Mood-Log 2.0 is here!

The latest version of Mood-Log is now available in the App Store and it has two big changes: iPad support and a Privacy Screen. In addition, there are many smaller changes as described below

iPad Support

Previous versions of Mood-Log were iPhone-only, which meant that when you ran it on an iPad, it did not take full advantage of the screen space. Mood-Log 2.0 is fully compatible, which means it uses the full screen, and it plays well with other applications. For example, you can use the iPad’s split-screen functionality to run Mood-Log alongside other applications. A large screen means that more information can be shown in the list view, so you’ll now see the Mood diagram (pie chart) and Factors charts for each of your entries.

Full screen and two variations of Split-screen iPad views

Full screen and two variations of Split-screen iPad views

On the larger screen of the iPad, you can see a lot more moods at a time. This can be helpful if you’re trying to figure out how you’re feeling and want to see more choices at once. Remember you can choose to view the Moods by category, alphabetically or randomly (by tapping the buttons on the bottom left of the screen), and you can choose to show fewer or more mood faces by sliding the slider down there.

Moods by Category. Use the “Fewer—More” slider along the bottom to adjust how many moods are shown.

Moods by Category. Use the “Fewer—More” slider along the bottom to adjust how many moods are shown.

Moods shown randomly. Note that you can also turn off colors or faces (the buttons at bottom right) to adjust the mood picker’s look to your taste.

Moods shown randomly. Note that you can also turn off colors or faces (the buttons at bottom right) to adjust the mood picker’s look to your taste.

Like the new iPad view, the iPhone’s list view also now shows Mood diagrams for each entry, right below each entry’s date, helping to give you a better understanding of how you were feeling then. While we’re on the topic of Mood diagrams, we now support showing the diagram as either a Pie chart or a Donut chart. So pick your preference!

Pie chart Mood diagrams

Pie chart Mood diagrams

Donut chart Mood diagrams

Donut chart Mood diagrams

And how do you pick your preference? By using the new Settings window. Look for the gear icon along the bottom of the screen. In Settings, you’ll see the option to switch between Pie and Donut charts, and you’ll also see the other big feature of Mood-Log 2.0: the Privacy Screen.


Mood-Log’s new Settings window

Mood-Log’s new Settings window

Privacy Screen

There may be times when someone is using your iPhone or iPad and you’d like to keep your Mood-Log journal entries private. The Privacy Screen allows you to cover the contents of Mood-Log until you type in a 4-digit code.

PrivacyScreen.png

Whenever you go to another App or the Home Screen and then return to Mood-Log, the Privacy Screen will come up, preventing anyone else from viewing your journal entres. Note that you can also hide the Privacy Screen by typing your device’s Passcode (where it says “Enter Code or Tap Here”) so if someone else knows your passcode, they have the ability to see your Mood-Log entries. The Privacy Screen cannot completely prevent access to the data in Mood-Log, but it keeps it from being unintentionally visible, and helps ensure that only you or those you choose can see what you write in Mood-Log.

You activate the Privacy Screen by tapping on the gear icon at the bottom of the main list view to get to Settings. When you tap the switch in Settings, you will be asked to type in a 4-digit code, then type it again to verify that you typed it correctly. From then on, you will see the Privacy Screen any time you leave Mood-Log and come back (such as going to the Home screen and then tapping on Mood-Log). When the Privacy Screen comes up, type that same 4-digit code to dismiss the screen and get back into Mood-Log.

What if you forget your 4-digit code? Just in case you forget your code, you can do the following: When the Privacy Screen comes up, tap where it says “Enter Code or Tap Here”. Type in your device’s Passcode (or use Face ID or Touch ID if they’re enabled). Once in Mood-Log, tap on the gear icon to get to Settings. Tap the switch next to “Privacy Screen” and then type in any four-digit code. You’ll see “Try Again” if you didn’t match your original code. Do it again and it’ll say “Try Again” again. Do it a third time and you’ll see near the bottom of your screen “Disable with Passcode” (note: it may say “Disable with Face ID” or “Disable with Touch ID” depending on the capabilities of your device). Tap that text and you can use your device’s Passcode to disable Mood-Log’s Privacy Screen.

