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App review criteria

I will be testing several nature and conservation-themed smartphone applications and reviewing them to give readers a better sense of the nature apps that are available.

I have an iPhone and so I will be reviewing apps that are downloadable for free on the App Store. I chose free apps because those are the most accessible to the most people and accessibility is one of the many advantages of nature-focused smartphone apps.

For each review, I will give background about what the app does, fill you in on my experience using the app, and finally rate the app with a score out of 15. Five points will be possible in each of the following three categories:

Category 1: Usability

How easy was this app to use? Were the app’s directions clear?

Category 2: Knowledge

Did this app teach me something new? Did I take away something from the app’s content?

Category 3: Nature/Conservation Connection

Did this app foster a connection between nature or conservation and its users? Is this app truly related to conservation and the environment? Beck and Dustin (2016) write that if technology doesn’t connect people to the natural world, it should be abandoned.


Beck, L., & Dustin, D. (2016). Technology on the Trails. Legacy (NationalAssociation For Interpretation), 27(6), 20-22.


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