Should you bother with your phone when on the ski slopes? I say yes. There are some great skiing apps to help you get the most out of your time on the slopes, and then to relive it once you’re back at home. The following (by no means exhaustive) round-up reviews a few of the popular skiing apps available. These were tested on an iPhone 5s in January 2014.
Photosynth – Panorama image creator – Free
This isn’t a ski specific application, but you want to remember what it looked like from the top of the mountain as the sun shone, right? Photosynth is a panorama-taker that improves on your phone’s built-in application by allowing you to create full panoramas, in all directions, rather than just horizontally. It takes a little getting used to, but if you take it slow and spend the time to get a full view, the results are impressive. Once finished you can share via the usual social streams but to appreciate the result fully, it needs to be viewed in the application or on the Photosynth website.
AlpineReplay – Skiing tracker – Free / Premium $5pm/$39pa
Open app, start logging, ski – that’s it. The GPS in your phone is used to track your location, speed and altitude and so by the end of the session you’ve got a full record of what, where and when you skied (note that the logging uses GPS, not data, so there’s no cost). Each session is dated and uploaded to AlpineReplay and from there you can share the information on your social streams to make your friends back home quietly seethe with jealousy. It’s a good looking app with excellent social integration.
The premium version adds in more detailed information, more sharing and comparing opportunities with your friends and real-time stats. Probably only worth it if you’re a very regular and very competitive group skier.
Ski Tracks – Skiing tracker – Free / 69p
As with AlpineReplay, this app logs your skiing movements via GPS, recording all the information you’d need. It’s available as a Lite version for free and a full version for just 69p – go for the full version, it’s worth it. Note that Ski Tracks doesn’t use data when logging, just GPS so there’s no cost to you when logging (there will be if you upload/export your sessions via your data connection).
Once you’ve logged your session, you can replay it in the app or (and this is what I love about Ski Tracks) you can export it as a KMZ file to load into Google Earth (it’s easier than it sounds, you just email a file to yourself and open that on your computer). You can then relive your runs again and again in real-time 3D.
Ski & Snow Report – Free (with advertising)
More comprehensive than Snow Report (see image), this app allows quick access to all the information you need about your resort. It integrates a standard snow report with the resort’s website and webcams. It also provides lift pass prices, resort statistics and a weather report. A nice additional feature allows users to post first-hand updates about the location which update to your app as they’re added.
GPS on Ski Map by Maprika – GPS mapping – Free
Basic app that plots your location on a map using your phone’s GPS. There are a vast number of maps available (it’s not just for piste maps) and you need to download the maps you need for it to work – do this before you leave to save on roaming charges. It’s handy if you’re lost(!) or bored on a ski lift, but for me a paper piste map just seems the easier way to choose your next run, especially if you’re in a group.
Snow Report – Free
Basic application from the Ski Club of Great Britain (sponsored by Land Rover) that gives you a brief one screen / three tab weather, snow and webcam summary of your chosen resort. Not much more to say about it, really.
Have you tried any of these apps or have an opinion on any others? Please let us know by writing a review of this blog, or emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.