The following is a review of the Mammals of North America app which is the companion to the wonderful Princeton Field Guides – Mammals of North America [review]. Screenshots are from my aging iPhone 3G that still works adequately.
When you first load the app you are given several choices in how to find a potential identification match.
Taxonomical Search allows you to browse by family as arranged by taxonomy while Alphabetic Search lets you search by family alphabetically (not alphabetical by species name). In both search modes you can type in the quick search box to find a species or family faster.
Smart Search lets you choose a group of mammals by their type: seagoing or hoofed for example. This provides a really neat way to quickly compare a group of mammals. Once you are in any search area you can choose “Comp.” to compare two species. This brings you to a page where the animals are split on the screen and you can scroll either one for comparison.
Inside each species profile is information found from the print field guide including several drawings of the different forms as well as a range map.
You can also choose the musical note to listen to one or more sounds of the animal.
In each species profile you can add your own sightings which includes date, location, and comments. These are added to “My List” which is found in the main menu.
Other options from the main menu include My Location which allows you to pick a zip code or use GPS which narrows down the number of mammals in the search results (from 459 to 46 from my work location!).
Finally, you can view four pages of animal tracks which you can zoom in on for a closer look or pick to view that mammal’s profile page.
Overall, the Mammals of North America App is a fun compliment to the beautiful must-have print field guide. It definitely comes in handy when you spot a new mammal or interesting track and you forgot to pack along the book!
Disclaimer: We received this application for free to review on Birdfreak.com.”