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Review Collins Bird Guide app for iPhone and iPad

 
 

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Collins Bird Guide app
The critically acclaimed and best-selling Collins Bird Guide has been lauded as the essential field guide for Europe, North Africa and much of the Middle East since its initial publication back in 1999. An eagerly awaited, revised and enlarged second edition, adopting many contemporary taxonomic and status changes, cemented its reputation as a birding tome in 2010, and it remains as popular as ever, omnipresent on birders' bookshelves across Europe.

There is an ever-expanding market for apps and eBooks as more and more of us acquire smartphones and tablets in this technological age. Birding is no exception — many birders have long ago cottoned on to the fact that a smartphone is the perfect in-the-field companion, and there is already a great range of birding apps on the market, for staying up to date with rare bird news, keeping and submitting your own records, and much more besides.

Despite the existence of a couple of excellent field guide apps for North America, there has been a gaping hole in the market. Europe, home to arguably the world's most dedicated and established birding nations, lacked a comprehensive, high-quality field guide in app form. Back in early July we were teased with this short trailer from revered app production company Touch Press, hinting that the wait for a title meeting such demanding criteria might soon be over. Now, in August 2014, cometh the hour for the release and introduction of the Collins Bird Guide app.

To the first-time user, the app is instantly identifiable — on loading, the introductory screen consists of the customary gold and white text on black background, the centrepiece being an illustration of a flying Arctic Tern (as found on the cover of the second edition). The home screen is fresh, simple and beautifully laid out, the colour scheme a tasteful concoction of black, white, greys and muted gold which has evidently been inspired by the book's iconic cover.

The layout of the content, however, is distinctive. Touch Press has built a strong reputation for producing high-quality, intuitive apps in recent years and the company's work to convert the Collins Bird Guide to interactive form is no exception. Leaving behind the classic field guide layout (text on one side of a two-page spread and illustrations on the other), the app takes on a three-tier structure. The crucial thing here is that each tier is presented as a single, scrollable vertical list in taxonomic order (there is also the option to order species alphabetically), and alternating between tiers is effortless thanks to the menu bar at the bottom of the screen. This interactivity ensures that it's easily navigable — in other words, it's a very straightforward system to use despite being, even when tentatively exploring for the first time, conceptually new.

The first of the tiers doubles up as the app's home screen, offering the entirety of the guide's contents: the introduction as well as all of Europe's bird families, clearly set out in taxonomic order, defined by mini illustrations and presented as a scrollable montage. The only exception is that all North American passerines are grouped together in a single 'pseudo-family' — for me, a sensible decision.

Click on any family, and you're taken to the second tier (family level) which is again presented as a montage, this time with the species within the chosen family represented by names and illustrations. Click on any species to access the third tier (species level). Here you'll find familiar content from the Collins Bird Guide, including the fully annotated illustrations by Killian Mullarney and Dan Zetterström, as well as range maps and Lars Svensson's species accounts. The accounts, distinguished by a pale grey background, are expandable/collapsible by a single tap. Attention to detail is clear; for example, you can pinch the illustrations to enlarge, and tap on them to add or remove annotations.

One feature that gives the app an advantage over the book is that the majority of species are accompanied by one or more sound recordings from a total of more than 750, many of them captured by Svensson himself. Different species are treated accordingly; for example, warblers have both songs and calls, while less vocal species (such as herons) are generally accompanied by a single recording. Furthermore, 60 regularly seen species (examples include Mute Swan and Oystercatcher) are illustrated by annotated high-quality video footage in the basic version of the app. Further footage will be available for download in the form of two separate optional video library bolt-ons: Volume 1 (£3.99) will cover common birds of north-west Europe (including 185 species), and Volume 2 (£5.99) represents a further 300 less common and local species.

Another thoughtful feature is the inclusion of the distribution maps from the British Trust for Ornithology's (BTO) Bird Atlas 2007–11, with maps for 271 species available as an additional pack for £1.99, a percentage of this revenue going to the BTO. This allows for a more intricate and up-to-date understanding of the range and status of bird species around Britain, and is ultimately much more relevant in a local context for British birders than the Europe-wide standard range maps.

