October 1, 2013 (Vol. 33, No. 17)
Strong Points: Easy to use, map loads quickly
Weak Points: None
For all you bird lovers and bird watchers out there, the MyNaturalist app could be a pretty nifty addition to your iPad or iPhone. Using GPS, the app identifies your location and displays with pin icons all of the bird sightings that have been reported in your proximity. (Of course this means that if you have an iPad you must have a cellular plan or have access to a Wi-Fi network, which may be hard to come by when you’re out searching for birds. However, if you a unable to use the GPS, there is a manual positioning option.) Tapping on a pin displays the species that was sighted, along with additional information such as the scientific and common names, conservation status, and details about the date and location of the sighting. Importantly, the app doesn’t merely serve to let you view the sighting specifics of others, it also allows you to track your own sightings.