Three apps add to Lake Tahoe’s visitor experience |

Three apps add to Lake Tahoe’s visitor experience

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

Smart phones are a modern necessity; and even on vacation, travelers are slaves to technology. Now visitors (and locals) in South Lake Tahoe can tap into three apps that will educate and entertain.


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, who now lives in Carson City, said his beta testers found the app ideal for water, bicycling and snow sports.

“It is great for sports clips, like skiing and snowboarding,” Simpson said. “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 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.

Simpson isn’t a stranger to the film world. Prior to both earning his business finance degree and starting his own children’s furniture business in 2012, he said he attended Los Angeles Film School. He began working on the app last year with two developers, and beta testing started in October.

“I’ve had 60 users beta testing it, and they are excited to see it launched,” Simpson said.

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

Citizen Science Tahoe

A second app, designed by 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.”

The app is available on both Android and iPhone.

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 Darin Talbot’s CD. The CD provides a driving tour of different Tahoe areas.

The app 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.

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

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