like any business, they need to manage their business’ finances and logistics.

Up until now, there hasn’t been many IT solutions that seeks to cater specifically to the dive industry’s needs, and most dive shops run a host of systems to meet their needs. And, generally speaking, IT systems isn’t a top priority for many dive shops. On one hand, most people in the dive industry are there because they have a love of diving. That means that going diving, teaching others to dive, and sharing their passion for diving is what they do, and what they want to do. Managing and selecting IT systems isn’t. On the other hand, the dive industry is generally very cost sensitive, as it is a highly competitive industry, with very price conscious customers. So large-scale investments in business tools, or the hiring of business managers to handle that side of the shop is not always an option.

So the ideal business management solution for the dive industry would be fairly low cost, and easy to implement, use, and maintain.

This is where Dive Centre HQ, or DCHQ for short, comes in. A UK-based business started by former dive professionals and business people, DCHQ is a cross-platform solution that seeks to be just what the dive industry needs: a timely, tailored, and above all, hassle-free business management tool.

Built by an experienced team, who have worked on multiple government contracts prior to making DCHQ, and headed up by André Tanguy, who himself is an experienced dive professional, having worked all over the world in the dive industry, it aims to fix what ails many a dive shop manager. It was while mr. Tanguy and his family ran a dive shop on the Spanish island of Mallorca that the idea for DCHQ was born out of looking for (and failing to find) a good digital program to handle the management of the shop. The basic idea behind the system is to enable a dive shop to conduct their business in a way that works for them. From selling dive trips and gear, to receiving bookings, and managing stock, everything is meant to happen in the same system, but across any platform they choose.

Creating a new event

A typical user scenario for a dive shop could be creating a dive event, such as a day trip to a local dive site, or even a multi-day trip to a far-off destination in another country, handling all signups for that event, allocate rental gear and check the condition of it, and handle payments, both those made in advance and any that need to be handled on site during the dive, such as for walkins or for divers purchasing extra services, such as additional dives or a diver who suddenly need to rent a BCD due a fault in their own.

In the second installment of this series, we’ll dive deeper into the system and explore the features of it.

The post Review: Dive Centre HQ, Part I appeared first on Scuba Diver Life.

Review: Diviac Digital Dive Log, Part III

Sunday, July 12th, 2015

Divers can also access Diviac via tablets, both iOS and Android versions. The features and design of the tablet app are nearly identical to the mobile version, allowing you to transition from one to the other seamlessly, but it’s also perhaps the suite’s biggest disappointment.

The larger screen on a tablet could have allowed for a richer experience, and could have made logging weather info possible. Integrating the fish-card view mode of the browser version’s marine life database could have given the app the feel of a fish ID book; instead, the only real difference is that the tablet app keeps the sidebar menu constantly visible on all menu items except the home screen.

Again, the functionalities of the smartphone apps are all there, and they serve the app well, but nonetheless the tablet apps feel a bit like a wasted opportunity.

Overall impressions and conclusion

Diviac seeks to combine a host of different dive administration tools, with a log as the primary element, as well as a marine life database, a dive-specific social network, and even a travel segment (which isn’t reviewed here, but is essentially a combined dive travel database and search engine). And it manages to do this quite well. Interfaces across all platforms are consistent and easy to navigate.

The real plus here is the easy integration from platform to platform. Being able to log dives on the go is extremely useful for me, but being able to add backlogged dives on my computer is equally useful. And the dive-computer integration adds increased functionality, not only to Diviac, but also to my dive computer. I had never really transferred log data from my dive computer before I started using Diviac.

Pros:

  • Strong online platform, allowing you to store your dive data in the cloud
  • Smartphone and tablet apps for both iOS and Android
  • Large marine life database, with offline capability
  • Simple, functional interface
  • Integration for photos in each dive-log entry
  • Good, granular privacy settings
  • Verification of dives by buddy or guide
  • Dive-computer integration (premium only)
  • User-generated templates for quicker logging (premium only)

 

Cons

  • Custom numbering of dives not possible, and workaround a little cumbersome
  • Not all dive logging info available on mobile and tablet apps

 

Conclusion

Diviac is a clear sign that we’ve entered a new phase of digital dive logs. Whereas the first ones were little more than glorified spreadsheets, with logging done only locally and minimal (if any) options for backup, new digital dive logs are cross-platform and cloud-based. This brings all the functionality of the best smartphone apps to your dive log. And while Diviac isn’t the only one on the market, the suite’s seamless integration between platforms, many supportive functions and general ease of use makes it a strong contender. The ability to share dives between buddies and the use of templates is something that may be considered little niceties, but ones that many an experienced diver will greatly appreciate. In my book, that gives it a solid 4.5 out of 5.

The post Review: Diviac Digital Dive Log, Part III appeared first on Scuba Diver Life.

NEW PADI MOBILE APP

Wednesday, October 22nd, 2014

Introducing the all-new PADI App

The New Padi Mobile App with improved PADI App is now available for iOS and Android users, and lets divers locate PADI Dive Centers and Resorts, dive sites, log dives, keep up on scuba news, read about top dive destinations, access PADI eCards™ and much more:

  • Locate dive shops and dive sites with local weather condition
  • Use dive tools such as checklists, reminders, knots and hand signals
  • Read about top dive destinations
  • View social and news feeds
  • Access your PADI eCards
  • Get information on PADI courses
  • Log dives within ScubaEarth®
  • Access the PADI Pros’ Site
  • Access PADI Gear collections

Live the dive lifestyle and explore the underwater world, 24/7. Be sure to either download or update the revamped PADI App on your mobile device.

Download the latest version of the PADI App

The latest version of the PADI App is available for Apple and Android users:


The previous version of the PADI App is still available for Blackberry and Symbian users:

Many new features will be developed and added to the PADI App, so stay tuned!