Android Apps for Autumn
From chasing orange leaves to tasting golden brews, apps can inform your autumn adventures. And even if you're not headed to a maple forest or a beer festival, you can follow the fall remotely through the window of your phone with these cutting-edge applications for Android. (But don't forget to turn those screens off and get outside, too.)
Arboreal apps: Leaf chasers will love fall foliage apps like Peepr, which crowd sources leaf color reports. Because autumn leaves turn at slightly different times each year, foliage trackers can waste a lot of gas and time driving in search of the deciduous. On Peepr, users can file reports for the foliage in their area and view county-level data on a national map. The map shows what color the leaves are at that moment in a given location, allowing drivers to better plan their trips. North East Tree Identification helps outdoors enthusiasts identify trees year 'round, with a special focus on New England species. It walks you through visual taxonomy to help even the most amateur threehugger find precise species names in seconds. Knowing tree species and locations names will make you a more educated advocate for the environment and a more interesting hiking partner.
Wallpapers: We found over 20 wallpaper apps on the Android website, most of which we would not recommend. The free ones in particular froze our devices and acted as Trojan Horses for invasive ads. But some decent $.99 apps caught our attention, like Fall Leaves for Thanksgiving, and Fall Leaf ButterfliesLive, both from Hi Tech Pilot. Still, no purchased wallpaper can beat your own fall photos!
Oktoberfest: Munich’s Oktoberfest has inspired at least two event-specific apps. So if you want to explore the terroir, the taste of place, you'll have plenty of technology to guide you. Wiesn 2013 might be the most developed event app of all time. It includes information about buses and three types of trains that can get you to the event, showcasing Munich's robust public transportation. The app also boasts a countdown to Oktoberfest, an interactive map, a census of visitors, a small German-English-Italian dictionary, and a beer counter to keep attendants from going overboard. For a more eco-friendly approach to Oktoberfest, sample green brews at home and watch the action on Weisn's webcam. American visitors may find Oktoberfest Guide more straightforward. Entirely in English, its German phrases section speaks. That means that users can cut through poor pronunciation — or slurred speech — by pressing the appropriate phrase such as "Gibt's bleifrei a?" Do you have alcohol-free beer? Remember to thank your designated drivers.
Food and Fun: Though it could use more of a how-to section, Pumpkin App offers galleries and patterns for pumpkin carving from the palm of your hand. Don't forget to save those seeds for delicious meals from Pumpkin Recipes. The ultimate cooking timer, Digital Timer, helps ensure that the turkey doesn't get forgotten in the frenzy of the holidays.
In- or out-of-doors this fall, your devices can add to your experience. But leaving them at home isn't a bad idea either.
Have an iPhone? Many of the apps reviewed above are in the iTunes store as well. Additional autumn iPhone apps include a tree app from the Smithsonian, big galleries sure to have fall photos, and Oktoberfest for iTunes.