The impressively innovative 'similar species' function is the feature that really sets this apart from other field guide apps. A lot of effort has evidently been invested in determining the relevant criteria for each species, and it certainly appears to have paid off. Appearing in the species accounts, a single tap on the relevant icon will instantly bring up one or more similar species (if there are any), while one can even choose between the differing plumage of certain birds to view confusion species. Black-headed Bunting, for example, gives the opportunity to compare gaudy yellow males and the much subtler female and immature plumages against their respective potential pitfalls.

Alternatively, at the home screen, this feature sits as its own function where the user is able compare any species via up to six criteria including range, season and habitat, as well as phenotypical attributes such as plumage, size, shape and so on. Cleverly, the app uses GPS to determine your position and therefore the relevant region. This will no doubt be an extremely useful feature for birders holidaying in locations where they may not necessarily be familiar with identification possibilities.

I could find next to nothing that I didn't like about the app; the main issue I discovered was that the species comparisons are evidently optimised for viewing on the larger screen of an iPad. On my iPhone 5s, the presented information appears very small for some species comparisons (Arctic, Common and Whiskered Terns for example), with the text unreadable when they are presented directly together in this way — something that would be curable with the introduction of pinching in a future version. Another minor (and slightly pedantic) point is that there are the odd snippets of out-of-date information in the text, and some of the British status codes are a little wayward — though these are problems stemming from the original text, rather than a fault of the app itself.

Given the resounding success of the Collins Bird Guide over the past 15 years and its undisputed position as the region's top field guide, the potential for a quality app version was always great. However, putting theory into practice is no mean feat and the Touch Press team is to be applauded for forging an avant-garde production that is crisply designed and extremely well presented, and also boasts a number of thoughtful, innovative and above all instructive features that the book version could never offer. And, to boot, it weighs nothing — a sure-fire bonus when out on an exhausting day in the field!

The basic edition (without aforementioned add-ons) costs £12.99 — a very affordable and competitive price which, once you've had chance to take the time to use the app, you'll no doubt agree represents extremely good value for money. I can only envisage that the Collins Bird Guide app is destined to become a real triumph, the ultimate in field guide apps — and deservedly so.

The Collins Bird Guide app has a stand at Rutland Birdfair this weekend. You can find the team at Stand 53 in Marquee 3.

Further screenshots from the app (click to enlarge)




Collins Bird Guide app website: http://collinsbirdguideapp.com/

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The information in this article was believed correct at the time of writing. BirdGuides accepts no responsibility for errors, or for any consequences of acting on information in the article. The opinions expressed are those of the author(s) and are not necessarily shared by BirdGuides Ltd.

hide section Reader comments (61)

