With more than a dozen tide apps already available for Apple and Android smart phones and other devices, it seems unusual that a company would bring out yet another one that does not do anything more than existing apps - except look different. Because it has fewer functions than many tide apps designed specifically for boaters, I would not recommend ChronGlobal's Tidal Chronoscope app to sailors - except perhaps to those with a strong retro sensibility.
What This Tide App Does
- Tide station automatically chosen by your location (or manually selected)
- The times and depths of high and low tides (today through a week ahead)
- The times of sun and moon rise and set (and moon phase by quarter)
And that's about it - the basic information available in either simple list format (the Info page) or - as more likely intended to be used - in one of the graphic displays based on the analog watch face shown above.
The watch, by the way, actually tells time with moving hands just like a real analog watch. The second hand clicks around. If your smart phone were flexible, you could fold it back around your wrist to show your grandchildren what analog time used to look like.
See the red quarter moon at about the 10 o'clock position? Note the scale from L to H (with numbers 5 to 1 between) around the top of the inner blue circle. The red moon in this tidal view shows you're about 5 hours from high tide. The red moon slowly rises in a clockwise direction to high tide and then drops back down on the right side to low tide. Get it? With the help of a computer chip, colorful pixels, and a battery charged daily, this app simulates the experience of an old-fashioned, mechanical, tide-function wristwatch. Retro folks may love it! All the power of digital used to simulate analog!
What This Tide App Doesn't Do
Take a look at other tide apps designed for boaters and you'll see why I can't recommend the Tidal Chronoscope for sailors. Here are some of the additional features from an app like my personal favorite, AyeTides (in addition to those listed above that are present in all apps):
- Height of the water right now in the tidal range
- Time remaining until the next high or low tide
- Precise location of tide station
- Interactive graphical display of tidal changes for depths at any chosen moment
- Speed and direction of tidal currents at current stations
- Time of slack water, time remaining, etc.
- Interactive graphical display of current changes
- Nearby stations listed automatically by location and distance
Don't get me started on other features and functions, such as how quickly can you look up a different tide station to check the tide, say, in a few hours when you sail into a new harbor. I made the mistake of trying to do that for the town of Portsmouth, NH, up the coast from my home port. With over 9000 world tide stations in alphabetical order to scroll through, even though I could jump to the P's, it took a while - and then I found four Portsmouths with no indication which was which, even after I'd selected one - until I fiddled around some more and tapped some other functions and discovered my local time was 5 hours different from the Portsmouth station time. Unfortunately I might have sailed into Portsmouth Harbor expecting high tide with lots of water (which it was indeed - but in England, not America) and sailed right into that reef barely beneath the surface at actual low tide in this Portsmouth.
Bottom Line. Not for serious sailors. It's pretty, however - and you can change the colors of the watch to different themes! If you're feeling retro and don't need very much information about things tidal, then go ahead and have some fun.
Otherwise, take a look at these apps for sailors.