Plant Base for Android - Full Edition Details

On-board database application for Android is now available here as a Beta Test release for download by registered Plant Base users. At a future date we plan to offer it for sale on Google Play.

The current application version is 1.27, which is the first production release candidate. Only a few small bug fixes and minor cosmetic changes since the previous Beta release.

Designed for usability on mobile devices, the Android edition looks and operates differently from the Plant Base desktop programs. But an important common aspect is that it uses the same database so offers the same plant information. This means that the database is completely interchangeable between all platforms, Android, PC and Mac. The files can be simply copied between systems and do not require any kind of conversion.

As with the Windows and Mac programs, as well as searching and viewing the plant data, all records may be modified by the user - edited, deleted or new plant records and pictures added. Unlimited user-created plant lists are supported, same as the desktop editions.

These core functions, along with the capacity to handle the full size database, already make this a large application. For the initial versions other non-critical features have been omitted. Care has been taken to minimise system overheads and make the app very simple and quick to use.

Some things not included in the current mobile version:

  • Picture Library 3, which links to external image files, is not used. We feel this is less useful on mobile devices, but plan to add it at a future version. If the database file exists then it will be recognised by the app but no data accessed (for consistency with desktop files).
  • Maintenance functions such as record extract and import are not included. We are not intending to provide these complex and heavyweight operations within the main app, but they will be available in a separate support app. In the meantime these file operations can be performed using the desktop editions.
  • Printing, report creation and slide-show functions are not included. It is unlikely they will be part of the mobile app.

A couple of extra features relevant to mobile devices, that arenot found in the desktop editions:

  • Plant List records can record location information from the device's GPS. This is controlled by a simple button which enables the GPS. Moving to a new record or screen disables it again to conserve battery. Accuracy depends on the capability of the device. Results are recorded to 6 decimal places.
  • Plant Pictures can be captured and recorded from the built-in camera of the device.
  • The Picture record edit/add function includes a crop facility as well as image resize. These are both often needed when using the in-device camera capture.

More Screenshots

Beta Testing

Registered users of Plant Base for PC or Mac are welcome to try this release as part of our Beta Test. During our in-house testing with several smartphones and tablets the application has run well, but it is offered "as is" and with no guarantee. The application install does not include the database files and Beta testers are expected to copy their existing database.

Please email any comments, issues or just tell us if it works or not on your device. A minimal response is absolutely fine, but please include your screen dimensions and OS version. We may not reply to every message, but all feedback will be noted.

The Beta test version is free. The final production version will be sold through the app store. Users who send Beta test feedback will have the option of continued free downloads. The Android edition is a distinct product and not covered by the existing desktop software licence. The cost will probably be half the price of the desktop licence. Existing Plant Base users registered before 31st March 2012 will also have free download access, as replacement for the old mobile edition that was included in their licence.

Requirements and Device Compatibility

Download and Install Instructions