#1
As a non-Apple user, I'm very much looking forward to seeing an Android version!
   Mark Newsome, 14/08/14 13:07Report inappropriate post Report 
#2
Me too, Mark. Would love an Android version!
   Dawn Balmer, 14/08/14 13:18Report inappropriate post Report 
#3
Agreed. Especially as there are far more Android than Apple Users out there!
   dc150, 14/08/14 14:20Report inappropriate post Report 
#4
Indeed Mark - hopefully the Android version will be available soon
   Roger Hewitt, 14/08/14 14:29Report inappropriate post Report 
#5
Max Whitby here from Touch Press, the company that produced the Collins Bird Guide app in partnership with Bonnier and HarperCollins. We are acutely aware of the many Android users interested in a version of the app for their devices. This is certainly something we would like to develop, but there are several difficulties to overcome. One immediate issue is that Android devices come in a wide variety of hardware configurations and furthermore there are numerous different versions of the Android OS installed. The number of variations runs into the several thousands. Achieving the same high levels of reliability and performance as on iOS, which involves properly testing on the many combinations of screen size, graphics system and OS, is really challenging. We are keen to find a solution.
   Max Whitby, 14/08/14 14:54Report inappropriate post Report 
#6
What about the growing number of (frequently overlooked) Windows phone users? I'd definitely purchase this app if it was available for my phone
   James Hudson, 14/08/14 15:08Report inappropriate post Report 
#7
Yes we have produced Windows versions of some of our other apps. Development is more straightforward. However the considerably larger number of Android devices out there at present make this market the first priority.
   Max Whitby, 14/08/14 15:18Report inappropriate post Report 
#8
Am I missing something? If this app is designed to be used on an iPad rather than an iPhone, it means carrying something larger than the original book. Whilst I have the odd pocket that the book fits into, nothing will take an iPad except a rucksack, and it don't want to carry that in the field every time I go out. Having said that, the recording add on does sound like an advantage, but not sufficient to outweigh the size problem above. It's a shame that the app isn't designed for the phone sized screen instead.
   Peter Emery, 14/08/14 15:46Report inappropriate post Report 
#9
Peter the app runs on the iPhone as well as the iPad (and also an iPod Touch running iOS7). The software know which device you are using and the design adapts accordingly, presenting more or less information on each screen depending on size.
   Max Whitby, 14/08/14 15:51Report inappropriate post Report 
#10
Max, it's a real shame that your company isn't supporting the majority of mobile device users who do not use iOS devices. In a recent conversation in a busy hide, I found everybody in the hide had a "smart" phone, but only one had an Apple phone. About a dozen had Android phones and a couple had Windows. Yet, looking at your website, and you don't support anything except iOS, not even for a simple flashcard app! That doesn't look like a company "keen to find a solution", that looks...more more
   Mark Langford, 14/08/14 16:10Report inappropriate post Report 
#11
I know it all ready been said,but the Android market dominates the phone market at moment and sales of iPhones having been falling for the last three years,so why when a new app is made it always for the iphone,did anyone do any research on the what most birders use as a phone,no doubt most people like myself will be waiting a year or so for the android version,does anyone know how long,as there is not a single decent birding app for a android
   chiddy, 14/08/14 16:38Report inappropriate post Report 
#12
Im surprised - I know very few people who DONT use iphones and so this is great! Do we know how much memory it uses please?
   Daniel C Martin, 14/08/14 16:38Report inappropriate post Report 
#13
The base app with 750 sound recordings and 60 video clips (most common species) takes 646MB and the optional video library takes an additional 586MB for Vol 1 (185 additional commoner species) and 926MB for Vol 2 (300 additional rarer and local species). The BTO Atlas data is only a few MB. So a total of 2GB for the full version with all 530+ videos and all the UK maps.
   Max Whitby, 14/08/14 16:48Report inappropriate post Report 
#14
how much does the full version cost
   William Thom, 14/08/14 17:02Report inappropriate post Report 
#15
The base app is £12.99. There are currently three optional expansion packs (more are planned). The BTO Atlas maps are £1.99 (there is a special offer at the Bird Fair to get this for free by visiting the Collins Bird Guide app stand). Vol 1 of the video library is £3.99. Vol 2 of the video library is £5.99.
   Max Whitby, 14/08/14 17:11Report inappropriate post Report 
#16
An Android version would be nice! Surely we outnumber the Ipeople? :-)
   Mike Black, 14/08/14 17:40Report inappropriate post Report 
#17
Nice Idea. Get back to me when there's an Android Version!
   Mark Wright, 14/08/14 17:51Report inappropriate post Report 
#18
Max, Josh's review refers to some out of date information - did you use the original 2nd edition text or the updated text from the reprint? If the former, do you have plans to incorporate the corrections in the errata list (see http://www.birdforum.net/showthread.php?t=162758)?
   Steve Preddy, 14/08/14 18:53Report inappropriate post Report 
#19
Steve the app includes the latest text from the print edition. Inevitably there will be some (hopefully minor) errors in a project on this scale. We will make corrections as we become aware of them in an early automatic update that will be available free to everyone. By the way in the first release the text is fully translated into Swedish and Norwegian as well as English. The species names can be displayed in 18 different languages (any two simultaneously, for example British and scientific by default). We plan to release other translations shortly.
   Max Whitby, 14/08/14 19:02Report inappropriate post Report 
#20
Thanks Max. It would be interesting to know what errors Josh found: no-one has reported any new errors over on the Birdforum thread for many months. Any chance you could post them here Josh?
   Steve Preddy, 14/08/14 19:08Report inappropriate post Report 
#21
Guys, can we please refrain from repeating the same Android questions over and over again? Max Whitby has very eloquently and clearly explained why there is currently no Android version in post #5.

