Audubon Bird Guide

Category: 

Description of App: 

The Audubon Bird Guide, North America, is a free app, developed with the support of the National Audubon Society. It provides information about 821 birds. Content includes pictures, sound recordings, and textual descriptions. The app allows the user to search by a bird's common or scientific name. You can also search for an unknown bird by specifying a series of attributes such as size, habitat, geographic location, month of the year, color, shape, and song pattern.

I have used other good bird apps including iBird Pro. The Audubon Bird Guide has largely the same functionality. It has one major additional feature; it links to eBird. eBird is a national online registry where birders nationwide contribute sightings. From the app, you can submit sightings yourself (if you register with eBird), and you can see the list of sightings of your favorite bird species, or the recent sightings in your geographical area.

This is a well-designed app with a vast amount of information for both the beginning and advanced birder, including many high-quality audio recordings of bird songs and calls.

Apple Watch Support: 

Not Known

Version: 

4.0

Free or Paid: 

Free

Device(s) App Was Tested On: 

iPhone

iOS Version: 

9.2.1

Accessibility Comments: 

The app is almost entirely accessible with VoiceOver. While all the buttons are labeled, a few have slightly confusing verbal labels. Once you learn the meaning, the menus and buttons are easy to use.

The "Find With eBird" feature in the app lists bird sightings and spawns a map showing the locations of the sightings. While the map itself is not accessible, the bird icons on the map generate verbal information about the sightings including date, place and GPS coordinates of the sightings.

In the Advanced Search feature, the user needs to check boxes for specific entries of habitat, color, song pattern etc. I found that these check boxes were not voiced. But once the relevant menu is collapsed e.g. the menu for Habitat, the checked value is spoken by VoiceOver.

Overall, the app is highly accessible. It takes some time to figure out the button labels and the layout of the menus. But the time is well worth it!

VoiceOver Performance: 

VoiceOver reads most page elements.

Button Labeling: 

All buttons are clearly labeled.

Usability: 

There are some minor accessibility issues with this app, but they are easy to deal with.