Birding Apps for Android (1 Viewer)

fabrizio.giudici

Active member
Generally speaking, I'm supporting all the devices from the Android standard, since version 1.5 (indeed, low-res screens came with more recent models). There was a problem with them up to a couple of months ago, it was reported and I fixed it.

The next release (coming in days) supports photos in the fact sheets - they will work on low-res screens too, but I've no idea about usability. I suppose it should be ok, though.
 

Idle Valley Birder

An Idle Valley Birder
Generally speaking, I'm supporting all the devices from the Android standard, since version 1.5 (indeed, low-res screens came with more recent models). There was a problem with them up to a couple of months ago, it was reported and I fixed it.

The next release (coming in days) supports photos in the fact sheets - they will work on low-res screens too, but I've no idea about usability. I suppose it should be ok, though.

Thanks. I will let you know about the usabilty as soon as i get the phone and your app. on it.

thanks again.
Del.
 

fabrizio.giudici

Active member
As you can see, 0.16 is in delay. There are no technical problems, but I've caught a virus three weeks ago that doesn't want to go away, and I've been barely able to deal with my regular job. Stay tuned.
 

AndyK

Well-known member
looking forward to the release of 0.16! I've just downloaded 0.15 and it seems very handy, cant wait to have fact sheets & sounds added!
 

hoover67

New member
Hello Fabrizio,

I just installed 0.15 on my HTC Wildfire today and wanted to post a bit of feedback.

- The app downloaded from AppBrain Market fine, but during installation, the entire phone reset as if I'd turned it off and on again

- Switching the species list to EBN Italia resulted in another crash, but this time only the app itself crashed, not the entire phone.

I'm running Android 2.1 I believe and have only just started dabbling with Android (being an avid Linux admin / user, it was the natural choice I guess ;-)

Let me know if there is something I can do to help with development or whatever, I think it's a great idea to have a FLOSS app (free and libre open source software) for this very purpose.

All the best, Uwe

:EDIT: Get well soon, of course!
 
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Idle Valley Birder

An Idle Valley Birder
Sorry if I missed this piece of info. But how big an SD Card should I buy to accomadate European and N. American species.
Thanks.
Del.
 

fabrizio.giudici

Active member
It took still some time to recover, but since the past week I've resumed working on blueBill mobile. Sorry for not having answered here, but I'm not getting the email notifications that new posts are here.

Regarding the crashes, I'm investigating. I don't know what happens just after the installation, since the application is not supposing to run there. But I've received a few notifications from Android 2.2 devices (2.2 features an automatic crash reporting notification) about an out-of-memory error. As far as I know, it seldom happens, but I've seen it once during the development. I'll work on that.
 

tekfix

New member
What happened?

It took still some time to recover, but since the past week I've resumed working on blueBill mobile. Sorry for not having answered here, but I'm not getting the email notifications that new posts are here.

Hello, Fabrizio - I hope that you are all right! What happened to the new version and is the work on BlueBill still going on?

I am running BlueBill on a Samsung Galaxy S with Android 2.2 and it works flawlessly. Looking forward to new versions with identification features!
 

jefferson.silva

Jefferson - Brazil
Hi,

I just published to Android Market the "Brazilian Birds".
It's a trial version, the final version is yet to be published.

Any comments are welcome.

Jefferson
 

fabrizio.giudici

Active member
Hello, Fabrizio - I hope that you are all right! What happened to the new version and is the work on BlueBill still going on?

I am running BlueBill on a Samsung Galaxy S with Android 2.2 and it works flawlessly. Looking forward to new versions with identification features!


I've had some bad times... but I've slowly recovering. Some severe troubles with the neck and the back, and this impacted on many aspects of my life, including my job, blueBill and birdwatching (carrying long lenses has started to be a pain).

I can tell you that there is a new download available, version 1.0-ALPHA-1. "Alpha" means that it's pretty an early access and it's unstable (it can crash, not good for daily use; in particular, after a few minutes of work with photos it tends to run out of memory). But it can be installed side-by-side with the current release, so you can pick 0.15 for daily use and 1.0-ALPHA-1 for a trial. There are the WIkipedia fact sheets, the photos (beware: they are downloaded without asking for confirmation), a new format to share observations (CSV, which can be opened by Excel and OpenOffice) and data - in addition to sending email - can be also just stored on the sdcard, from which you can easily copy to a computer. Some phones should be also able to send data by bluetooth.

BTW, I've just bought an Asus EEE Pad (a 10.1" tablet running Android 3.0) and even the old blueBill Mobile 0.15 runs fine (of course, I have to redesign some parts of the user interface to take advantage of the larger screen).

The new version, of course, is not available on the Android Market, but can be downloaded from here:

http://j.mp/bbma10a1

You need to enable the phone (in Settings / Applications) to accept "Unknown sources". Then, just enter that URL into your phone's browser; the download should start. When it has been completed, open the notification area, where you should see a message such as "Download completed". Now, just click on it. The phone should ask if you want to install the app. Don't worry whether it says "The application is going to replace an existing application". This only occurs if you have already installed a preview, it won't affect the official blueBill installation. In any case, it' always better to export your observations data before proceeding with the operation.
The ALPHA version has the same icon of the regular blueBill Mobile, but the label should be "blueBill Mobile (Development)".

If you usually keep the option about "Unknown sources" disabled (you should), remember to reset it after you have downloaded and installed the new blueBill.

