The perfect phone for a birder?

To: Chris <>
Subject: The perfect phone for a birder?
From: David Stowe <>
Date: Sun, 27 Dec 2009 15:05:06 +1100
Do you have any ideas on how much data you need to cache?For example when you zoom in on the map to street level would you have had to do that at home to cache it? I have no idea how to work this out or calculate the data required etc.
Any tips?

Peter - yes the inability of third party apps to run in the background is an Apple restriction on developers.


On 27/12/2009, at 12:59 PM, Chris wrote:

Motion x gps software (about $5) also caches maps, so you can browse an intended area of travel while on the home wireless network, then when you go there you're not reling on the phone loading maps through 3G (mobile network).

Battery life is poor on the iPhone so get a car charger in the deal.

Having ditched my nokia e63 for the iPhone (and this being my first ever apple product purchase) I'll never go back to a more traditional phone again.

I could bore you with every little detail of why I prefer iPhone to any other phone. If you really wan me to, let me know. In summary, it just works and they've designed it to be intuitive. It has a still/ video camera and voice recorder too. It'll read PDF and xls. There are apps for facebook, flickr, etc. Heck, even google earth is on it.

For Australian coverage, you'll want telstra, no other option.

For detailed aus maps out of mobile coverage areas I'm sure you'd find maps you could buy for the phone.

Regarding 500 bird mp3s, I'm sure you could fit 500 music CDs on the 32gb drive on this phone. Tas parks has an application which gives you all the stats of their more common natives including mp3s, and a new version is due out which will be comprehensive.

If you're on foot though, and using the iPhone all the time for gps, audio, etc, you'll only get a few hours of battery and you can't access the battery - ie no buying a second battery.

Just did a quick search for iPhone microphones and there seem to be plent available:

This email was written on the iPhone, including doing the google search in the middle, copying the URL and coming back to the email and pasting it, and it's not too much slower than using the pc. So good I rarely check mail on the pc at home any more. Not worth waiting for the pc to boot up :)


On 27/12/2009, at 11:08 AM, David Stowe <> wrote:

Hi Peter,
Like Damian and Russell I also use an iPhone and love it.
1. Coverage - I recently switched to Telstra 'Next-G' for my trip out to Round Hill so that my wife could contact me if needed. Even compared to Telstras normal GSM coverage the difference in alot of areas is amazing. Check their website for coverage details.
You do pay for it though.

2. No idea about International sorry
3. I must admit that I would love to know for sure about the gps etc too. I use an app called Motion X GPS which is fantastic. It plots your course on a map creating a track file that you can then email to others/yourself which has a link showing it on Google Maps. Great to send my wife while i was away letting her know where i was. Biggest downsides are that you have to have the application running in the foreground for it to work and it chews the battery ALOT faster. One clever thing they did though was create an iPod interface within the application so you can access music/bird calls from within the app so that the gps tracking keeps going. It has a number of maps that it can source (including google) and you can cache a certain amount but this is where I'm not sure about how much you are needing to download etc. 4. I would think Tom Tom for iPhone as Damian suggested would be good although it costs $100. You can also get an cradle with an external gps which offers superior performance. i have a mate who has it (without the external gps) and he is constantly frustrated with it telling him to turn after he has passed the street! 5. Perfect for this - i have masses of cds plus all the BOCA cds. You can also use an external speaker although i have been impressed with the quality of the built in speaker and it's ability to call in small birds.
6. No idea
7. Bird recording software - i also use Birdsight and whilst its a bit slower than a notepad it does save another thing to carry.
Hope that helps :)

On 26/12/2009, at 6:45 PM, Peter Marsh wrote:

Dear Birders,
Knowing that you will all be at a loose end too full of Christmas pud to be able to go out birding let me test your tech savvy by asking what is the perfect phone for a birder?

I appreciate that the question goes a bit further than the phone. There is also the carrier and software to consider. Therefor the answer that I am looking at will necessarily cover these issues.

What I know I want in a phone are the following features :-
1.. As great a coverage within Australia as is possible
2.. As much international coverage as is possible
3.. GPS coverage whether within coverage are or not
4.. Access to detailed maps of Australian rural areas when out of coverage
5.. MP3 player to hold 500+ bird calls
6.. Sound recording capability ideally with the capacity to use an external mike
Possible other wants are :-
1.. ability to load bird recording software
What else should I want in a phone?

So, what handset do I need, Who should my carrier be, what maps do I want, what other software etc, etc.

Hope responding to this RFI will fill in your post Christmas birding lull!

Oh, and may the new year bring many birds into your life.

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