Whether you’re heading off into the bush this summer, or simply looking for different ways to entertain your kids outside, you might like to try some of these great Smartphone Apps.
Some people may not agree that there is a place for a mobile device in the outdoors but we believe many app developers are aware of the importance of using technology to enhance our experience of the outdoors not distract us from it.
WildTime brought to you from the crew from Project Wild Thing is a cute little app for young kids. It provides ideas for activities to do in the outdoors into anticipated chunks of the time. This APP is free and is available for IPhone or Android.
The Geocaching app by Groundspeak Inc. provides lots of fun for all the family. It runs on the IPhone and Android and is a great way to expand your horizons. What appeals to us is the creative elements and community building to geocaching. It is available as a free ‘Intro’ version or the full version which will also take you to geocaches around the world costs $12.99
MotionXGPS is an excellent IPhone app with full GPS function in any location even without internet or phone access. It uses the built in GPS functionality of the iPhone to determine your longitude, latitude and altitude, based on the signal broadcast by the GPS satellites in orbit above the Earth. It costs between $0.99(desktop) – $1.29 (phone).
An android option for something similar is the BackCountry Navigator GPS Pro, which costs $11.99
Field Guide to Victorian Fauna is a beautiful app sourced from the museum of Victoria. It’s free and is available for IPhone & IPad. This app not only has lovely photos and info on different species of Victorian fauna but also an audio option for some of the entries which are a real treat
Get Running (Couch to 5K) is available for the IPhone & Android for ($2.99. This is a great app if you are new to running as it introduces you to the process of running gradually and in a very supportive way. This is a personal favourite of mine in getting a usually inactive indoor person, outdoors and active.
WikiCamps Australia costs $7.49 on the App store. It is a crowd sourced database of campsites, caravan parks, backpacker hostels, day stops and more. Perfect for the Aussie road trip!
SAS Survival Guide comes in a free ‘lite’ version and a full version for $7.45 which contains the full text of the bestselling book by John ‘Lofty’ Wiseman. The free version has some great info but you have to navigate around the ads. One thing I’m guessing even the paid version doesn’t tell you is how your phone battery is supposed to survive in the wild so you can access the app!
Star Chart is available for IPhone & Android for free. This app is fun because can takes you to particular stars from the point at which you are standing and also shows you the outline of those damn images people always refer to when they point to the sky. Now you too will be able to say “Oh look up there! It’s the fox wearing a top hat!”
Vic Fires is an invaluable IPhone app around for anyone staying or travelling outside the CBD in fire season. It tracks where you are and keeps you well informed of the level of fire action in and around your vicinity. It costs $1.29 on the APP store. There is an android equivalent called FireReady, which is the official Victorian Government app.
When looking for the best compass app, which let’s face it, really should be an essential item for anyone going outdoors where there are no street signs (or is that just me), I found that the android market rules. I can’t try them so I can’t give you my opinion but I can say that the Compass App that comes installed on the IPhone seems to do everything a compass should do.