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on August 23, 2011
I wanted to like it,but can't. It's a large app that I had difficulty downloading. After it was downloaded came another surprise - it wants to download the actual database at 350+ mb! It does allow you the option to download as you need but I can't imagine the difficulty in downloading a database in the boonies with even 3G speeds. Downloading teh entire database was a major chore and I had to disable screen timeout on my phone to get it to complete. It had numerous timeouts attempting to download it and it sucked up so much cpu android thought it had locked up.
The actual app looks nice enough and has options that are encouraging, but it's all bones and no meat. The photo quality could be better as you browse but i suppose it's adequate for ID purposes if you have time to wander through the whole database trying to match a flower to a picture a few pixels high. You can go to an entry and then move to previous and next but Lord knows how long it would take you to traverse the database that way! My biggest gripe is advanced search does not work. Maybe I just don't know how to work it, but with 20 years experience in IT as a developer and database professional you'd think I'd be qualified to figure it out. It literally returns nothing in spite of having very general specs. I tried all regions excluding the frozen north, ground cover or herbs (not a shrub or tree), May - September (which is when a particular flower showed up this year)anywhere between 6-24 inches high, flower size 0 to 2 inches. Really? We have nothing in the thousands of flowers that fit that bill? They need some serious work on search to make this useful. You can search by latin name which I guess if you had a sneaking suspicion of the family, that might be useful. I doubt the average user is passionate enough to even *know* the scientific names of any wildflowers they bump into. If they are i bet they have the actual printed book with them. And if they know - why do they need this app?
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on April 26, 2012
After receiving Audubon Birds as the Free App of the Day, I was impressed enough by it to purchase several of the other Audubon Field Guide apps.

Like the Birds guide, there is so much information in the app it can be overwhelming if you try to browse through it like a printed guide book. Fortunately, there is a very handy search function that allows you to find a flower based on its attributes (color, size, shape, time of year, location, leaves, fruit, etc.)

The app lets you keep a life list, record sightings and take photos, and then upload them to AudubonGuides.com.

Because of the huge volume of data available, this app does require a data connection or a 350 MB optional download. If you choose not to download the data, it could chew up considerable bandwidth if you have a limited data plan.

I have noticed a couple annoyances with this app. First of all, if you try to look up a flower by name, it will only search for the scientific name or ONE of it's common names. If the flower has an alternate name, it won't let you use that for your search. For instance, I wanted to look up Prairie Violet, but it couldn't find it. I had to use Google to find the scientific name, Viola pedatifida, to look it up. The app had it filed under Larkspur Violet, and although it listed Prairie Violet as an alternate name, it wouldn't let you search for it by that name.

The app also appears to have no entry whatsoever for Common Field Speedwell, Veronica persica, which grows all over the place around here. I've tried looking under speedwell and veronica, but no luck.

Trying to do a search and selecting the Fruit or Seed Type as Berry and leaving everything else blank, only returns one result, Sweetflag, which clearly isn't a berry.

Some of the photos of flowers need to be higher resolution, particularly for members of the carrot family, which often have similar looking umbels.

The app works well enough on my tablet, but it can't make up its mind whether it wants to run in landscape or portrait.
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This review could be for just about all of the Audubon (Green Mountain Digital) nature apps: If you knew the name of the flower (or tree or butterfly) that you were looking at or looking for, great! This App will give you a description, the region it's found in, its shape, the leaves, and on and on. The problem is, what I see is a yellow flower with 4 petals and I haven't the foggiest idea what it is - and I have 6 books on the topic!

There are over 150 species of wildflowers on the mountain four miles from where I live. I can pick out the California Poppy. It's our state flower. I know what Vetch is because it's a pest - a pretty pest - that invades our garden. But I don't know a goldenrod from a pestemon. So, when I saw that you could look up a flower 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 region as California, the FLOWER color as Orange (although it's sometimes yellow), the Month as May, and I figured that that should be sufficient to come up with California Poppy. The fields are full of them!

Nothing! Not the poppy. And, when I looked at some of the others, such as Celadine which looked familiar, the REGION is nowhere near California. It's all Northeast! So I tried the Bulbous Buttercup which looks like two of the buttercups I see on a regular basis. Nope. That's in the east as well, not in California.

