When you think of apps from nautical charting brands, navigation is the first—and perhaps the only—function that comes to mind. But these apps for mobile devices can offer a great deal more useful boating information and features than you might imagine.
A prime example is the updated Navionics Boating app. Now part of the Garmin family of products, Navionics has long been a popular brand among boaters. It offers detailed charts of marine and inland waters, plus the ability to create waypoints and courses.
A Connections feature was added in early 2021, which can create a network of friends and family to share locations for up to 24 hours. With the latest update released in June, you can share more detailed information prior to, during and after a trip.
When both the sender and recipient have active Navionics subscriptions, you can share saved tracks, routes and markers within your network. These files can be downloaded by the recipient and saved indefinitely. This allows you to exchange cruising routes, share a fishing spot, or just let family and friends know your location.
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Also included in the Navionics app are features such as dock-to-dock auto-routing for automatic navigation routes around charted obstructions. There are also premium features, such as relief shading that uses color and shadow to provide a better understanding of bottom contours for improved fishing and diving; real-time weather data with daily and hourly forecasts, as well as wind, weather buoys, tides and current overlays; and the ability to easily export and send GPX files from your smartphone to other devices, including Garmin chart plotters.
In addition, the Boating app’s ActiveCaptain feature lets you access a large and diverse set of points of interest, such as marinas, anchorages, hazards and businesses, as well as recommendations and advice from boaters with local knowledge. Annual subscriptions start at $14.99, with pricing depending on the coverage area. Visit navionics.com to learn more.