Other Changes

  • The text size now adjusts based on your device’s Settings (Settings->Display & Brightness->Text Size or Settings->General->Accessibility->Larger Text). Not all text is changed, but text in the main list view and your journal entries adjust based on what you’ve set for your device

  • In the Summary Screen, you can now cycle through each of the individual Factors (All, Mood, Stress, Energy, Mind, Health, Sleep). Just tap on “Factors” and then tap on “All” to begin cycling through the individual items

  • In the Summary Screen, “Pie” and “Bar” have been renamed to “Moods” and “Factors” to better describe what they’re displaying

  • Fixed auto-layout issues on iPhone 7/8 Plus (full screen instead of popup window for charts in landscape)

  • The control for adjusting timeline date ranges draws correctly now

  • Automatically scroll to the end of the Summary chart when changing the date range for entries

  • The version number for Mood-Log now shows in the About box. This is useful if you’re ever reporting a problem, to make sure you’re using the latest version

  • Other bug fixes, layout improvements and little enhancements here and there

Gardening for the Birds

Have you considered planting California native plants in your yard as a way to attract birds? Kathy Kramer has written a wonderful article on this topic for the Golden Gate Audubon Society called “Gardening for the Birds.”

If you’d like to experience native gardens up close, the free “Going Native Garden Tours”, organized by the local chapter of the California Native Plant Society and by the UCCE Master Gardeners, are happening May 4 in the South Bay and May 5 on the Peninsula and in the East Bay. For more information and to register for the tours, go to https://gngt.org/GNGT/HomeRO.php. If you’re in the East Bay, visit https://www.bringingbackthenatives.net

Happy birding (and gardening)!

Santa Clara Valley Audubon Society's Spring Birdathon 2019

This year, I am participating in multiple birdathon fundraisers for the Santa Clara Valley Audubon Society (SCVAS). If you’re interested in participating, I’m leading a team of beginning-to-expert birders Sunday April 14th for a 4-hour “Big Day” where we try to identify as many species as possible from 8am to Noon. We are the Wandering Kestrels, so sign up and join us if you want to have some birding fun! I’m also joining Team Sharpies for their 24-hour expert-level birdathon, and Ginger & I are doing our own 24-hour birdathon as usual, under the name The Piratical Flycatchers. If you would just like to support SCVAS, consider donating to any of the teams above.

Happy birding,

~Barry Langdon-Lassagne

Birdathon 1.3.1 now available

Birdathon 1.3.1 is now available, addressing some bugs and helping make the app easier to use, especially for first-time users.

First the bug fixes. If you tried to set a custom Rarity for a bird, there was no “Done” button so you couldn’t go back to the bird! That’s fixed. There was also a crashing bug that happened a few steps after searching all lists for a bird. Fixing that crasher also fixed some other weird behavior in the app. In the Summary view, if you had Uncategorized birds, sometimes Birdathon would crash; that’s fixed now too.

As for features, there are a couple interesting ones. The New Checklist view is streamlined and rearranged, making it easier to get started logging bird observations. And when your checklist comes up, the search bar is now visible. If you have a small screen or just don’t want the search field, you can tap on the magnifying glass icon to make it go away and the list remembers your setting. You can also go into Birdathon’s Settings and turn off “Search Bar Visible” to get the old behavior where the Search Bar was hidden unless you tapped the magnifying glass to show it.

New users should now appreciate that when you try to create your first checklist, the “Create List” button is not grayed out. That’s because Birdathon now starts with the ABA Checklist selected by default. Just one less tap and one less thing to be confused by when starting out using the app.

On the maps, the county boundary lines are now drawn ever-so-slightly thicker so they are easier to see on the Satellite and Hybrid map views.

Check out the latest version on the Apple App Store.

Santa Clara Valley Audubon Society is seeking an Executive Director

Our local Audubon chapter—The Santa Clara Valley Audubon Society (SCVAS)—is looking for an Executive Director. SCVAS is a leader in bird education and conservation in the Bay Area, with an enthusiastic and dynamic team of employees and volunteers. Our former Executive Director has retired, so it’s time for new leadership. Are you that leader? Do you know someone who could be? Send your resume and a cover letter to scvasboardpresident@gmail.com today! For more information, go to http://www.scvas.org/pdf/2019_EDOpportunityLong.pdf

Birdathon 1.3 Now Available -- County Lines & Range Circles

Birdathon 1.3 has just been released! Now you can add county boundary lines for any US state to your checklist maps (as well as to the Summary maps) and you can add range circles, making it easy to see Christmas Bird Count (CBC) circles or 5-mile Radius (5MR) circles, as well as other radii from 1/8 mile up to 200 miles (or 100m to 500km). We have also added full-screen iPad support, rotated views (for maps, notes and email reports), the latest ABA and Santa Clara County checklists, and many more features. Check it out now on the Apple App Store.

Map views can now show county lines (Santa Clara County, CA pictured here) and range circles (the San Jose CBC 7.5-mile-radius circle is shown). Also, observations pins are clustered when you are zoomed out on maps.

Map views can now show county lines (Santa Clara County, CA pictured here) and range circles (the San Jose CBC 7.5-mile-radius circle is shown). Also, observations pins are clustered when you are zoomed out on maps.

Here’s the full list of new features:

  • County lines for any US county or for all counties in any US state

  • Draw circles of specific radius around any point on a map, making things like 5MR (5-mile Radius) and CBC (Christmas Bird Count) circles easy

  • Maps now aggregate nearby observations, reducing clutter and making them easier to read. This is on iOS 11 or later

  • iPad is now supported, including the ability to show Birdathon side-by-side with other apps such as Safari, The Sibley Guide to Birds, eBird, iNaturalist, etc.

  • Support for iOS 9.3 (previous versions only supported as far back as iOS 10). Note that some features (such as pin clustering on maps) are not available in older versions of iOS

  • Updated the ABA Checklist to version 8.0.5 (December 2018). This syncs the ABA checklist up with the changes from the AOS checklist, which was revised in August.

  • Updated the Santa Clara County Checklist to November 2018. The only change was the addition of LeConte's Sparrow

  • Rotation is now supported for many views. This is especially useful for maps, note fields and email reports. On iPad, you can rotate any view

  • Checklists now remember which tab (All, Observed, Starred) you have selected, on a per-checklist basis

  • When viewing checklists by Observed or Starred, searches now encompass the entire list. This is settable in Settings

  • Reorganized Settings for easier customization of Birdathon

  • There's a new color picker for choosing color themes for your checklists and a theme name is now shown

  • You can now adjust the creation date and time when creating a new checklist, or after you’ve created the checklist via the Checklist Info view

  • Non-bird observations now show a count on the map

  • You can now view a full-screen map when editing individual observations, making it easier to adjust the pin location

  • A new debug setting lets you see the GPS accuracy of the observations recorded. Green rings around map pins for high accuracy, yellow for moderate accuracy and red for low accuracy. You can turn this on under Settings. We have worked to make the GPS coordinates more accurate, so if you are seeing frequent location issues, please email us at birdathon@voyageropen.com with details of the problem

  • The Summary view has improved logic for restricting the range (now uses a circular range rather than rectangular) and shows a restricted-range circle on the map

  • A bug in the Summary view where non-bird observations were always displaying on the map has been fixed

  • When importing a checklist template, it now shows up immediately in the New Checklist view. Previously you had to close and re-open the “New Checklist” view to get the imported template to appear

  • Lots of user interface cleanup, tuning and bug fixing

Birdathon 1.2.2 - Some Bug Fixes

This is just a bug fix release. The following bugs have been addressed:

  • The summary view was blank when sorting alphabetically (if sorting last name first)
  • Fixed incorrect species count for ABA v8.0.4 checklist template
  • Fixed a crash when deleting the only non-bird observation in a checklist

Also, when the species count is > 999, we now show commas for the count at the bottom of the checklist (e.g. 25/1,112 birds).

Birdathon 1.2.1

No sooner had we released Birdathon 1.2 with all it's great content, when the ABA released a v8.0.4 update to their checklist. We have just released Birdathon 1.2.1, which includes the new ABA checklist as well as a few other tidbits:

  • You can now edit the creation date for your checklists. If you are entering old checklists into Birdathon, this can be useful for ordering them by their original date
  • We've added a few new color themes to help you distinguish your checklists (and because they're fun). Two are shades of gray, there's a nice teal and an indigo theme and one more "dark" theme for using at night
  • When sorting your lists by Type, there's now an index along the right for easy access to each category. This becomes useful when you have a lot of lists

And lastly, here are a few notes on how to edit your checklists any time you want to add, remove or change birds.

Birdathon 1.2 - Birds of the World

It's summertime, and as is (apparently) tradition, everybody is updating their bird checklist. The ABA got an early start by releasing version 8.0.2 in May with four new species, but then they released another new update (8.0.3) in August with four more. On June 21, the AOS updated their Checklist of North American Birds with many changes as summarized in the ABA Blog. Pyle and DeSante updated the four-letter Alpha codes on July 24. Clements updated their Birds of the World on August 14. eBird, keeping in sync with Clements, updated their taxonomy on August 15. While all these changes were going on, we have been working on updating Birdathon. The goal of this release is to expand Birdathon to cover all the birds of the world. To do this, we started with the latest Clements Checklist of Birds of the World, which contains 10,585 species. Birdathon previously only covered the AOS checklist which has 2,143 species, so this was a big jump. After making sure Birdathon worked well with the expanded list, we folded in the most up-to-date information from the AOS, ABA and Pyle/DeSante checklists.

Today Birdathon 1.2 is available in the Apple App Store. You can now create checklists for any place on Earth. We've posted some sample checklists for you to try out. You can make your own checklists just by creating a text file of birds by Common Name and importing it into Birdathon -- the additional information such as Scientific Name, Family, etc. will be automatically added.

But there's more: you can now sort your birds by Rarity. The ABA checklist defines rarity codes for the 1,111 species found in North America and these are included in Birdathon. You can also set a Custom Rarity for each bird in a checklist and then sort by that. The included Santa Clara County Checklist template already has Custom Rarity codes as defined on the SCVAS website , so you can see how it works by creating a list from that template and then sorting by Custom Rarity. You can also make your own checklist templates containing Custom Rarity.

Within each Rarity category, birds are sorted in taxonomic order. You can change the sort order to be alphabetical in Settings (go to the "About" window, then tap the small gear icon). Non-bird Observations and Notes appear in the list after all the birds.

While we're on the topic of sorting alphabetically, Birdathon also improved Alphabetical sorts. Now birds are sorted by "last name" (e.g. "Black-crowned Night-Heron" is sorted under "N" for "Night-Heron"). Other items such as non-bird observations and notes still sort by first letter as before. You can set Alphabetical sorting behavior (Last Name or First Name) in Settings as well.

There are other changes and bug fixes, but those are the big ones. Give Birdathon 1.2 a try and tell us what you think.

Happy birding!

And now, Birdathon 1.1.1

The American Birding Association (ABA) did a mid-year update of their checklist, so we took the opportunity to update Birdathon along with it. Birdathon 1.1.1 includes the new ABA Checklist version 8.0.2 (May 2018) which contains four new species for the range it covers: Indian Peafowl, (Eurasian) River Warbler, Thick-billed Warbler and European Robin. For more information on the additions, see their post in the ABA blog. In addition, the maps in Birdathon have been updated to distinguish regular bird sightings from notes, non-birds and indeterminate birds.

In the Summary view (new in the previous release), Family order now shows members of the family sorted by observed count, so you can easily see, for example, which warbler you saw most frequently. Also, there were some bug fixes for the Summary view:

  • Indefinite sightings (those with a '?') no longer show on the map unless the option to show them is on
  • Old bird checklists now show all their members in the correct family
  • A bug where birds could be listed with a 0 or negative count if you restrict the geographic range is fixed.

Lastly, the options for Summary view had a bug where the text was truncated on some iPhones. There were other minor tweaks and fixes. Let us know if you find any issues.

Birdathon 1.1 is now available in the App Store

We've enhanced Birdathon with a few new features we think you'll find useful: Global Search allows you to find a species in any of your lists, a Summary view aggregates information from all of your lists and there is a new setting to automatically clear the search field after you've entered observation data for a bird. Check it out in the App Store or read on for more details. Global Search

At the top of the Main view in Birdathon is a new search field. All of your lists can now be searched together. You can search for  common name or four-letter banding code, just as you can when you're in a single checklist. When you tap on a found list, you see the matches for your search in that list and can get additional details like where and when the bird was observed.

[video width="406" height="720" poster="http://voyageropen.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/04/Global-Search-1.png"][/video]

 

Summary View

At the bottom of the Main view is an icon (  ) that brings up a new Summary view. This view shows you aggregated observation information from all of your lists. You can sort by family, alphabetically, by time seen and by count. You can adjust the timeframe to show only birds observed in a particular window of time (such as this week, month, year, etc.), and display a map showing the location of all your bird observations in that time period.

Tapping on a bird will show you all of the lists that contain observations of that species and when you first observed that species in each list. The map icon will bring up a map showing everywhere you've seen that species.

Within the Summary view is an option for limiting the geographic range of your Summary, so for example you can see a list of all birds you've observed within one mile of your home or of a favorite wildlife preserve. Ranges can be adjusted from 1/4 mile up to 10 miles.

 

The Summary view also lets you export your summary data  as a comma-separated-values (csv) text file, and you can turn any summary into a checklist template.

As an example: in the Summary view, turn on the option to limit the Geographic Range to within one mile of the center of a park. Show all the birds you've ever recorded at that park. Now Tap the Share button and choose "Create Template from Summary." Once you've done this, any time you visit that park, when you create a new list you can start with the checklist template you created, so your list will only show birds you expected to see at that location (if you do see a species that isn't in a checklist, you can easily add it to that checklist using the "+" button).

[video width="304" height="540" mp4="http://voyageropen.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/04/Template-from-Summary.mp4" poster="http://voyageropen.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/04/Template-from-Summary.png"][/video]

 

If you have lists that you don't want included in the Summary view, you can exclude them by going into the checklist, tapping on the Info icon () and then scrolling to the bottom to toggle the switch "Include List in Summaries".

Clearing Searches

Although standard iOS search fields leave the text in place after a search, when birding this behavior can sometimes slow you down. Once you've added a bird observation, you are usually ready to move on to the next species, so now you can set an option to clear the search field each time you search and add an observation.

After you've turned on the "Clear Search" setting, whenever you search for a bird and then increment the seen or heard count, the search field clears. You can then quickly type in a new bird name and enter your next observation.

 

Birdathon 1.1 has a few other bug fixes worth mentioning:

  • When you change the name of a list, the new name shows up immediately. It used to show the old name until you closed and re-opened the list
  • Searching for birds whose name contains an apostrophe (') now works correctly
  • In the Main view, the "+" button has been renamed to "New List"
  • ABA Checklist version in the About box is now correct (v8.0.1, the latest)
  • Fixed a bug where the year may display incorrectly on December 31

Mood-Log 1.5

Mood-Log has just been updated for iOS 11 and the iPhone X. In addition to bug fixes and refinements to the interface, there are a couple new features:

  • The Summary and Charts pages now include a control at the top that let's you specify a time range for the data. For example, you can view charts for the past day, 7 days, 28 days or all entries. A sliding control lets you pick specific ranges of dates, so you could for example see how you were feeling last December.
  • When adding additional factors to your Mood-Log entry, you can now slide the bars on the chart up and down directly. Sliding the sliders will update the chart, and sliding the chart will update the sliders.

The ABA checklist is out! And that means Birdathon is ready for the world

The ABA checklist 8.0 was released yesterday! This update includes Hawaiian birds and syncs up with the AOS checklist that was released in July. I have updated  Birdathon to include the new ABA Checklist, which completes the last big task planned before announcing Birdathon to the world. More information on the ABA checklist is available on the ABA blog. So hello, world! Birdathon is ready for you. Well, hello birding world anyway :-).

App - the Human Story

A new trailer for App - the Human Story is out and the movie will be released this November. App - the Human Story is a documentary about iOS app developers and how the world is changing now that we all have supercomputers in our hip pockets. I've met several of the developers in this documentary and I supported this project on Kickstarter. It's a truly great look at the world I'm proud to have played a small part in all these years.