Not even a year ago, there were those who questioned the hoopla over the iPhone. And here we are now, secure in the knowledge that Apple’s micro-Mac isn’t just a radical new phone, it’s a revolution in computing, communication, entertainment, and connectivity. If you disagree, well, you probably don’t own one. And that’s not meant to be snotty–I’ve arrived at this conclusion after testing nearly every smartphone available and then stepping up with my own precious cash for the iPhone and monthly unlimited calls and data. It’s a spendy conclusion, but oh-so-worth it.
So, with more than 15,000 programs in the iTunes Store, what of those for use in the outdoors? Do the iPhone and Mother Nature play well? The short is answer is “yes”. The iPhone excels at delivering information. Programs that channel local knowledge–surf reports, snow reports, water flows–are perfect applications of the phone’s strengths. Those that replicate already-dialed electronics, like GPS, bike computers, and training devices, maybe not so much. (And of course you have to consider whether you really want that $300 chunk of sweet electronic envy exposed to the elements.) But still, the iPhone itself is already on its way to becoming indispensable and will become even more so–these 25 outdoor apps are part of the reason why.
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Trailguru WATER Oakley Surf Report RiverGuide BIKE Bicycle Gear Guide iMapMyRide FITNESS Absolute Fitness WEATHER Accuweather Weather Bug Flashlight. Knots, Splices, & Ropework
Uses Google Maps to track your route, but you can't add waypoints.
Could be the best outdoor app yet: This surf report does everything well, including giving tide info, forecasts, and inside info on wave dynamics.
RiverGuide tells you current conditions on just about every creek, river, or waterway you can put in. Must-have for paddlers.
Calculate gear ratios—if you're a wrench, single speeder, or fixie fanatic, you'll find it irreplaceable. If not, not.
Map My Fitness is a big social networking site that allows you to upload and share training rides—this is the bike version.
Out of dozens, perhaps scores or even hundreds of fitness trackers, this is the best.
AccuWeather, Weather Bug, and the Weather Channel offer solid free weather apps, but AccuWeather has the most features, the most video reports, and the best interface. WeatherBug beats it on multi-location reporting.
Turns your screen white. Helpful when trying to find, well, anything.
Learn the ropes from this classic 1917 book.
Oakley Surf Report
Bicycle Gear Guide
Knots, Splices, & Ropework