Tuesday, October 11, 2016

Best Apps for Scouts

I wanted to share a little synopsis of an article written for Bryan on Scouting providing some insight into the apps available and used in Scouting.  

Where in the past there was a debate over whether smartphone use is appropriate in Scouting, these days most Scouters see the devices like pocketknives. They are multitools that — with guidance to prevent misuse — are an important part of the Scouting experience.

With the right apps, your smartphone becomes a navigation device, sous chef, first-aid adviser, weather radio, camera and reference library. All inside a pocketable rectangle of glass, plastic and metal.




Boys’ Life magazine

Developer: Boys’ Life magazine, Boy Scouts of America

Devices: Android, iOS, Kindle

Cost: The app itself costs nothing, and anyone can browse a preview of any issue for free. Print subscribers get free access to the digital versions of their issues. Others can subscribe in the app or with this special print-and-digital bundle.

Description: If it’s in a boy’s life, it’s in Boys’ Life. And if it’s in Boys’ Life magazine, it’s in the magazine’s app, with content enhanced for the digital experience. You’ll get up-to-the-second news and feeds from BL social-media channels — plus, of course, all the great magazine stories about Scouting adventures, sports, cars, gaming, science, technology and more.

Download links: Android. iOS



Knots 3D

Developer: Nynix

Devices: Android, iOS

Cost: $1.99

Description: This easy-to-use app is popular among Scouters and Scouts because it’s fun and allows you to digitally tie, untie and rotate more than 100 knots with just your finger. “It can be slowed down and replayed for any level needed,” Scouter Dana says. “I tell other Scouters about it all the time!”

Download links: Android. iOS



Geocaching

Developer: Groundspeak Inc.

Devices: Android, iOS

Cost: The app is free, though you can get more features with a premium subscription for $30 a year.

Description: Think of it as the original Pok√©mon Go. Geocaching is the most popular app for enjoying the fun outdoor activity that spawned a Boy Scout merit badge. The official app of Geocaching.com helps you find one (or a dozen) of the millions of geocaching containers hidden across the globe. “My Scouts always love it when I start up the Geocaching app when at camp,” Scouter Richard says. “They love getting a group together and grabbing a cache wherever we go.”

Download: Android. iOS




Scouting magazine

Developer: Scouting magazine, Boy Scouts of America

Devices: Android, iOS, Kindle

Cost: The app is free. Once inside the app, enjoy a free, two-minute preview of any issue. Or buy any single issue for $3.99. The best deal, though, is the all-access subscription: unlimited access to every issue for $4.99 a year. You can subscribe in the app.

Description: By swiping through Scouting magazine’s digital archives, you’re literally scrolling back in time. Where you stop to explore deeper is up to you. I find even the advertisements — for fundraising products like fruitcakes, animal-shaped candles and Florida oranges — to be interesting. Discover Scouting history, and American history through the eyes of Scouting, in the Scouting magazine app.

Download: Android. iOS.



First Aid by American Red Cross

Developer: American Red Cross

Devices: Android, iOS

Cost: Free

Description: The only app here that may some day save a life. The official American Red Cross First Aid app puts expert advice for everyday emergencies in your hand. Includes videos, interactive quizzes and simple step-by-step advice.

Download: Android. iOS



Audubon Bird Guide: North America

Developer: National Audubon Society

Devices: Android, iOS

Cost: Free

Description: This popular app, now free, helps your Scouts or Venturers identify birds they see or hear. The app includes 808 species, 3,200 images and eight hours of bird sounds. A featured called eBird helps you locate birds seen recently around you, using the continuously updated database from the Cornell Laboratory of Ornithology.

Download: Android. iOS.



Dutch Oven Helper Lite

Developer: Kyle Kendall

Devices: iOS

Cost: Free

Description: A simple app with a clear purpose: telling you exactly how many charcoal briquettes you’ll need for a Dutch oven meal. Choose a temperature, Dutch oven size and cooking method, and the app does the rest — well, except for preparing the meal. And eating it. And cleaning up.

Download: iOS.



Dutch Oven Calculator

Developer: More With Less Software

Devices: Android

Cost: Free

Description: An Android cousin of the Dutch Oven Helper Lite above. It’s a simple app to figure out how many charcoal briquettes you’ll need for Dutch oven cooking.

Download: Android.



LeafSnap

Developer: Columbia University, University of Maryland and Smithsonian Institution

Devices: iOS

Cost: Free

Description: Point your phone toward any leaf, and LeafSnap uses visual recognition software to help you identify the tree from which it came. Fair warning: The app, like most things in nature, still has a few bugs.

Download: iPhone.

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