Mark Langford (#10): just for information, BirdGuides.com has not been involved in the development of this app - we have merely independently reviewed it. If you have questions regarding the development of an Android version, I would politely suggest contacting Touch Press privately.

Steve Preddy (#20): they're not so much errors, more (very) minor points that could be updated - but of course, species' statuses are changing all the time. As I said, it's slightly pedantic on my part and I suspect most won't even notice - you could even argue that the codes used for the status of birds in Britain are subjective anyway!
   Josh Jones (admin), 14/08/14 19:18
#22
Josh, I know BirdGuides aren't involved in this particular app. If you read what I actually wrote, I mentioned them as one of the companies that, by focusing on iOS products, continue to neglect the majority of people in the birding community. The other comments above should give you an indication that this an important enough issue to address openly, and bring to the attention of whoever chooses products to feature in your store.
   Mark Langford, 14/08/14 19:47Report inappropriate post Report 
#23
Josh (#21), surely the android comments reflects the frustration of people who want to buy this app but can't. If there were only a few comments you would not know the views of most people who are interested in the product. I don't have, and probably never will have a iPhone or iPad so this app is no good for me either. Other developers don't seem to have a problem with Android and the developers that I know don't complain about several thousands of variations. Actually, Touch Press don't seem to do any android apps. This would suggest there is no chance of getting an android version.
   Steve Williams, 14/08/14 19:58Report inappropriate post Report 
#24
Hi Josh. It wasn't your comment about statuses or codes (presumably the 'star ratings') that I was referring to - as you say, these can and will change as occurrence patterns change. It was your other comment "the odd snippets of out-of-date information in the text" that had me wondering - have you got an example? I'd like to work out whether this is information that is newly-out-of-date, something that was missed in the mass post-publication proof-read, or something that was found but hasn't been corrected in the print edition yet. Thanks. Steve
   Steve Preddy, 14/08/14 20:01Report inappropriate post Report 
#25
Steve Williams (#23): point taken, but once again I stress that this is a review from a third party website (www.birdguides.com) and any comments regarding Android apps would better be sent directly to the developers if Max's response (#5) does not answer these satisfactorily.

Steve Preddy (#24): I quote my review "though these are problems stemming from the original text, rather than a fault of the app itself" - this should answer your question (it's the text from the print version).

