Getting outdoors is great for your mental and physical health. And nature apps on your smartphone can help you enjoy your time outside while you learn more about your surroundings. Also, they’re a great safety companion as some can help you identify poisonous plants.
Here are some nature apps that can help you check out the landscape on your next outdoor adventure:
1. Explore & Learn With the LeafSnap Plant Identification App
The LeafSnap plant identification app lets you use your phone to snap a picture of any plant and identify it. It has a large database, including a plan care guide for houseplants, and it works with domestic and wild plants.
So, whether you enjoy hiking or gardening, this app can help you learn a lot about the plants around you.
2. One of the Best Nature Apps for Mushroomers Is ShroomID
ShroomID is one of the best nature apps for mushroomers. Looking for wild mushrooms is an excellent way to enjoy the outdoors and enhance your next dish. However, in many parts of the United States, gathering mushrooms can be hazardous for amateurs as some fungi can be poisonous or even deadly. This is why it’s extra important to have an app like ShroomID while you’re foraging for mushrooms.
ShroomID has a database with thousands of species, and you can easily identify wild mushrooms by choosing their characteristics with the ShroomFilter.
So, how does this app actually work? Sophisticated AI software identifies the mushroom or gives you photos of possibilities to choose from. If you’re still not sure what type of mushroom you’re looking at, you can take a picture and post it in their group chat. Then, other users will let you know what species they think your mushroom belongs to.
3. Nature Apps Like Sky Guide Can Help You Look at the Stars
Nature apps aren’t just for identifying what’s at ground level. Take an astronomy app like Sky Guide from Fifth Star Labs. This app makes identifying constellations in the night sky easy.
After you take a picture of the sky with your phone, Sky Guide adds an overlay with the names and locations of stars and constellations. Sky Guide can even help you find the International Space Station and many planets and satellites.
This sky-gazing nature app includes graphics of ancient Greek gods and other characters these constellations were named after.
Unfortunately, this app only works for iOS devices. However, Android users can try Star Walk, another similar star gazing app where you can identify planets and constellations. Plus, the app will even alert you when something interesting is happening in the sky near you like a meteor shower or an eclipse.
4. Let the The Audubon Society Help Improve Your Birdwatching Game
One of the most popular nature apps for birds is the Audubon Bird Guide App. Yes, the Audubon Society that’s been working for over 100 years to protect birds and their habitats has an app. It’s free, and it lets you turn your phone into a portable bird identification field guide. The app contains:
- Over 800 species of North American birds
- More than 3,000 photos
- Over 8 hours of audio clips of bird calls
- Maps of habitat ranges for many species
The Audubon Bird Guide App uses your location and the characteristics of the birds you see to give you a list of possible species. You can also share photos of birds with other users and get a variety of news about birds and conservation.
5. This Citizen Science Nature App Lets You Help Researchers
Citizen science refers to non-professional nature enthusiasts who help gather scientific data and share it with researchers and scientists. And this is how one of the coolest nature apps, the Cornell Lab of Ornithology’s eBird app, works. You can post your latest bird sightings and see where the best bird-watching spots in your area are.
Your sightings contribute to peer-reviewed research papers, conservation decisions, and student projects. This data is accessible to everyone, and you can find databases, maps, and visualizations about bird sightings and how they’ve changed over time.
6. You Can Learn About Many Organisms With the iNaturalist App
If you’re looking for nature apps, it would make sense to turn to The National Geographic Society and the California Academy of Sciences. Together, these two organizations created the iNaturalist nature app.
This app has information from all over the world about:
The app is another example of citizen science where it lets you take photos and record your observations, providing data for many researchers. Helpfully, this app is like its own social media platform and you can learn more about nature by speaking with other users.
7. The Seek App Works With the iNaturalist App
But if you’re not experienced with identifying wildlife, you can also use iNaturalist’s Seek app. When you take a photo, the image recognition software will let you know what species the organism is from. You can also participate in monthly observation challenges and earn badges for taking photos of different species.
8. AllTrails Can Help You Find the Best Places for Outdoor Activities
The AllTrails app uses your location to let you know about the best trails nearby. It makes finding new places easy, and you can search according to difficulty and trail length. Along with trails, AllTrails provides information about places for:
- Scenic drives
- Off-road drives
- Mountain biking
- Camping trips
- Cross-country skiing
- Bird watching
- Rock climbing
Users can post reviews and comments about trails for others. You can also keep track of your trail activity and the places you visit.
With These Nature Apps, You Can Make Outdoor Adventures Even More Fascinating
These eight nature apps can help you discover new places and identify many of the plants and animals you see on your adventures. You can even contribute to important scientific research by recording and sharing information about the types of plants and animals you encounter. So, not only will you enjoy your beautiful surroundings next time you’re outside, you can also learn more about the world around you.