Best Tides and Currents Apps for iPhone

Sun behind Sail Boat, San Francisco in background
Henry Lederer / Getty Images

There are several apps for tracking ocean tides and currents available for the iPhone, iPod Touch, and iPad. It’s a great idea and a handy way to keep track of the tides without carrying around printed tide charts for every location. A good app is especially useful when you’re cruising to different areas and need accurate information on local tides and water currents.

The Apple App Store has more than a dozen tide apps at present, including some that provide full navigation capabilities with charts. Most important for choosing a tide app, though, is its specificity for your area, so check out all the available apps and choose the one the works best for you!

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AyeTides

AyeTides is arguably the best standalone tide app for sailors in the U.S. In addition to high and low tides, it shows sun and moon rise and setting times. Near the top, you see the water height at the present moment and the arrow indicating a falling tide. This is just the beginning of what AyeTides does, as it also displays timeline graphs of the tides.

A real bonus for boaters in tidal areas or rivers is the current information provided by AyeTides. You see the time of maximum flood and ebb currents, the times for slack water, and the present status and time before the next change. In case you’re in unfamiliar waters, the data helps you with the direction of the flow for ebb and flood and see a graph illustrating it.

The app was thoughtfully designed for ease and speed of use. Importantly, AyeTides stores all data on your device—you don’t need connectivity on the boat to have all tide areas at your fingertips.

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Tides Planner

The data displayed in this app is simple: the times of today’s high and low tides, with a simple graph illustrating the same information. Compared to AyeTides, the Tides Planner app has more locations in the U.K. and Europe, but its functionality is still much more limited, and more U.S. tide stations are sorely needed.

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Other Tides Apps

While the AyeTides app is a preferred stand-alone tides and currents app, other less expensive tide apps may meet your needs depending on your location and sailing habits. Here are three additional apps that offer a solid list of features for a very reasonable—or free!—price.

tideApp

The benefits of tideApp include its price: it is free, but it may include ads. It also includes information on currents and has a large number of tide stations. However, it is not as attractive or easy to use as some of the other common tide apps. Additionally, its interface makes it difficult to differentiate between tide stations with the same names.

Tides

The Tides app, which includes data on currents, has the capability of auto-selecting the tide station nearest to you and has a link function to show the tide station location on the map. However, this functionality requires connectivity, which can be questionable even in some near-shore areas. One upside of this app, though, is that it is very inexpensive.

Tide Graph

Another inexpensive choice, the Tide Graph app has an attractive display and a good number of tide stations that can be easily selected. However, this is a one-off app, as it includes tides information only, requiring you to have another app if you need information on currents.