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Thread: Michael Morcombe eGuide to Birds of Australia for iPhone

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    Michael Morcombe eGuide to Birds of Australia for iPhone

    I'm not sure if this is the right place for this, but I thought some of the birders (if they don't already know about it) might be interested in the Australian Birds app for iPhone. I found it while searching for recordings of bird calls and, although a bit pricey, it seems to have good info and includes bird calls, usually several for each species.

    Does anyone else use it and, if so, what do you think of it? Have you found it useful? I can't see it completely replacing my field guide, but it would be the guide that's always with me, at least.
    Michaela

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    Bird Nerd Richard Hall's Avatar
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    I only just got my iPhone a week ago but someone else alerted me to this app a few weeks back. The screenshots and reviews make it look and sound like it would be an excellent app and extremely useful, especially with bird calls included. I think it was about $37 from memory, a little pricey but if it's close to as good as the 'physical' guide (my fave field guide of them all) then it'd be worth it I think. I will definitely be picking it up myself after xmas!

    edit: Some more info and screenshots HERE, HERE and HERE.
    Last edited by Richard Hall; 07-12-2010 at 10:43pm. Reason: added links
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    I went ahead and got it yesterday and after a quick look through I'm very happy with it - it's packed full of information. You can even do an "it looks like a ... " search if you need an ID, which I can see coming in very useful for someone like me! I love the bird calls, too.

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    Bird Nerd Richard Hall's Avatar
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    Excellent, Michaela! Definitely on my list to pick up now.

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    I just bought it too, keep leaving my book at home. There is a lot to be said for having it on the iPhone, worth it if only for the bird calls, over 1800 come with the app.
    Layout and Ux (user experience) is quite slick too, even though it says that Superb Fairy-wrens don't usually appear in SE Qld! "Smart Search" is a little like Birds in the Backyard website and seems quite powerful; tip: I'd leave your location as Australia.

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    I just got a copy as well, Went out on the deck and played the superb fairy wren sound, and almost instantly had the local wren family over for an inquisitive look see. Might have to get the camera out if it stops drizzling here. Very well laid out application.
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    Bird Nerd Richard Hall's Avatar
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    Good to hear the positive comments about it, thanks guys. Might have to buy it sooner than expected.

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    Thanks heaps for sharing this, Michaela!!!! I will buy it straight away!!! Would be great for when I'm out and need(want) to describe a bird for someone. No one I know will ever bring up the subject again

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    On a side note. Please use playback with caution

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    I've been hanging out for something like this for ages! Even thought about producing one myself. I think I might splurge and treat myself to a copy
    Dave

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    ok, you guys have me sold.

    Off to download it now.

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    Bird Nerd Richard Hall's Avatar
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    I caved and bought myself a copy too.

    I really like the ability to add your own sightings list. That helps satisfy the twitcher part of me lol.

    Love the bird calls, and was surprised for many birds there are multiple calls to listen to. Saves me manually sorting my MP3s and placing them on my phone, so a great time saver alone there and a definite one up on the paper version. A good money saver too as it negates the need to purchase something like the BOCA CDs.

    Searching works easily enough and being able to narrow your search down to begin with by region is handy, although I see Allan has already found a bit of a hiccup with that, perhaps because the Brisbane region occurs close to where two regions merge? Changing to South-East region fixed that. Though I can see why if you were near Brisbane you might be inclined to enter the mid-East as your location.

    Smart search is OK, kinda like Birds in Backyards as Allan mentioned. Not something I'd use myself, but can see the usefulness of this if you're a newcomer to birding.

    Multiple images for each species including nest and eggs is pretty much on par with the paper edition. The information for each species is decent enough, though it's layout is quite poor. It appears as one block of text with no sub headings for habitat, size, breeding, call, abundance etc. A separate button for the distribution map is cool.

    There's a compare function where you can view images of two species side by side on screen. Handy if you're trying to ID something and can't decide between two birds.
    Last edited by Richard Hall; 09-12-2010 at 2:15pm. Reason: added info

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    This sounds like a really useful app for someone who doesn't know the difference between a seagull and a pigeon (well, barely!).

    All I need now is a phone to put it on! (mine's very 'low-tech' compared to the iphone!)
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    Woohoo got mine last night..... Very cool

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    jeez, why did I open this thread - I so want an iphone and hubby says I have to wait until next year (i tend to lose me phone ) - my plan runs out April I think - and then I can get what I want (in theory).

    This sounds real interesting - thanks Michaela and good to hear all the comments re: the application.
    Shelley
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    It is the most expensive app I have ever seen for the iPhone at $37, but I bought it... To be honest I do not consider myself a bird watcher, but I am enthralled to think I can use it to try a bit of spotting and identify the bird by species. I have taken dozens of flower shots and I wish I could identify them too.

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    Yeah it's awesome.
    I found it after looking at Richard's sticky re field guides. When I googled the Morcombe field guide it was the first item to come up so I thought that was what Rchard was talking about. I don't have an iphone but a friend was interested and downloaded it. So I've had a good play. Love the bird calls. I will still buy the book tho' and if I ever update my phone or buy an iPad I'll buy the app.
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    Guess I will have to wait,
    Just looked at the site and he says that the version for Android should be available early 2011
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    Quote Originally Posted by robertmarkbram View Post
    It is the most expensive app I have ever seen for the iPhone at $37
    I know of at least one app, for GPS navigation, that's quite a bit more expensive at $89.99!

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    I'm grabbing this now. Since Harvey Norman has a 2 x $20 iTunes card for $30 this week until 24/12, it's actually going to cost sliightly less than the $36.99 price
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