FISHES OF THE GREATER CARIBBEAN: IMPRESSIVE FREE APP FOR YOUR iGADGET


FISHES OF THE GREATER CARIBBEAN: AN IMPRESSIVE FREE APP FOR YOUR iGADGET

In these parts we are seriously tech-savvy. Occasionally I test and review relevant apps – see RH APP TEST BENCH. Thanks to a heads-up from Friends of the Environment  via The Abaco Scientist, here’s a new way to wean yourself off Angry Birds…

   FREE      RH provisional rating ****

I’ve just put this on my iTimewaster, and first impressions are that this is a seriously useful app from the Smithsonian, certainly from a layman’s point of view. Be warned that it is extremely comprehensive and therefore takes up 0.5 gb of space, so on an iPhone you may have to remove Angry Birds completely to make space, plus your most recent impulsive and misguided music downloads.

The first option is to browse fish by species or family. Either will take you to first-class photos (some drawings) that really look like what you see underwater (not every app is so good). You are offered a helpful ‘similar fish’ option; there’s a notebook to enter your data; a glossary;and the IUCN status for each fish. The descriptions are clear, as are the range maps for particular species.

There’s also a very good search feature for when someone tells you to look out for the ‘Lucifer’s Gonadfish’ at Fowl Cay and you have no idea what one looks like. (If they exist. Which they don’t). This is subdivided into name / location/ shape/ colour pattern and colours options to help pinpoint the fish. Later you can even recall ‘recently visited species’.

I have only had a quick flick around on my phone. I guess it will be more impressive still on an iPad. It’s hard to believe that this is free, when similar ID apps cost several dollars. I’ll play with it a bit more, and use it for a couple of IDs I am struggling with. NB There is a risk that I might find myself upgrading the rating to the rare and coveted Rolling Harbour 5*****

SCREENSHOT 1
SCREENSHOT 2

Interested? Direct link to the iTunes page is HERE

AUDUBON CARIBBEAN FISHES APP £0.69 / $0.99 PROMOTION: GET IT NOW!


AUDUBON FISHES OF THE CARIBBEAN & GULF OF MEXICO APP

iphone, ipad (172mb)    £0.69 / $0.99 offer until 31 Jan, then reverts to $9.99          rollingharbour rating *****

This is app is so good, and such an utter bargain until 31 Jan 2012, that I have awarded it the rh logo position at the top of the page. Praise indeed. Audubon guides are legendary, of course. The excellent Audubon bird app has already been reviewed and also given a rare 5*- see BIRD APP on the BOOKS ETC drop-down menu. Now here are the Caribbean Fishes, in all their glory. First, a clip shot of the download page – click on it to enlarge and avoid eye-strain

This is a very well designed app, a comprehensive search and identification tool with a myriad of features. It’s fine for an iPhone, but I guess it would really come into its own on an iPad. Whatever that is. Here’s a brief overview of the contents

SEARCH OPTIONS:  by shape (dividing size into 5 categories, from giant to tiny); family (alphabetical list of species); name (alphabetical list with useful thumbnails to assist – and cleverly, the ability to search by first name ‘Sergeant’ or last name ‘Major’), or advanced search (size / shape; habitat; regions; colour)

REFERENCE sections on biology; fish-watching tips; marine habitats; biogeography; conservation; fish taxonomy; dangerous fishes; large glossary

OTHER FEATURES include the facility for having a (free) account, enabling a ‘My Content’ facility; Journal; and GPS

Crits? Very few at first glance. The odd typo. My inital search for bonefish by size (over-optimistic, of course) led me to the larger ladyfish, but a search by name took me straight to it. The most significant confusions may arise from the present ‘single image’ ID format. For example, if you look for the uncomely  greeny-blue adult male stoplight parrotfish, you may be surprised to find the prettier black, white & red female pictured. Similarly, you won’t find juveniles, such as the small blue-with-yellow-spots yellowtail damselfish. But these are small points in an app with such a large scope. Anyway, who knows what upgrades will follow?

Overall for £0.69 / $0.99 a complete steal for New Year