Which mobile device is best for using the Landscape Mobile App?

While we can't give specific recommendations for the exact device that's right for your organization, there are some things to keep in mind while shopping for a tablet or phone for doing field work with the Landscape Mobile App. 

  1. Ensure that you get a device that has a dedicated GPS chip.  Generally you can be sure that any device that is cell-data capable will have one.  So, even if you opt not to subscribe the device to a cellular data plan, just having the capability will ensure you have a GPS chip in the field.  For example, Wifi-only iPads won't work in the field unless you hook them up to an external bluetooth GPS receiver.  The GPS accuracy of the app is just the GPS accuracy of the device you're using.  
  2. In general, Apple devices tend to be more predictable. However, we test the app on a Google Pixel 2 and it works well. On the Android side, the lower cost with many devices translates into poorer quality stuff - gps, compass, etc. Some Android devices don't even have a compass sensor, which would make it impossible for Landscape to capture the direction your photos are taken. Or, some have a compass but it doesn't work when the device is held up to take a photo. We also use an iPad Air 2 for testing and that works well, and you may have luck finding used/refurbished ones for a decent price.  
  3. Size is up to you! The app is designed to work well on either a phone or a tablet. If you opt for a tablet, it's a good idea to work out how you're going to carry it around in the field. I always wear a blaze orange vest with large pockets while monitoring, so a tablet works well for me. You can also purchase protective covers with shoulder straps for certain models.
  4. Some devices do not capture photo direction when taking a photo, or have more unreliable compass bearing when held in the photo taking position, resulting in inaccurate or non-existent 'Photo Direction' field which is used in Landscape Reports. Apple devices typically record photo direction.  

Also be aware that while the Landscape Mobile App works without a data plan, you'll just need to make sure to download the data you need on WiFi before you head out into the field.

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