Rating: Apple provides fast turnaround for iOS version
It seems that AshTag – the organisation which is backing Britain’s efforts to track and stop the spread of the Ash tree dieback disease in the UK, can move fast when it comes to smartphone apps. See our previous story ‘A smartphone app may help to save Britain’s Ash trees’ here. The organisation says it has only a short window of opportunity to help identify the spread of the disease before Winter sets in. After that identification of diseases becomes more difficult. Hence the organisation has been grateful for the help it received from Apple. It now has both iOS and Android versions of its smartphone app.AshTag says, “We’re delighted to announce that Apple approved the AshTag iPhone app overnight and it is now available for immediate download.”
iOS user can either search for ‘ashtag’ on the Apple iTunes App store, or go here.
The Android app is already available on Google Play (formerly Android Market ) here.
It seems a version specifically for the Nexus 7 tablet is also under development.
You can also manually upload photos taken with other smartphones – such as BlackBerries, or on digital cameras to Ashtag.org.
When the web site said IAS stood for Invasive Alien Species, for a moment GoMobile News thought it was a body interested in UFOs, but of course it is about plants which damage the UK’s ecosystem.
The Android and iOS apps are very basic – but that’s not meant as a criticism, it merely reflects the urgency of the situation.
Basically there are two options in the app: – ‘Add a sighting’ and ‘Identification Guide’. The latter has photos of infected Ash trees.
The Add a sighting facility enables you to send photos to Ashtag. GoMobile News would urge contributors to turn location awareness on when they take these photos.
AshTag probably can process that data right now but it could prove highly useful to the organisation at a later date.
On our trusty Motorola RAZRi Android smartphone, we opened the camera app; touch the settings icon and checked the box which said ‘Turn on geo-tagging’.
AshTag must be doing something right because the Android app received circa 1,000 downloads in 24 hours.
You can follow the organisation’s progress via the Ashtag website here or by following them #AshTag on Twitter.