Mobility is one of the best things about modern mobile computing devices. One can actually get out and about in the world while still having a powerful computer on hand. And remains true even when heading out into nature. In fact, one special type of app can help identify plants.
In the following article we’ll look at the best plant identifier app choices. We’ll primarily focus on cost, power and platforms.
8. Gardening Companion
Gardening Companion is a great app when it works. The basic concept works differently than many of the other options on this list. Most of the top apps try to do everything behind the scenes. But computers can only do so much on their own.
Gardening Companion instead leads the user to figure out the plant by themselves. And along the way, it gives users information about the plants they’re looking up. However, there’s one downside that keeps Gardening Companion somewhat low on the list.
The developers set a good price by offering it for free. But their servers sometimes go down when users try to log in. These technical issues keep an otherwise great app at a low ranking. But it’s still among the best plant identifier app choices for people who like to take control of things.
NatureGate is one of the more difficult apps for one to properly rate. It works quite differently with someone depending on favored style. Many of the apps try to automate things. But NatureGate leaves users to handle a lot of it on their own. It’s hands off even when compared to other user directed apps.
That said, this is a perfect match for some people’s style. And the fact that it’s available for both iOS and Android pushes it a bit higher up on the list.
LeafSnap is another app which is easy to understand by the name. Users simply take a picture of a plant’s leaves. From there it works with an off site database to determine the plant. This is similar to many of the other options within this list. But what makes it different comes down to regional differences.
Different regions have much different types of plantlife. And LeafSnap gets around that problem by using either the University of Maryland, Smithsonian, Columbia University or the UK Natural History Museum. The choice of expert system comes down to user location. And this can offer up a big boost in accuracy.
iPflanzen operates by helping users identify plants on their own. But it’s not quite as easy to understand as the description implies. Some of the other options essentially guide users through a handful of options. But they’re generally kept to a minimum.
What really makes iPflanzen different is the detail. It essentially uses advanced flowcharts to help guide users. And in fact, this can also help teach users about why the app presented those choices.
Agrobase ranks a bit lower on the list due to specialization. It veers far more to farming assistance than the other apps. Most of the apps on this list are mostly geared to hikers and the like. But Agrobase is solidly on the farmer’s side. It helps farmers identify both plants they want, invasive species and pests.
Along with that it helps farmers protect the good plants. And of course it helps fight off invasive plants as well. People who want an app to help with farming might consider this app a bit higher. While those who don’t should push it a bit lower in their consideration.
3. Offline Survival Manual
Offline Survival Manual scores somewhat low. But this is more due to the large scope of the app’s functionality. In a way this app operates in a similar way to an ebook. It’s not very good at, for example, automatically identifying a plant. And the information on foraging, starting campfires or purifying water might end up superfluous for many users.
However, the main reason it ranks among the best is an offline focus. The further one gets from cities and towns the less reliable a phone’s data connection. And most of the apps do require an active internet connection. But Offline Survival Manual is just that. An app that’s usable even when there’s no internet connection.
PlantSnapp is something special. The app’s probably the best fully computationally based app on the list. It’s almost like having the assistance of a top tier botanist at all times.
The app’s functionality is shown by the name. One simply needs to take a snap picture of a plant. And from there it can usually determine a plant’s species.
But the best plant identifier app choices often have a little extra. Here it even lets one easily purchase any of the identified plants. This makes it among the best plant identifier app choices for people looking to build their own garden. And it’s inexpensively priced at only $3.99.
FlowerChecker has somewhat similar functionality to the other best plant identifier app choices. But the biggest claim to fame is raw versatility. Many of the other choices put some limitations on what one can identify. But FlowerChecker pushes far past its name. It by no means limits anyone to flowers.
FlowerChecker works with plants, mushrooms or other fungi, lichen and moss. One might assume this keeps it at expert level. But in fact, the versatility makes it perfect for all user types. It’s for people who want to really narrow down the choices. But it’s also for people who might not even know the difference between pants and fungi.
The Bottom Line
Finally, it’s important to keep one major point in mind. None of the options are a clear winner. They’re obviously among the best of the best. But at the same time it’s important to consider their individual merits.
By discussing the options with each other one readers can narrow things down even further. Sharing experiences can help find the best match for everyone. In that way people can find the best plant identifier app for their own needs.