By David Harfield, iPhoneAppCafe, on March 22, 2012
Since David Attenborough teamed up with Sigur Ros and made nature programs über-cool, the whole world has gone ga-ga for animals; so, when we have the opportunity to learn more about our furry friends via a fun and funky iPhone app, we’d better pounce on it!
It’s been a long time since Noah rescued his pairs of cherry-picked animals, however, the idea of saving animals by learning and studying them still holds true; Heart of the Ark consists of an interactive digital deck of ‘Ark Cards’, which each show the user an animal and an overview of its natural history and symbolism. The summaries are impressively researched, with relevant quotes from animal experts and lovers alike, such as Rudyard Kipling’s, “The strength of the pack is the wolf, and the strength of the pack is the wolf.”
Not only can you learn a lot from these, but you also receive ‘totemically inspired suggestions’ for applying each animal’s symbolism to your life; so, if we use the example of our old friend Mr Wolf, we are remeinded that wolves are particularly wild, therefore they can become totemic of our rebellious ‘wild at heart’ streak.
All of this research and information shows that the app’s developer really knows her stuff; Belinda Recio won the 2004 United States Humane Society’s Award for ‘Innovation in the Study of Animals and Society’; with someone as engaged in the animal world at the controls, you just know that the app is going to be up there with the best. Showing that she really does have the animals’ best interests at heart, Belinda is donating 5% of proceeds to the Humane Society on an on-going basis, as well as selecting occasional days when she will donate 100% of proceeds; this app isn’t just a money-spinner for her then!
The app also includes a ‘Field Journal’ that can be used to record animal encounters; living in the centre of London, the best that I can hope for is a scrap with an urban fox, but anyone living near forests or fields should definitely check this feature out as it allows you to log information regarding your encounter.
The app itself is incredibly easy to navigate and can be used in myriad ways; you can use it a soul-searching, inspirational tool that can help you give yourself strength and focus in your daily life; if you are ‘spiritually inclined’ then it can teach you about the potential meaning of any animal that you do encounter in the physical world or in dreams, visions and meditation, or you can just use it to learn more about the animals that you love!
- It’s very intuitive and easy to use.
- You go very deep into animals’ backgrounds; it’s not just a case of learning how many paws a certain animal has, but understanding the history and symbolism of each of your favourite animals.
- The fact that the app developer is donating some proceeds to charity makes it a winner in our book.
Room for improvement
- I really can’t think of any…top marks!