I have tried a number of criteria, and I've limited the number of criteria. This App acts like all the other books I have on wildflowers except that three of the books I have are limited to California.

One last example: You see a beautiful white flower with a pink center, 4-6 inches across, 6 petals, looking like a cone flower with upright petals, and you're walking a field in Northern California. That should give you sufficient criteria. Well, I had to "narrow" the field to just white flowers, and then I still didn't find it. I gave up too soon, just an hour. Reason: It's a Yerba Mansa, native to Southern California. I actually had a botanist tell me what it was. Alphabetically, it was in the last three white flowers. It has a nickname of "Lizard Tail" which makes no sense at all. And then to make matters worse, under the description, the app says that it's found in OR, UT, CO, and TX. It's a native of California, and that they leave out? Two stars.

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.

In the "About this guide" under "All About Wildflowers," the developers even "promise" that you can narrow your search by ZIP CODE! I suppose if I can't find something by state, I should have expected this promise to be true either. In fact, there is absolutely no place in the app where you can search or narrow a search by Zip Code. I spent almost an hour looking for a place for such an input: it doesn't exist.

As I said in an email to Green Mountain Digital, "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 when you FINALLY find something that you're looking for. But there are days when it deserves 1 star because wildflowers need more than one photograph (some have 5 or 6, but many have 1) for an ID, and it takes forever to find a flower IF you ever do find it.

James J. Audubon must be spinning in his grave...

EW
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on April 23, 2014
This is a good reference. It takes a while to get used to their vocabulary in the plant characteristics search utility. And it took 4 tries to get the database loaded. It would be a lot nicer if the app was optimzed to work on a tablet also.
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on April 20, 2014
No more carrying piles of reference books in the car if you go exploring for wildflowers or just enjoy stopping to view them along the roadsides if you carry this app along with you. I have several of the Audubon guide books, and enough space on my Kindle Fire HDX to download the entire set of photos and ID's so I don't need wi-fi or cell capability to identify what I see. The applications even allow you to keep a life list of what you see and to share information with others. Great for Nature Lovers and for training youth as well. Can't recommend more highly.
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on May 1, 2014
Very buggy app - stops responding pretty much every time I try to use it. I tried reinstalling and that didn't help. IMO the only sensible way to design a guide for searching for a wildflower (or anything else) when you don't know it's name is with an algorithm, sometimes called a key, which this app doesn't have.
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on June 7, 2012
First off, the pictures could be larger. Just my opine. Also, the guide could be a little more user friendly. The part where it helps you find the name of a plant by the product of elimination.
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on March 11, 2012
This is a useful guide, but you have to be creative to get searches to work. For example, California poppies have been blooming for the past month (it is now mid-March). I searched for "orange flowers, California, grassland, March" and could not find the listing. Trying different combinations, I figured out that the database did not understand that poppies bloom in March in California. Searching for only "orange flowers, California" did find it. Maybe global warming has made their data obsolete? Maybe their data is bogus? I don't know. My only advice is to be creative when doing a search and you may find what you want eventually.

In answer to some other people's comments, yes the database does take a long time to load, but I'd rather have it on my phone than have to rely on the cloud all the time. Most of the places that I go to view wildflowers have spotty cellular coverage at best. If your phone has only limited data storage, then this app may not be a good choice for you.

I paid $5 for this app and think it is easily worth that price (half the price of the guidebooks) if you use it regularly and don't mind being patient with the searching. If the price was $10, I would not be so generous with my rating.
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on May 11, 2015
Last week they released updates for this and the mammals app for Android. I downloaded them, but the 'update' button would not respond. I uninstalled them, and attempted to re-install, but the 'install' button will not register. My phone and it's screen are fully functional.
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on February 15, 2014
I love these Audubon applications. They are something educational and easy to do while hiking, fishing, picnicing, ..., which me and my family do a great deal of. It is free, helps the forestry departments in your area tabulate species counts for your area. So, its fun but also connects you to your environmental bureaus in your area and helps you do your small part for the environment.
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