I’m stoked to announce and show you v2 of our app, Tide.is. This version should now cover the whole world, which our v1 didn’t – so we held back the launch announcement.
What started out as a dinner conversion on 29 December 2014 with my good surfing bud, Fernando, has turned into an app we use everyday. How cool is that?
Another Tide App?
Yes, there are a zillion tide apps and websites out there. We were both frustrated with how we need to mission all over surf apps and websites to just find the tide for today.
We wanted to create an app website that you simply visit from anywhere in the world and it will tell you the tides today based on your location.
The app isn’t for everyone. It isn’t going to show you the surf report. You can’t even see the tides tomorrow. It purely shows you tides today, with times and heights. Nothing more.
So hop off the plane in Bali in the morning – open Tide.is and it will tell you the tides for that day for the nearest tidal point. Arrive back in Cape Town, your tides change – no clicking, scrolling or search. Just visit Tide.is from your mobile phone or computer.
How to use it
We’re considering a downloadable “app” with the next release. Right now all you have to do is visit tide.is from your desktop or mobile phone browser – it’s super easy – but make sure your location services are turned on.
Tip: for easy access on the move, “bookmark” the website on your mobile and it will appear just like an app icon. Neato!
The Magic Sauce
We decided to calculate the tide ourselves for a couple of reasons:
- The API we were using in v1 was very poorly designed. It was not extensible to lots of areas in the world and sometimes even gave completely wrong results (like tides for San Francisco when people were in England). Last year I travelled to France and was gutted it didn’t even work there.
- Even worse, it had a small limit to the number of requests we could use. So once you hit x amounts of “calls” to the API, it stops working.
After a huge amount of research, we found this algorithm (more in a follow up blog) that can calculate the tide in any location in the world in a purely mathematical form, without relying on specific tide station data. This way we can give you limitless accurate tide results.
Feedback and The Future
v3 is looking like (an optional) swipe for the next few days tides. We just want to focus on features that will improve the user experience while keeping the interface totally uncluttered.
Hope you enjoy our little app:)