Kind regards, Josh
   Josh Jones (admin), 14/08/14 20:19
#26
Josh, yes, I get that the text is the same in both the print and electronic versions, what I'm trying to work out is whether the information is out of date because it's only recently become out of date and was correct when the print edition was printed, or whether it was incorrect in the print edition at the time of printing. Have you got an example?
   Steve Preddy, 14/08/14 20:26Report inappropriate post Report 
#27
Just downloaded the app on iPad and iPhone, I agree with Josh's review, it is a brilliant app and I'm looking forward to using it in the field. One additional comment I want to add is that for using it on the iPhone, once you have clicked on to a species' picture you can pinch & zoom to enlarge the image, this is particularly useful for the larger species.
   Mike Orritt, 14/08/14 20:51Report inappropriate post Report 
#28
Apparently Mr Jones finds my comments too confrontational. Fair enough - nobody is forcing you to accept my constructive criticisms, just like nobody is forcing me to give you them. And nobody is forcing me to spend my money through this site either. Adieu.
   Mark Langford, 14/08/14 21:18Report inappropriate post Report 
#29
If i download this for and using my Ipad Air can i sync and use it on my Iphone 4s? Also is this App 'stand alone' i.e. you can use it out in the field without having Internet access?.....What i mean is, do you have to pay for the same App again for another piece of equipment.
   Laurie Allan, 15/08/14 07:38Report inappropriate post Report 
#30
Laurie you can install the app on up to five iOS devices (i.e. iPhone, iPad, iPod Touch) registered to the same Apple ID. They do need to be running the latest iOS7. Once installed, the app is absolutely designed to work stand-alone in the field without an internet connection. Immediate responsive access to all the data, including audio and video, was a fundamental design requirement.
   Max Whitby, 15/08/14 07:50Report inappropriate post Report 
#31
I don't normally post here but I dislike attempts at censorship. There is no Android version of this and readers are entitled to comment on that as much as they please. Censoring comments will ensure that Mark is not the only one choosing not to buy through the site. Should make it clear that I don't think I've ever met Mark, but like most birders I'm an Android user.
   Ian Mclean, 15/08/14 10:15Report inappropriate post Report 
#32
Great App! Josh's point about the species comparisons on an iPhone is well made. Max, are you going to make this zoomable in a future update? Also, does anyone know if you can 'view' the lists that you set up?
   Tom Shevlin, 15/08/14 10:25Report inappropriate post Report 
#33
When bird watching I like to leave phones smart or otherwise at home. Give me a field guide book bins and turn me loose. Cordially yours, Phil.
   Philip Harvey, 15/08/14 11:07Report inappropriate post Report 
#34
Stunning App, great buy. Great for showing new birders the differences between species. Great videos to. Awesome.
   Derek Julian, 15/08/14 11:37Report inappropriate post Report 
#35
Sorry to go on about the Android issue. Not only does it seem a very poor commercial decision to ignore well over half the potential market but the reasons seem not to hold up. If the Apple version needs to have "the latest OS" then presumably the same can apply to any Android version (say above 4). This removes one of the technical objections. Is it financial? Apple take 30% from all sales on iTunes. There are countless examples of both Apple and Android apps available. Urgent reconsideration would seem the best answer with promise to deliver by end of year.
   steve green, 15/08/14 17:50Report inappropriate post Report 
#36
Great app - works perfectly on iPhone. Bought in-app add-ons, but these didn't appear on the iPad, so I did the "restore add-ins" and that's where the problems have started. It just kept hanging. I have uninstalled the app from iPad and will start again, but after struggling for well over an hour, it is starting to annoy me. I hate apps that you have to restore add-ins every time you reinstall.
   rezMole, 15/08/14 18:17Report inappropriate post Report 
#37
Sorry for the tardy response to some of the recent questions. I have been manning our stand at the Bird Fair today. Great fun but exhausting! #32a yes we will look at adding pinch-zoom on compare which I agree would be nice (work-around for now is one tap on the bird to go to its species page where you can pinch zoom in on the illustrations). #32b You can view any lists you create by applying them as a filter in search. We will add a text view and CSV export in an early update. #35 this will be cured with a solid internet connection please email support@touchpress.com if not. Unfortunately "restore purchases" is inherent to the in-app purchase system, but hopefully you should not need to reinstall the app very often.
   Max Whitby, 15/08/14 20:12Report inappropriate post Report 
#38
Well, after five hours installing, uninstalling, re-downloading, etc. I have come to the conclusion that there's something wrong. No problems on the iPhone, but getting the videos onto the iPad is just not happening. The countdown bar gets to nearly the end, then jumps back. Never have I had any trouble with any other apps. And with ref to the comment above, my internet connection is fine, and fast enough (BT Infinity).
