ELECTRONICS HOT NEW APP FAVORITES BY LENNY RUDOW
READY FOR AN APP AT THE HELM? Sometimes you might feel like your cellphone is running your life. Well, get ready, because now it’s also planning on running your boat — and if you’re lucky, it might let you stay aboard
AYEAR AGO, WE TOLD YOU how apps and your smartphone couldrevolutionizelifeonboarda boat, butthingshave changed so much since then that it’s already time for an update. Or maybe we should call it a redo, because in this short time frame, at least five apps have evolved from assisting you when you
operate your boat to actually operating parts of it firsthand.
Before we start examining these adventurous apps, let’s get the standard-issue warning
out of the way: We don’t think you or anyone else should ever rely solely on your cellphone
for operating, navigating, or otherwise interfacing with your boat. While cellphones will prove
incredibly helpful, they’re prone to failure — especially in a saltwater environment — and
they’re no substitute for good old-fashioned navigational tools and nautical know-how. Never
completely depend on your cellphone for anything beyond creating an embarrassing distraction during your kid’s music recital. ‘Nuff said, now for the cool stuff …
FURUNO TZTOUCH REMOTE APP — Furuno was the first company to offer complete
integration between your main navigational suite and your cellphone or iPad. Their NavNet
TZtouch system, introduced this past spring, can be driven via the TZtouch Remote app.
You’ll need to tap into the network with a wireless LAN and then you can bring up any item
on the helm display, from radar to chartplotter to fishfinder, and tap on the screen of your
phone or iPad to take complete control.
The TZtouch can be networked in with
your autopilot, so this means you could
actually kick back in your seat — or in the
cockpit, or in the flybridge Jacuzzi, or wher-
ever you like — and literally “drive” via your
iPhone operating system (iOS). According to
Furuno’s Advertising and Communications
Manager Jeff Kauzlaric, they completely reen-
gineered their software for TZtouch (using a
multi-touch interface similar to the one on
tablets and smartphones), which made for a
complete integration between the Nav suite
and the app.