Review of Tides and Currents Android App

Does What It Does Rather Well

Tides and Currents App

The Tides & Currents free app from FlyToMap does pretty much just that - gives you the tides and currents for stations all over the world. But it does it well and conveniently in an attractive visual format that is also useful, once you've added your location into your favorites. Best of all, it stores its downloaded data so that you don't have to be online when checking the tide. Some apps, like Marine Weather (from Bluefin for both Apple and Android), do not provide this data unless you have connectivity, which can often be a problem on the water.

Version reviewed: 1.1.8 for Android tablet (running Android 2.3.4) - free

Key Features

  • Presents tides and currents in both graphic (present values shown against the daily sine wave) and tabular format.
  • Data for 14,000 tide and current stations all around the world - can be selected from a listing of nearby stations (if your device has GPS) or an alphabetic listing or word search.
  • Save desired location in Favorites for easy future use.
  • Sun and moon rise and set times also provided for the chosen location.
  • Settings allow you to receive tides in either feet or meters and currents in either knots or meters per second.

Limitations

  • Several other apps provide other information such as weather data or conditions as well as tides - but Tides & Currents does only this one thing, so you'll likely want to have several marine apps.
  • Tidal and current values are apparently forecast by a calculation - may not precisely match other tide tables (see Conclusions below).

    Conclusions

    The Tides & Currents app is probably the best free (or inexpensive) tide app for Android devices and smartphones. It's too bad that at present it is available only for Android - to get the equivalent on an Apple device you have to buy AyeTides, my favorite for iPhone and iOS devices.

    Note that different tide apps often give slightly different data for the same locations - a fact I find a little disturbing even though it has little relevance, since variations such as a few minutes for the exact time of low tide or a tenth of a foot or so of water height difference don't really matter to most mariners.

    What bothers me is that no app I have yet seen explains its mechanism for tide forecasting, the formulas in which must vary somewhat if the predictions vary. Perhaps this is why some apps, like Marine Weather, do not provide data offline: apparently, such an app goes directly to the NOAA website for the most recent "official" tide forecast, rather than using a predictive formula? Even if that might make an online tide app more accurate than an offline one, I still think the risk of being unconnected and unable to access tidal information a worse - and potentially dangerous - risk to take.

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    Your Citation
    Lochhaas, Tom. "Review of Tides and Currents Android App." ThoughtCo, May. 22, 2017, thoughtco.com/tides-and-currents-app-review-2915302. Lochhaas, Tom. (2017, May 22). Review of Tides and Currents Android App. Retrieved from https://www.thoughtco.com/tides-and-currents-app-review-2915302 Lochhaas, Tom. "Review of Tides and Currents Android App." ThoughtCo. https://www.thoughtco.com/tides-and-currents-app-review-2915302 (accessed September 23, 2017).