The New BirdsEye NA vs the Original BirdsEye: What's the deal?
Like a lot of people, I love the original BirdsEye and use it daily. I think the user interface is slick and easy to use and it provides a lot of cool features I can't get anywhere else.
However, all software eventually gets to a point where it becomes more difficult to fix than to simply rebuild. I won't inflict the brain-damage of outlining the technical issues, but suffice it to say that BirdsEye has reached that point. Also, the way it was built made building an Android version of BirdsEye difficult.
The New BirdsEye
To address these problems we have embarked on a ground-up rebuild of BirdsEye and are adding some cool new features in the process. In this first version the new BirdsEye already provides some useful new features not in the original, including:
- import eBird life and year lists for any country, state or county
- display local abundance charts for all nearby birds based on a radius that you select from 1 to 50 miles
- see which of the local birds are "needs" (i.e. they aren't already on your list)
- provide regional versions covering much of the world
- you can change the naming convention for birds from a large number of eBird naming options including US, UK and Australian English, Scientific, Spanish and French
Check out this unpolished demo video for a look at how it works.
The latest versions of the New BirdsEye NA and regional versions are now on par with the Original BirdsEye. The latest updates available in the App Store include the beloved "Hotspots" and "Notable" sightings features. Soon, the new BirdsEye will be ready to replace the original and at that point our plan is to roll it out as a free upgrade to existing users. In addition to the features of the original BirdsEye, our vision is for the new BirdsEye to also some cool new features:
- provide customizable rare bird alerts that work anywhere
- be available for Android
For more detail on how the New BirdsEye NA compares to the original, check out our comparison chart.
How can you help get the New BirdsEye built ASAP?
As you've probably heard, our mission is to support bird conservation by supporting the eBird project. For more on this topic check out my blog post.
As passionate birders ourselves, we are trying to do work that will be valuable not only to eBird, but also to birders and to the birding community. Our goal is to move things forward, not just copy what other people are doing. Here are some specific ways you can help us accomplish these goals:
1) Purchasing BirdsEye NA will help make our development go faster. Development takes a lot of volunteer time and also costs money, and by purchasing the app you are making a meaningful contribution towards moving development forward faster.
Our goal is to use the $10 and $20 votes of confidence that you make when you purchase an app from us to make our apps better.
The early releases of the New BirdsEye NA still have a few rough edges that will be fixed in future upgrades. However, if loading your life or year list from eBird and finding your nearby needs sounds like a feature you would find useful, then I would encourage you to check it out!
One thing that is especially helpful is identifying photos that are poor quality or misidentified. Currently most of the photos were given only a very brief (or in a few cases no) review. We are still finding photos that are misidentified. If you see one, please let us know!
3) Give a positive review the app in the App Store or tell your friends. Some people think that a negative review is a good way to report bugs and thereby improve the app. Not true! Bad reviews mean fewer sales, which in turn means that we cannot afford to move forward with fixing bugs as fast. Plus, Apple hides some reviews, so there is a reasonable chance we won't even know what you've written!
What really helps is moderate to glowing reviews (4 or 5 stars) combined with very blunt and honest written descriptions. Your written descriptions are helpful to users who are trying to decide whether to purchase the app. It's much better for someone not to buy the app than to buy it, hate it and write a bad review!
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