Check out these 3 mobile apps that aid the Lake Tahoe visitor experience | SierraSun.com

Check out these 3 mobile apps that aid the Lake Tahoe visitor experience

Jack Barnwell
jbarnwell@tahoedailytribune.com
Sand Harbor, off the East Shore, ranks high among Lake Tahoe's most iconic beaches.
File photo |

LAKE TAHOE — Smartphones are a modern necessity, and even on vacation, folks are slaves to technology. Now visitors (and locals) at Lake Tahoe can tap into three nearly new apps that will educate and entertain.

1. Freezify

When South Lake Tahoe native Morgan Simpson set out to develop a photo app for iPhone, he discovered it went beyond its initial purpose.

The free app, freezify, which released Thursday, Aug. 20, lets users upload video or photos to their phone and create “an interactive photograph.”

“It’s basically an iPhone app to control video by tilting your phone,” Simpson said.

While it’s great for panoramas, Simpson said his beta testers found the app ideal for water, bicycling and snow sports.

“It is great for sports clips, like skiing and snowboarding,” said Simpson, who now lives in Carson City. “I’ve had friends use it on the Lower Corral bike trail in Meyers.”

Simpson said the freezify app allows its users to rotate the image by slowly twisting it about, giving an almost 3-D perspective.

A person could take a video or selfie of himself or herself while parasailing, for example. Once processed in freezify, the image can rotate to the left or right. The app also affords users better views of the background, since it moves with the photo. The interactive photograph has a 120-frame-rate that can be played as fast or as slow as someone wants.

While the app is only available for iPhone through the Apple app store, Simpson said he will expand to Android.

2. Citizen Science Tahoe

A second app released on Aug. 20, designed by the UC Davis Tahoe Environmental Research Center, takes aim at Lake Tahoe’s beach-goers by turning them into citizen scientists.

Citizen Science Tahoe encourages its users to take a few minutes to enter data about what they see at the beach, whether it’s invasive plants or wildlife. The data allows scientists to better understand what’s happening in the lake’s near-shore area.

UC Davis freshman Shahzeb Khan programmed the app.

“There are aspects of water and ecological quality that depend solely on the perceptions of individuals,” said Geoff Schladow, director of the UC Davis Tahoe Environmental Research Center in a prepared statement. “That is what this app is seeking to measure from everywhere around the lake at all times of year. If you want to contribute to science at Lake Tahoe, simply go to the beach.”

Each observation automatically records the user’s location and the date and time, according to UC Davis; users can also add photos and their own comments, and they earn points for every observation made.

Data from the app will be available through a new exhibit currently under development at the TERC building on the camps of Sierra Nevada College in Incline Village.

The “Lake Tahoe Conditions” exhibit will reportedly explore trends related to lake level, temperature, water color, water clarity, algae and more.

The app is available on both Android and iPhone.

3. Around Tahoe

Locals and residents alike who want a hands-free guide to Lake Tahoe can download a new app for either Android or iPhone platforms.

Around Tahoe expands on designer and musician Darin Talbot’s CD that provides a driving tour of different Tahoe areas.

The app, released in May, provides GPS points of interest, sightseeing opportunities, and dining and entertainment tips. The app also provides audio stories about Tahoe legends, famous movies, and unique history tidbits.

Around Tahoe works in conjunction with Talbot’s live-guided tour around Lake Tahoe, where you see the “Seven Sacred Sights of Tahoe” while aboard a lakewide shuttle.

The Incline Village resident serves as tour-guide entertainer, telling stories, legends, folklore, history, statistics and information, while playing his signature songs of Tahoe.

The app is available for $5.99 on both the Apple and Android app stores.

For information and to book a tour, visit aroundtahoe.com or call 775-830-4099.

Sierra Sun Managing Editor Kevin MacMillan contributed to this report.