birdsong training app: Chirp! by iSpiny

One of the first bird apps that I have downloaded was “Chirp!” by iSpiny. There are two versions: one for “Bird Songs of Britain and Europe”  and one for “Bird Songs USA“. Both have about the same functionalities and they keep on adding birds. At the moment (November 22th 2009, with just another update) there are 78 birds for the European and 121 birds for the US app. You can narrow the selection by choosing states or regions. In the European version you can change the language of the app and the birds in the iPhone/iPod settings.
The app is designed in landscape mode and is kept very simple. This makes it easy to navigate. Besides the region selection one can either view the birds and listen to their songs (listen) or you can take quizzes (challenge).

listen
All the selected birds are listed with name and a little picture. It can be sorted by name, commonness and song type. The latter is a very helpful function that might help identify a bird by its song.
Tapping on one of the birds in the list selects it, shows a bigger picture and plays its song. It also activates the wiki link that will take you to wikipedia. In the newest update there is a little “i” symbol on the picture. Hitting it turns the picture around and gives you a short description on the birdsong and migration of the bird.

challenge
chirp! offers four quiz levels. The levels differ by the number of birds being presented: 10, 20, all and custom or 7, 25, 50 and custom in chirp! USA. The custom level itself is divided into easy or hard.
In all the quizzes you get 10 songs to identify and you have three lives. you lose a life when you tap on the wrong bird. The faster you identify the birdsong the more points you get. In the harder quizzes you not only get three birds to choose your solution from but six.

rating

0= non-existant
1 = more complicated than helpful
6 = excellent

What does the app offers for the learning purpose?
range of birds: 5
difficulty levels: 5
feedback in the quiz: 0
additional information for birdsong training : 4 (description of the song and sorting by song type can be very helpful, but there is almost always only one song per bird)

Look and feel
pictures: 4  (only one photo of the male per bird)
handling: 5

Additional information
additional bird information: 5  (via wiki)
change of settings: 5  (languages in the European version)

Summary
as a birdsong training app: **3.5**
as a bird app: **4.66**
as an app: **5**
prize: $2.99 each or free versions

Advertisements

~ by Natalie on November 22, 2009.

3 Responses to “birdsong training app: Chirp! by iSpiny”

  1. Social comments and analytics for this post…

    This post was mentioned on Twitter by dreamfalcon: I reviewed chirp! by @iSpiny as bird song training or learning app. http://bit.ly/55uqTn #birding #birds #song…

  2. Hi dreamfalcon, and thanks for the review. I found your breakdown of the various points very interesting. Chirp is still being actively developed and as our audience is quite mixed, with birders, non-birders, children etc, it is sometimes difficult to decide which direction to take it. In fact, I have wondered about splitting it into two apps, one for more serious birders who want to learn the songs and calls, and the other for more general use. Any feedback is welcome! — Hilary (iSpiny)

  3. Thank you Hilary for your comment. I can understand that a mixed audience is a difficult task for an app.
    I am looking forward to your next developments with Chirp!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

 
%d bloggers like this: