This is part of the DeeperBlue.com Freediving App Review Series – a collection of reviews of Freediving related mobile apps. Each app has been reviewed based on a standardized set of criteria you can see here. In this article we review the AIDA International App.
This free app will help you to find out more about AIDA courses and locate courses and instructors in your area. Produced by AIDA International, AIDA International Freediving links you to their website. It is designed to allow the user a quick interface to locate upcoming courses in their area through a touchscreen navigation approach.
On opening AIDA International Freediving, the user is presented with five tiles that they can pick from; the first is the Introduction to AIDA, which gives a brief overview of the organization.
Next is the Course Overview tile, which allows the user to choose from the various levels of AIDA divers, from AIDA One Star Freediver (Beginner) through AIDA Instructor Trainer (Top Level). Clicking on any of the tiles takes the user to a description of the course and the prerequisites.
The next tile is the Course Finder tab, which gives the user the option to choose from First Time Freediver or Qualified Freediver. For “Qualified Freedivers”, this feature has a “drop-down menu” that lists many freediving schools/agencies currently recognized by AIDA. If your certifying body is “Not on the list”, it will take you to an e-mail screen to contact AIDA. The user presumably will be able to enter in their certification information and get a response back from AIDA regarding equivalency. If your certifying body is on the list, then once you select your level of certification, the App lets you know which corresponding AIDA Course you are qualified to enroll in.
One nice feature of AIDA International Freediving is designed for a first time Freediver. After entering your birth date and answering a couple of questions about basic water skills, the App will then take you to a Calendar that lists all available courses at your experience level.. The drawback is that the App lists all available courses worldwide….so you have to open each calendar date to see what’s available in your area. The course does give the Instructor’s name and e-mail, which is nice…but we felt a list of countries, instructors and contact information one could scroll through would have been considerably easier.
The next tile is the Instructor Map. AIDA International Freediving allows the user to select their country, city and they get a drop down list of all the instructors in that area. This feature could be greatly improved by “hot linking” the names of the instructors to their school websites or e-mails.
The last tile is the Course Calendar tab. This feature has a “Filter” tab that lets the user select from Course Level, specific Course name, Course Instructor or Course Location. Once the user sets the filter parameters…say an AIDA1 course in Kona, Hawaii…the calendar either highlights the date for that course or says “No Event Found”. Once again, a great idea that suffers in functionality. There are easier and quicker ways to list the desired information.
So, let’s see what we found:
Price: It’s Free.
Functionality: This is a harder than average App to navigate, and the numerous drop down menus and pick lists are not as user-friendly as they could be. This might be a case of trying to do too much within the limitations of the program.
Relevance/Usefulness: For a freediver just starting out, or an experienced diver who wants to find out where he or she can take their next course, AIDA International Freediving addresses an important need. The usefulness is contingent on the accuracy of the training course dates and locations that are entered. So, double check with the Instructor/Dive Center directly to make sure.
Graphics/Appearance: The graphics are sharp, the design of the main screens (not the drop downs) is uncluttered, the appearance is professional.
Compatibility: Requires iOS 7.0 or later. Compatible with iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch. This app is optimized for iPhone 5.
This App and can be downloaded at https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/aida-international-freediving/id924347324.