August 30, 2010

Vic Mahfood

MyNature Tree Guide

COST: $6.99
CATEGORIES: Education, Encyclopedia, Native, Reference
..UPDATED: 8/27/10, VERSION: 1.1 -- RATING: 4 Stars..

Developer Snapshot: "One of the first comprehensive field guides to Tree identification available with smart-phone technology. You will be able to identify over 190 trees with leaves or needles from Maine to California as well the Canadian Provinces."

Have you been able to get away this summer to go trekking in the woods? It's such a perfect time of year to get the kids involved in healthy exercise by going camping in the mountains, whether bunking in a tent or log cabin in a nice woodsy area. Once that's accomplished, you can set out to explore the flora and fauna of your environment to enjoy nature's bounty. MyNature Tree Guide enables you to get out there in the midst of the beautiful greenery to discover all types of trees and plants to both educate and entertain you. You will walk away from your hiking exploration with a new respect and love of nature. Some of the enlightening features of MyNature Tree Guide are as follows:

- Look through two searchable databases for leaf and needle identification
- Search by question to identify trees
- Search by leaf shape or configuration
- Enjoy illustrated images of leaves and needles
- Find digital images of leaves, needles, fruit, cones, bark and profiles of each tree featured
- Use range maps for tree locations
- Take measurements using a handy ruler to help gauge leaf or fruit sizes
- Test yourself with the State Tree quiz
- Browse diagrams and illustrations of tree structure, leaf structure, leaf shapes and types of leaves
- Write as many notes as you want in the MyNature Journal, where you can personalize your app and record the trees you’ve identified, or jot down your thoughts about your day outdoors
- Be amazed by some cool and interesting tree facts

Upon opening the app, you will be given 4 options from which to choose your desired activity. You could view information about (1) Trees with Leaves, (2) Trees with Needles, (3) View All Species, or take a look at (4) Other Info. Let's take a look first at Trees with Leaves. You will be give sub-options to Search by Leaf Structure, Search by 15 Questions or Display All. Taking a look at the leaf structure will show you Simple and Compound leaves along with excellent written descriptions and illustrations of each. Slide the bar at the top of the screen to view a particular leaf by Illustrations, actual Leaf examples, Fruit, Bark, Profile, Range (location) and a handy Ruler to measure your sample. With such an abundance of information, you could spend hours researching unique trees and plants, and be amazed time and again with the facts you learn!

If you decide instead to research Trees with Needles from the main menu, you will be given similar options to those above in exploring these trees and leaves. If you prefer to View All Species, some incredibly close up and detailed photos are provided. I particularly make use of the Descriptions which are detailed and specific, providing a wealth of information on whatever leaf I hold in my hand. Should you decide to explore Other Info from the main menu, you will be treated to a variety of activities such as MyNature Journal where you can write detailed notes including location, temperature and weather, enjoy a State Tree Quiz, learn tons of incredible Fun Tree Facts, delve a little deeper into the Scientific Names of trees and leaves, learn about how trees grow in Tree Morphology, and view a handy Glossary.

It's really a refreshing change of pace to use my phone for something other than playing games and making calls. Newsflash friends - your iPhone can actually be used for quality reference apps such as MyNature Tree Guide! The wealth of information furnished in this nature app will be a constant source of interest and invaluable knowledge to you and your kids. Summer is drawing to a close, and a whole new season is approaching with Fall. Get outdoors and enjoy all that nature has to offer with the informative and enjoyable MyNature Tree Guide.

--OS and Age Rating:  This app requires iOS 3.0 or later. Rated 4+.
--Tip/Tutorials: Look out for special free app give-aways over the next few days through Twitter and the Natureguides page on Facebook.
--Device: iPhone, iPod Touch, iPad
--Languages: English
--Developer Link: MyNature Inc.
--Twitter Link: @mynatureapps
--Facebook Link: NatureGuides
--YouTube: MyNature Tree App Demo

Visit the iTunes App Store for more details, and to download:

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Fun Stuff - Word of The Day: point-and-find - A cell phone-based technology that enables shoppers to buy an item by simply taking a picture of it. Once the photo is snapped, the service finds the same product online. Developed by Nokia, it is basically pointing your phone at real life objects and finding relevant information and services.

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