iDive Tips & Apps

Helpful Tips for Setting Up & Using Your iDive Housing:

 Airplane Mode

Unless you are linking to Bluetooth or WiFi enabled accessories, we recommend that you switch to airplane mode while underwater to maximize battery life. Airplane Mode can be activated in Settings and is the top setting on the left side of the screen. Note that you can activate Airplane Mode and then individually activate Bluetooth or WiFi (located directly underneath the Airplane Mode panel).



AssistiveTouch is a system feature built in to all iPads and iPhones. It allows you to control all buttons via the touchscreen. This is very helpful in some situations: for example, if you want to adjust volume or turn the screen off while underwater with the iDive Housing. It also allows you to make multi-finger gestures on the iPad using a single finger. This is particularly useful if using thick gloves.

To activate AssistiveTouch, go to Settings -> Accessibility -> AssistiveTouch


We recommend disabling passcodes when underwater. Turn off passcodes in Settings -> Passcode. If your device has a fingerprint scanner, note that you cannot access this when using the iDive Housing.


For daytime diving in clear water, we usually prefer to set the screen to maximum brightness. Go to Settings -> Display & Brightness and adjust the brightness slider to the far right. However, decreasing the brightness setting can greatly improve battery life. If you are planning long dives or several dives a day, you may want to decrease the brightness for extended battery life.

Want larger text?

Go to Settings -> Display & Brightness -> Text Size and adjust the text size slider to your preferred size.


Depending on how you plan to use your iDive Housing, you may prefer to change the frequency of the screen auto-lock. This is adjusted in Settings -> General -> Auto-Lock

Night diving?

Consider trying inverted colors. Go to Settings -> Accessibility -> Invert Colors

This does not work well with all apps (e.g., the camera will display inverted colors with this setting, although pictures are still normal colors) but it maybe preferable to a very bright white screen while night diving.

Screen Location Lock

Some people prefer to lock the viewing orientation (portrait vs. landscape) of their iPad prior to starting a dive. Instructions to enable the orientation lock on your iPad vary with model and operating system version. Check the Apple website for details.



Free apps we recommend people to download include:
– A compass app (our favorite is Commander Compass)
– A freehand / sketch pad app (such as Notebook+ or Penultimate)
– A .pdf reader for accessing items such as local field guides or dive maps in .pdf format
– iBooks or Kindle if you have any e-books such as field guides, etc.
Built in apps we find useful:
– Notes – very handy for typing reminders, observations or complex messages
– Photos & Camera 
– Music – The iDive Housing acts as a reverberation chamber for the speakers, making it possible to hear sound clearly without additional accessories.
– Videos – for people looking to kill time on deco stops.  Remember to download content before diving – no cloud or streaming services underwater!
Specialized apps:
– the GoPro app if you’re going to be using a GoPro.  The iPad is an excellent monitor for this purpose.
– Field Data by Neukadye, designed for behavioral studies
– Numbers for data entry and customizable spreadsheets
– Pages  for document editing on the iPad
– Reef Fishes of the East Indies (three volumes), perhaps the best imagery yet in a field guide and a must if diving in the Indo-Pacific
– Fishes: East Pacific – a beautiful and helpful guide free courtesy of the Smithsonian, indispensable if diving in the eastern Pacific
– Fishes: Greater Caribbean – as above, wonderful guide for the Caribbean from our friends at the Smithsonian
– games, for people looking to kill time!