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Doesn't Deliver On ITs Promise To Help You Identify the Butterfly
on May 13, 2012
This review could be for just about all of the Audubon (Green Mountain Digital) nature apps: If you knew the name of the butterfly (or tree or wildflower) that you were looking at or looking for, great! This App will give you a description, the region it's found in, its habitats, its colors, and its sizes. The problem is, what I see is a gray butterfly that is about 1 inch across, living in grasslands, and I haven't the foggiest idea what it is - and I have 3 books on this topic!
There are over 60 species of butterflies on the mountain four miles from where I live. I can pick out the Common Ringlet, because for a change it is common. BUT, there are five subspecies like the Arizona Ringlet that live here, too. I know what a Sulphur is, but not all 7 Sulphurs. So, when I saw that you could look up a butterfly using a number of criteria, I said THIS is the App for me!
Under "Advanced Search," I put in the habitat as Shrublands and Grasslands, the color as silver,the region as California, and the size as 1-1.5 inches, and I figured that that should be sufficient to come up with the Common Ringlet. The fields are full of them!
Nothing! the results said, "No matching results were found. Please try other criterions." (And, btw, the plural of criterion is criteria.) So, I tried white and just grasslands, Same results or lack of results. I took out the habitat and just left white, California, and 1-1.5 inches: Zip, zilch, nada, nothing, bupkas.
If you hear some frustration, you've got it right. I thought I had found the holy grail, and I guess I deserve to be disappointed. The concept of multiple criteria is marvelous; the execution is terrible.
As I said in an email to Green Mountain Digital (they emailed back and said that I'd be getting a call, and I haven't), "Don't confuse effort with results," and don't promise what you haven't proven you can deliver.
It's certainly not the price. It was the expectation that it would live up to its promises. I'm giving it 2 stars because it has some good information (like what you'd get in an abbreviated field guide) when you finally find something that you're looking for. But there are days when it deserves 2 stars because butterflies need more than one photograph (some have 3 or 4, but many have 1 and lack the inside wing) for an ID. It doesn't even have one of the most beautiful and prodigious butterflies in the West, the Lorquin's Admiral.
One would think that the Audubon Society which must have sanctioned this app would have come up with something that reflects positively on the Association. This isn't it.