Please let me know... At the moment, I'd suggest to only give it a quick run, I'm essentially interested in knowing whether there are phones where it doesn't run (especially the older models). When I release a more stable alpha version, I'll ask for a more detailed feedback.

Thanks.
 

LSB

Budget Birder
Just downloaded the Alpha version and it runs fine on my Samsung G-50 pmp running android 2.1.
Keep up the good work
:t:
 

fabrizio.giudici

Active member
Am I to assume that a future version comes with pictures for each.species to help in identification?

Yes. The feature can be already tried in the unofficial versions. Currently it is likely to make less capable smartphone to quickly run out of memory. The feature is being worked on.

I've added a link at the bottom of the download page:

http://bluebill.tidalwave.it/mobile/download/

It leads to an "Accessing previews" page where I'm posting the latest information. The page also contains information about what to test. The third alpha should be published later this night or tomorrow.
 

fabrizio.giudici

Active member
I have a question for UK users.

About one year ago I did some work to integrate blueBill Mobile with the Nature Finder of BBC. The Nature Finder is a database related (also) to bird species (indeed, only the most common birds) providing some basic fact sheet about the bird and links to news and footage in BBC video archives. Indeed, for there's more fact sheet stuff at Wikipedia, but of course the linking to BBC news footage is a unique feature (which matches one of the purposes of blueBill Mobile, to give a "localized" experience of birding).

For instance, related to the "Black Grouse" there are, among other stuff:

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/uk_news/scotland/north_east/8114704.stm

http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/p007vzhz#programme



You can see what I did to integrate with blueBill Mobile here:

http://weblogs.java.net/blog/fabriziogiudici/archive/2010/07/16/about-android-semantic-web-and-bbc

(the article has a technical perspective, so you'll probably find it boring; just look at the pictures and eventually watch the demonstration video).

At the time I froze the development, since BBC didn't distribute any Android app to consume their contents and all I could do was to open a web page at the BBC site - which wasn't optimized for the screen size of smartphones and thus the user experience was ugly.

But a few months ago BBC released an Android app for browsing their contents (iPlayer). So it might be interesting to give the thing another try, as blueBill Mobile could launch iPlayer pointing to the desired contents.

Now, the problem. BBC footage can be only seen if you connect from within the UK and even the iPlayer app can only be installed by people living in the UK (I don't know whether the filter is applied on the internet connection you're using or to your personal profile; in the end, I can't install it). This makes it "a bit" harder for me to work on it, since I can't see the thing, but I could do it with some help from some UK users.

Before discussing the thing, it's worth while questioning whether this feature would be useful. I have some engineering motivations to do that, but they are not necessarily the same in the end user's perspective. I have also some personal motivation (BBC is cool and it had a great impact on me, my interests on nature and photography since the times of "The Living Planet" by sir David Attenborough), but since I can't see the provided contents I can't come to a conclusion (by the way, I don't ever know whether nature footage is available through iPlayer and this should be the first thing to check).

So please let me know what you think.
 

Marcus Conway - ebirder

Well-known member
I have a question for UK users.

About one year ago I did some work to integrate blueBill Mobile with the Nature Finder of BBC. The Nature Finder is a database related (also) to bird species (indeed, only the most common birds) providing some basic fact sheet about the bird and links to news and footage in BBC video archives. Indeed, for there's more fact sheet stuff at Wikipedia, but of course the linking to BBC news footage is a unique feature (which matches one of the purposes of blueBill Mobile, to give a "localized" experience of birding).

For instance, related to the "Black Grouse" there are, among other stuff:

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/uk_news/scotland/north_east/8114704.stm

http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/p007vzhz#programme



You can see what I did to integrate with blueBill Mobile here:

http://weblogs.java.net/blog/fabriziogiudici/archive/2010/07/16/about-android-semantic-web-and-bbc

(the article has a technical perspective, so you'll probably find it boring; just look at the pictures and eventually watch the demonstration video).

At the time I froze the development, since BBC didn't distribute any Android app to consume their contents and all I could do was to open a web page at the BBC site - which wasn't optimized for the screen size of smartphones and thus the user experience was ugly.

But a few months ago BBC released an Android app for browsing their contents (iPlayer). So it might be interesting to give the thing another try, as blueBill Mobile could launch iPlayer pointing to the desired contents.

Now, the problem. BBC footage can be only seen if you connect from within the UK and even the iPlayer app can only be installed by people living in the UK (I don't know whether the filter is applied on the internet connection you're using or to your personal profile; in the end, I can't install it). This makes it "a bit" harder for me to work on it, since I can't see the thing, but I could do it with some help from some UK users.

Before discussing the thing, it's worth while questioning whether this feature would be useful. I have some engineering motivations to do that, but they are not necessarily the same in the end user's perspective. I have also some personal motivation (BBC is cool and it had a great impact on me, my interests on nature and photography since the times of "The Living Planet" by sir David Attenborough), but since I can't see the provided contents I can't come to a conclusion (by the way, I don't ever know whether nature footage is available through iPlayer and this should be the first thing to check).

So please let me know what you think.

As I use Bluebill in the field I probably wouldn't use this feature. When I am at home I would use iplayer or BBC website for content.

The ability to download more information at a time would be useful. Downloading one call at a time per species is teadious.

Cheers
 

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