App review: Fishing Flies – a guide to flies from around the world

App review time! I do quite a bit of writing about apps and technology in the 9-5 so it’s nice to review some work that’s relevant to hobbies.

Today’s purchase is ‘Fishing Flies – a guide to flies from around the world‘, $6.99, from HarperCollins Publishers Ltd. The app has over 1300 flies cut and categorized, with tying instructions, search, favorites, a quiz and more.

I was surprised to open the app on my iPad and find it didn’t support landscape mode, a definitive turn-off for me. If this is to be a useful tool at the tying bench, or meant to be something pored over, as the content suggests, it’s got to have basic iPad functionality. Really, it’s meant to be an encyclopedia–who’d read that on their phone? The content is dynamite, too–essentially they’ve taken Malcolm Greenhalgh‘s 2009 book ‘Fishing Flies’ and digitized it, but not well enough.

The other problem with no native iPad functionality? It’s got to be pixel-doubled to run fullscreen, which takes the nice hi-res photos they’ve got and ruins them.  Everything else runs smoothly, and there’s a lot to get into, but I’ll probably wait until it’s updated. I’ve asked the developers, Trellisys, when that’ll be, and will update this if they get back to me.

Trellisys have won Webby and FWA awards (accolades from the creative development community) for their work in the past, so it’s not something outside their scope–it just doesn’t seem to be a feature in the first version, despite the iPad being released over two years ago, and the likelihood of a fly tying bench having a vise to hold an iphone upright in at slim to none. Hopefully, if enough people ask for it, HarperCollins will throw Trellisys a little more dough to push iPad functionality to version 2.0 and more effectively monetize their back catalog.

I gave it a 3/5 on iTunes, but would gladly adjust that upward if they update for iPad. But for now–nice try, a bit short.

How you'll see it in the iPad--Portrait Mode
Pixel-doubled the images are blurry









Here's how some other screens look
















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