We are happy to announce that we have just released a new version of our Animals of Costa Rica App. It is available as usual on Android and Apple stores. Here is a list of the most important changes and enhancements we have made (please also read the “Known issues” section carefully!).
Major changes and improvements
- Medium resolution download support: In order to target users with less available storage on their phone and/or lower internet download speed we now offer to download our packages as medium-resolution instead of high-resolution. Taking the complete “All-Species” package as an example this makes a huge difference of 6,6 GB (high resolution) vs. 940 MB (medium resolution), saving around 86% of required space on the phone. For purchases of the “All Species” package the app also allows to combine resolutions between different packages, e.g. download “All Species” as medium resolution to save overall space and download one or multiple of the more dedicated packages (e.g. birds or amphibians) in high resolution to enjoy full detail when zooming on these images.
For most of the users the medium-resolution version is more than enough. We recommend the full-size version only to users with no memory problems so as availability of a very good WIFI connection for the initial package download.
- Download size indications and space availability checks: Together with the change above we also check the amount of available internal storage on the users’ phone, indicate the available download sizes and recommend which resolution to download depending on the available space.
- The free app version now includes 50 fully accessible species (instead of only 25). Check out e.g. the Eyelash viper, the huge Lebeau’s Silkmoth or the spectacular Orange Helicopter Treehopper.
- If you have not (yet) purchased any package, the app now also allows you to open content pages of locked species by locking only certain fields on these pages instead of restricting their access completely. This should make evaluation easier and more transparent for new users.
Smaller changes, improvements and bugfixes
- Download stability improvements: we improved download stability which had caused trouble to some people and sometimes prevented them from successfully downloading a purchased package. Nevertheless, a good WIFI connection is still required for initial package download. After successful package download the app can be fully used offline.
- Next / previous support: When inspecting a certain species on its “General” page, the app will offer the possibility to directly jump to the next or previous species from the same family without the need to first close the species dialogue. The same is supported for “Filter results”, “Favorites” and the “Seen” section.
- When opening and closing individual search results the search does not need to be re-evaluated again after closing a species.
- Adapted the sequence and structure of Favorites and Seen section to equal sorting of Search or Filter results.
- Added a timeout for database syncing during app loading. In case of a new available database download the app needs a manual restart (including “swiping away” the app) to load the new database.
- Download progress indicator now considers the correct overall download size for large packages, and also includes the image extraction time.
- Storage access permission is no longer needed on Android, unless you want to try out the experimental feature of storing the images on SD-card (unlockable via the settings).
- Restructured and adapted content of the “About” page, especially to include new co-authors (see section below) and many contributors.
- Some other smaller improvements.
When upgrading from a previous version you may experience some issues on the first startup like long freezing of the app and/or losing all your previously marked “Favorites” and “Seen” species. We therefore recommend the following procedure:
- Take notes or make screenshots of your marked “Favorites” and “Seen” species in case you want to remember them for after the upgrade.
- Uninstall the old app version.
- Perform a fresh install from the App store (your previous purchases remain valid!)
- After database synchronization and package download manually mark your noted “Favorites” and “Seen” species again. Note: in future app upgrades your marked “Favorites” and “Seen” species will not be lost on the device you are upgrading.
We are thankful for the extremely valuable contribution with many photos and scientific expertise of our new Co-Authors Jim Córdoba, Dariel Sanabria Quirós and Jorge San Gil León.
Jim is founder and director of the Insectopia Insect Museum in Puerto Jimenez. He is tour guide and entomologist with special focus on the Peninsula Osa. He contributes with many photos.
Dariel is probably the most enthusiastic insect lover with an incredible knowledge on the fauna of Costa Rica. He verifies identifications and contributes many insect photos.
Jorge is a biology student and assistant of the Zoology Museum of the Universidad de Costa Rica with great knowledge on taxonomy and behavior of freshwater fish. He contributes with content and many fish photos.
New YouTube Channel
We have also prepared a short screen-cast on our new ACR Youtube channel to provide a brief overview of the app’s functionality.
Plus, we have not only improved the app itself — we have also spent huge efforts in extending the contents of our database and photo material. We now have included a total of over 6.600 species (including color variations, sexual dimorphism and juvenile stages) and over 10.000 photos. Please refer to our post about the new DB Release.
If you have any feedback please don’t hesitate to get back to us. Just head over to our Contact form and drop us a line.
Enjoy the app!
Gernot & Stefan
P.S: If you enjoy the app we would be very thankful for positive reviews on Google Play Store or Apple Store!