   rezMole, 15/08/14 22:42Report inappropriate post Report 
#39
Sorry to hear that the problem is unresolved. How much space do you have free on your iPad? You temporarily require twice the size of the download package due to the way Apple decompresses the data. May be best to take further discussion to email (max@touchpress.com).
   Max Whitby, 15/08/14 22:51Report inappropriate post Report 
#40
I have 3GB free space - after the app has installed. It has no problem adding in the BTO maps, but just won't add-in the videos. I am off to bed now, so will give it another go tomorrow.
   rezMole, 15/08/14 22:57Report inappropriate post Report 
#41
Hi Max, I've got the same problem downloading videos to iPad with plenty of space. keeps restarting and never completes. It's fine on the iPhone. Andy
   Andy Johnson, 15/08/14 23:58Report inappropriate post Report 
#42
May I suggest that anyone else experiencing problems installing the videos contacts support@touchpress.com for direct assistance. Many hundreds of people have successfully installed the videos in the past 24 hours, so please have faith that the problem can be resolved! Two immediate things to check and to try (in order of priority) if you are experiencing problems.: 1) Please ensure that you are using a stable and reasonably fast wifi or hard-wired internet connection. 2) Before...more more
   Max Whitby, 16/08/14 07:44Report inappropriate post Report 
#43
Hi Max, I have followed your instructions to the letter this morning - after getting my iPad "stripped" of apps so I had 5.9GB of free space. Still no joy. The maps load up but neither of the video packs. I have sent a screen shot to "support".
   rezMole, 16/08/14 11:51Report inappropriate post Report 
#44
The Android issue: sorry, but the given reasons - #5 - just don't make any sense. The North American Sibley Bird Guide app works fine on Android and has been doing so for years. Could we be told the real reason please and could we be told if the issue is going to be addressed with some urgency?
   Steve Gantlett, 16/08/14 18:53Report inappropriate post Report 
#45
I seem to be having the same problem as many people; loads fine on iphone but on ipad just goes two thirds of the way then stops and totally refuses to attempt to load from the iMac -- this is an ipad 1 -- assume it should work?? I have 18GB free on the ipad so no excuse on the shortage of space issue -- never had a problem with any other app -- this seems to need sorting out quickly
   Graham Catley, 16/08/14 20:32Report inappropriate post Report 
#46
I too have had terrible trouble with the installation of videos - in my case on the iPhone 5s (iPad finally worked). I have raised a support ticket, this is the test of my last post: Spent a lot of time trying to resolve this today. In short, the iPad appears to be working fine now. Assuming Red-necked Grebe is from video pack one and Cory's Shearwater from pack two, I am sorted. The iPhone is not such a great story. I attach a file of how the video screen for Cory's...more more
   Alastair Brown, 16/08/14 22:37Report inappropriate post Report 
#47
And another real answer to the iPhone / Android question (in addition to the genuine device fragmentation issue) is that despite massive penetration of Android, iOS developer income remains significantly higher. So most premium apps (this is >£10 before add-ons) tend to start life on iOS.
   Alastair Brown, 16/08/14 22:39Report inappropriate post Report 
#48
Some further responses to recent posts. #43 really sorry that rezMole is still having problems installing the videos on iPad. I will escalate this with engineering when I am back in the office tomorrow (Monday). #45 I am hoarse from telling hundreds of people at the Bird Fair this weekend that there is simply no demand for an Android version ;-). Message firmly received. We will work with Bonnier and HarperCollins to address this issue with urgency. #45 Graham I am really sorry but the reason is that your iPad 1 is not capable of running the current (required) iOS7. We will contact you directly to arrange a full refund. #46 Kindly email me directly Alastair (max@touchpress.com) and we will escalate technical support to resolve this. #47 Here are a couple of pertinent articles for those interested: 1) http://www.infoworld.com/d/mobile-technology/yes-you-can-create-rich-android-apps-it-aint-easy-244516 ; 2) http://opensignal.com/reports/fragmentation-2013/
   Max Whitby, 17/08/14 07:38Report inappropriate post Report 
#49
Several people have been asking about text search on the iPhone and also how you view your lists in the app. 1) There is a design improvement we need to make on the iPhone to make search easier. For now after typing in your search target, you will see yellow text with the search term just below. Tap this, then dismiss filters layer by tapping Done. Voila you should see just the species you have searched for. Note that you do not need to enter the full name, just a few letters will do. 2) To view your lists, go to the home screen, clear any previous search criteria, and apply any of your lists as a filter (this option is the very top item in the filters pop-up). We will be adding further functionality (including species count, text list view and export) in an early update.
   Max Whitby, 19/08/14 12:20Report inappropriate post Report 
#50
