Saturday, February 21, 2015

Android Skiing App Review

We are lucky to have a great skiing hill near by.  It's nothing in comparison to the Alps or Rockies but it's still great because it allows us to go skiing every weekend.  The owners of Seven Oaks Recreation are also very passionate about slope preparation, snow making and providing the best skiing opportunities possible.  Personally I think their skiing is so great because they use PistenBullys to do their snow grooming. LOL The cool part this year is the newly created ski race club that our kids are enjoying a lot.

Seven Oaks Ski Race Club

I've been tracking my skiing just for fun on Trace Snow, formerly known as Alpine Replay.  Other alternatives for Android phones are Ski Tracks and Snocru.  However, it pretty quickly becomes obvious that Trace is by far superior to the other two.  Running all three apps simultaneously today only Trace recognized my 32 runs. The app as no issue identifying the lift segments and analyzing the data.  Only on the rope tow lift, which runs too slow, does the app have trouble to correctly detect that you're on a lift and not skiing up the very gentle slope.  Ski Tracks and Snocru record the whole day as a single run.  Basically you could have just run any GPS tracking app like My Tracks from Google.

Trace Snow:

Trace Snow - Overview

Trace Snow - Run details

Ski Tracks:

Ski Tracks - Overview

Ski Tracks - Map

Ski Tracks - Split data by vertical decent, distance, or hour


Snocru - Speed

Snocru - Distance

Snocru - Altitude

Snocru - Vertical decent

Snocru - Runs
Besides tracking, Trace and Snocru advertise their social features of the app.  Here Ski Tracks stands out by not requiring an account.  All data of Ski Tracks are stored on your phone so privacy can be guaranteed. 

Snocru is purely an mobile app platform.  Only the top stats of the leader board is published on their website, every other interaction is done through the mobile app.  You can befriend other Snocru members and chat with them apparently.  But at least for my region, the app doesn't show any Snowcru users.  Even the Near Me features that should identify business such as restaurants doesn't show anything.  So while Seven Oaks is listed as a Resort, it doesn't appear with the Near Me feature either.  From what I see Snocru is pretty much a let down in the social aspect of the app as well.

Trace also has a decent web interface where you can review your skiing tracks, follow friends and other skiers at your resort.  Even Seven Oaks has already 18 different Trace members on their leader board.  It's no Facebook though.  While you can easily reach out to other skiers, the social interaction doesn't seem to be a main activity by its member.  Which is totally fine with me, it's much more fun to ski than to sit in the lodge over your phone checking messages.