It’s winter again … and unless you live in the tropics that means it’s cold, the days are short and we’re already missing summer. But winter also means snow and comfort food! Here are some apps to help you make the most of the deep freeze.
Perisher – Resorts Tapped
Developed by the team behind the Mt Buller app, the Perisher app offers a similar range of features and functions, including trail maps, lift reports, log tracking and an events guide.
Where the Perisher app differs is in the inclusion of the Ski Tube timetable, as well as a link to Perisher’s MyRide Dashboard, which is a unique way to track your recent runs, lifts used and vertical metres traversed.
There’s also the ability to send snow postcards directly from within the app, using your own photos, which are printed and posted for just $3.30.
Given it’s a free app, this has pretty much everything you need while on the slopes this winter.
Mt Buller Live – Resorts Tapped
With the snow season in full swing, it’s time to take advantage of the App Store to get the most out of your ski holiday. If you’re heading to Victoria’s Mt Buller resort, this is a must-have app.
Offering detailed trail maps from the ski fields, as well as the ability to track your runs on the iPhone, locate your friends using Google Latitude and get up-to-the-minute lift status information beamed directly to your iPhone or iPad, this is a comprehensive offering for both on and off the snow.
The app can get a little text-heavy when you start looking into events and, in many cases, offers little more than links to the Mt Buller website.
But the ability to browse the resort’s webcams from the app also helps you reminisce about the slopes when you get back to the real world.
Trial Xtreme 2 Winter Edition - Deemedya MS
The Trials HD game and its sequel Trials Evolution were both massive successes on the Xbox, so it’s no surprise that the App Store has its fair share of clones. Trial Xtreme is one of the more successful attempts to translate the game, and this sequel adds the beauty of winter to the physics racer genre.
To be fair, the whole ‘winter’ thing doesn’t offer any gameplay improvements over previous Trial Xtreme games, instead delivering a nice change of scenery for the series. Snow litters the tracks, but doesn’t slow down your bike at all.
The game itself is fairly fun, although best played with tilt controls as the on-screen buttons tend to be a little temperamental. It doesn’t come close to delivering the same crushing challenge as the console game, but it’s still a ‘cool’ bit of fun for your iDevice.
Snow Australia - MRK Development
Australia’s ski resorts are few and far between compared to our European and North American cousins, which allows a certain level of potential for an all-encompassing ski app for Australian resorts. Sadly, Snow Australia is not that app.
With an exceptionally basic user interface, the app offers weather reports for Perisher, Thredbo and Charlotte Pass in NSW, and Falls Creek, Mt Hotham, Mt Buller and Mt Baw Baw in Victoria. It offers ‘video reports’ from all those resorts except Mt Buller, and has lift information for all three NSW resorts, plus Falls Creek and Mt Buller as well.
Unfortunately, it seems the app isn’t updated overly regularly during the snow season – the app store reviews section has tales of all lifts being closed, yet the app reporting them all open. That makes it rather tough to recommend.
The Snow Report - The North Face
With the backing of global outdoors brand The North Face, you’d expect big things from The Snow report app. Nicely designed and offering important information from resorts not just in Australia but also around the world, the app has plenty of potential.
Unfortunately, it suffers from Infrequent Update Syndrome, with the app regularly claiming resorts aren’t yet open (when they are) or not updating how much snow has fallen on local ski fields.
It does offer trail maps, weather forecasts and access to each resort’s webcam, as well as offering a nice summary of multiple resorts at once. There’s also Facebook and Twitter integration for sharing your adventures on social networks.
That all makes it well worth the free download, but it’s probably best not to rely too heavily on this app exclusively for your ski escapades in Australia.
Weatherzone Plus - The Weather Company
Whether it’s El Nino, global warming or some diabolical Bond villain planning to take over the world, the weather has been a bit crazy for the past few years. If you want to keep on top of just how cold it can get this winter, you’ll need a top-notch weather app.
Weatherzone Plus stands out from the collection of weather apps by offering three-hourly forecasts, which gives you a good idea of what to expect for up to two days ahead. Using a gorgeous design with easy-to-read graphs and tables of historical temperatures and rainfall, the app is a great way of discovering what the day ahead holds weather-wise.
You can store unlimited locations from more than 2000 locations around Australia, and quickly check the current temperature with a badge notification on the app. It’s both comprehensive and gorgeous, and well worth the asking price.
Taste.com.au Best of Winter – News Digital Media
The best thing about winter – apart from snow – is the chance to eat amazing heart- warming food. Taste.com.au’s new Best of Winter app features over 70 recipes to help you stay well-fed during the colder months.
Intelligently designed to add ingredients to a shopping list, discover new recipes by random shaking and searching, and add favourites to your library, the app is simple to use and designed well for both form and function. There is a collection of videos within the app as well to help you become a better cook, with everything from making your own stock to tips on carving a chicken.
The biggest downside with the taste.com.au app is that it’s iPhone-only, which doesn’t really lend itself to being read while cooking in the kitchen like, say, an iPad does. Why the developers didn’t make this app universal is a mystery.