When I decided to get a smart phone, the iPhone was my only option, because I had the BirdGuides ID guide on my iPod - which is not avaiable on any platform other than the iPlatform. When I saw the Collins app at Bird Fair, I knew I had to have it!! There are still some features on the BirdGuides app that I like, so, for the time being, I'm keeping both apps on my iPhome. BTW.. I was a bit gutted that I had to delete some of my fave heavy metal albums off my phone (only a 16 Gb phone) to make room to download the new app!!!
   Ian Traynor, 20/08/14 22:19Report inappropriate post Report 
#51
The colours of the birds is fine on my iPhone 5 but not on my iPad 2. For instance, the Pallas's warbler has no green in it on the iPad just greyish brown. Are others seeing this or is my iPad dodgy?
   JerryBird, 21/08/14 00:51Report inappropriate post Report 
#52
If you download the updated version, and "restore purchases", check you don't get charged again. I have been charged for the maps again! Would probably have been charged for the videos again too, but for the fact that I still haven't got them the first time!
   rezMole, 22/08/14 17:00Report inappropriate post Report 
#53
rezMole that should most certainly NOT be the case. It may seem like you are being asked to purchase again, but if you step through the process, you will see that the "buy" button change to "restore purchase". This is provided you use the same Apple ID as for the original download. If anyone is charged twice, App Store support will promptly refund. Please email support@touchpress.com in this case and we can talk you through the procedure.
   Max Whitby, 22/08/14 17:51Report inappropriate post Report 
#54
My mistake I think. I just got the invoice emailed to me. The first invoice last week did not have the maps download on, just the videos, for some reason. I hadn't noticed, but just assumed they would all be on the same invoice. Sorry.
   rezMole, 22/08/14 18:01Report inappropriate post Report 
#55
I love your app Dr Max. I was struggling in Spain this summer with crested vs thekla lark amongst other things and badly needed the app I have come to rely on at home i.e. British Birds but for Southern Europe. No sooner have I got home but here it is. Miraculous. If only the iPhone was ay good for making phone calls life would be perfect. Delighted you are still keeping up the ground breaking new work Guy Michelmore
   Guy Michelmore, 29/08/14 21:24Report inappropriate post Report 
#56
Thanks very much for your kind words Guy. I have an update on the video download issue that has been affecting a small proportion of people (29 technical support enquiries to date out of > 1,500 video downloads). We have managed to reproduce the issue, which appears to be due a failed download state not being correctly cleared by iOS. We have reported this bug to Apple and we gather that other developers are also experiencing the same issue. In the meantime anyone suffering from the problem can obtain a refund (email me at max@touchpress.com and I will explain the procedure). I will keep you posted when there is further news.
   Max Whitby, 01/09/14 16:55Report inappropriate post Report 
#57
Thanks for that Max. I will hold on and hope the problem eventually gets sorted. I do have all the videos on my iPhone, which is what goes with me when out in the field. The problem is with the installation on my iPad, and I can live with that.
   rezMole, 01/09/14 17:31Report inappropriate post Report 
#58
The upgrade to iOS 8 fixed this issue on my iPhone (iPad was always fine). Not sure whether the underlying Apple bug is resolved, or something about the update allowed the stuck process to reset, but either way I am happy!
   Alastair Brown, 19/09/14 17:01Report inappropriate post Report 
#59
Glad to hear that upgrading to iOS8 has fixed the video download problem for Alistair. Unfortunately we are aware of other people for whom this has not helped. The total number of unresolved support cases with "stuck download" syndrome is still under 30 with over 2,000 video packs now downloaded, so thankfully the issue is fairly rare. I appreciate this is no comfort if you are one of the people affected. The Touchpress engineers are working with Apple to fix the problem and we have confirmed it is an OS bug. In better news our iPhone6 and iPhone 6 Plus arrived today. The app works fine on both these new devices and looks excellent on the larger screens.
   Max Whitby, 19/09/14 17:10Report inappropriate post Report 
#60
The upgrade to iOS8 did not appear to fix my problem on the iPad. I touched the video icon and it gave me the download bar as usual, saying something like 16 minutes, so I assumed the problem was still there. However, when I've gone into the app today, I have noticed that ALL the videos are now there! Brilliant.
   rezMole, 22/09/14 10:36Report inappropriate post Report 
#61
That was similar to my experience. Before iOS 8 I had a timer that would flit around low numbers normally lower than 1m59s. When it got to sub 1m it would stop and go blank. When I upgraded to iOS 8 I got a sensible timer which progressed from 8m or so, and more or less moved down sensibly. It jumped up a couple of times using the algorithm to calculate a new time if the network got lumpy, but basically behaved like a normal timer. Especially the getting to zero and then playing the video part!
   Alastair Brown, 22/09/14 12:29Report inappropriate post Report 

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