Having my usual browse through the App store on my iPhone, I came across the BatApp. At £6.99 I thought that it was a bit pricey for an app, but was happy to give it a go. I have done some screen shots (above). Overall, it is pretty simple. you get a gallery of 17 species of bat, and you tap the species to go to its section. (Does not include the Greater Mouse Eared Bat but the app description says that they plan to add vagrant species, etc in the future.) So its best (probably) if I break it down into good points and bad:
- Nice photos
- Detailed photos showing wing venation, etc on some species
- Nice way to have basic ID, habitat, foraging details at your fingertips (without carrying a book)
- Sonograms (using the Analook system) are on there too
- You COULD basically make this for yourself by having folders of photographed info, pics, etc on your phone. Having said that this does save you the bother.
- At the moment, it doesn’t have any sound clips. I would have loved this, as I do lots of bat talks and it would be a really nice feature and make the app’s price well worth it for me, so I’m looking forward to the promised addition of these in the future.
- The price. Its a bit steep for an app that is clearly in its early stages (Produced in 2011, so expect some teething pains for a bit.).
For what it is, this really isn’t all that spectacular, although now that I’ve got it I will certainly use it, and just hope for some sound file updates, more photos (there’s no photo of Alcathoe bat yet). When the app description calls it a CONCISE guide to British Bats, they mean it, and from that point of view, it does what it says. But to be honest, given the opportunity to ‘un-buy’ it, I wouldn’t as there’s pretty much nothing else out there batty for my phone or iPad. Hmmm, lets see, I would give it 3.5 stars out of 5.