I have seen a number of apps for skiers and other downhill enthusiasts like mountain bikers and longboarders. These apps normally record your speed, the distance you travel, changes in elevation, and the time it takes you to complete your run. Ski Buddy, a free universal app does all that plus the app provides you with live audio updates via headphones during your run. Ski Buddy Plus costs US$0.99. Both run on iOS 5.0 or later.
Let’s take a look at the free app first. Users need to have GPS turned on their device. Once you open the app, you will hear a message indicating the status of your GPS fix. As soon as you get the OK message you can switch on Ski Mode and take off downhill. If you want to try and look at the screen of your device as you ski, you will see the values change. The display shows current speed, top speed, distance traveled, current elevation, time of day, plus longitude and latitude. Users also receive audio updates on speed, distance, and elevation. At the bottom of the hill turn Ski Mode off and the app announces your top speed during the run.
Users can set up the app on how often they want the audio updates. You receive speed updates for each five or ten miles per hour increase, distance traveled at one, five, and ten miles, and elevation changes of 100, 200, or 500 feet. Or set any or all of the audio updates to Never.
Ski Buddy Plus does all of the above and a lot more for your US$0.99 investment. First the display’s colors can be customized. Additionally, the app detects the beginning and end of your runs. At the top of the hill, once you hop off the lift and start moving the app begins recording a new run. Then at the bottom, once you stop, an audio announcement provides you with specifics of the just completed run. The process repeats itself on each subsequent run you make. Each run in recorded and you can check a stats page to explore in more detail all of your runs. Additionally your runs can be checked out on a map that will show just where you went on each run.
The paid app also offers users a choice of voices, either male or female, plus it integrates with a built-in music player so you can listen to your favorite music with Ski Buddy Plus still running in the background.
Getting audio updates while skiing is an interesting update from what you receive with similar apps and so I think Ski Buddy is worth a look. However, you actually to get a real bang for your buck with the upgrade to Ski Buddy Plus so invest the dollar and add a new dimension to your next ski trip.