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Thanks, I should test it out away from WIFI and then see if all of the features still work, if the some of the features only work in camps and lodges with WIFI, then that will certainly make it a lot less useful. I would hope that the African Bird Club would not be silly enough, to produce an app that doesn’t really work without WIFI.


On their website they say  



The APP is designed to be used by ornithologists, wardens, birders and others with a general interest in birds and is intended to be an aid to conservation.


Obviously in Africa such people will more often than not be in places with no WIFI. One of the things that annoys me about the modern world, is when I fail to notice that I’ve saved something to the cloud, because too often that’s what you are now expected to do, so if you don’t want it on the cloud you have to be paying attention and tell it not to do that, otherwise it will do it by default. I always imagine myself sat in the middle of Zakouma or some other patch of wild African bush saying where’s your darn cloud now when, I can’t access something on my iPad. For my last trip to Zambia, I’d created a checklist using an Excel spreadsheet and @offshorebirder converted it into an electronic version, this was fantastic, but I don’t use a laptop and don’t have Excel on my iPad, so I'd downloaded a different spreadsheet app, I really could not get it to work very well, but the worst thing was when on one occasion I logged my iPad on to the WIFI, and maybe because I wasn’t paying attention when doing my bird list, I saved the file to the cloud and then when I returned to my room and wanted to look up something on my list, there was no WIFI and I couldn’t access the file. Sometimes I think that some people just never consider that there are places with no WIFI or no mobile phone signal or whatever, you don’t have to go to the wilds of Africa to find such places. Of course, if I had a laptop rather than an iPad, I might have had no trouble filling in my checklist electronically, whatever the case I do think it is unwise to rely too heavily on electronic gear when you are on safari, except when it is unavoidable in the case of cameras. 

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@inyathion my brief testing, it was only the map that didn’t work when WiFi was turned off

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Merlin has its pros and cons - one of which is that it takes up a LOT of device memory even without downloading any bird packs 

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@offshorebirderaccording to my iPad (assuming I am interpreting it correctly :)), the Merlin app uses 47.2mb of storage, and the UK bird pack (which I have loaded) uses 568mb. Some of the packs use more than this.

The Birds of Africa app uses 49.8mb and The Gambia pack uses 497mb , but will have more birds than the UK.

You are right that people should check how much space they have on their device

EDIT checked my iPhone. Merlin takes up 118mb for the app. I don’t know why the difference to the iPad!

Edited by TonyQ
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