Working from home has had some positive impacts on the American population. People are finding themselves with a lot of disposable free time which is gained from cutting down on commuting to work. If the data gathered from App Ape during the month of April is any indication, quite a few seem to have spent their valuable time on pursuing their interests.
Some of the apps that are rising in popularity are there to assist in pursuing hobbies such as singing or reading books but one particular app called PlantNet Plant identification, has appeared in the 10th spot in the MAU ranking trend chart in USA.
The main purpose of this app is to use a smartphone camera to take images of plants, leaves, and flowers, where the app compares and analyzes these images to its existing database which is produced by other app users to identify the plant and return a possible list of that plant species (IOL). More precisely, it uses image-recognition software and has a database of more than 27,000 species and growing. It can search by leaf, flower, bark, fruit, habitat, etc (Bay Journal).
Since people need to go out into the nature in order take advantage of this app, one might think it is oxymoron for an app like PlantNet to be popular as it has seen significant growth during the time of pandemic and it seems to defy social distancing. Data from the below chart shows that PlantNet app has been gaining traction with MAU.
However, interestingly enough, the continental United States has many hiking trails, especially in the east coast. And a lot of people have access to nature where they can go out for a walk and still maintain social distancing.(TravelandLeisure).
The below demographics chart show that the gender ratio is almost equal and people in their 50’s followed by 30’s and 20’s make up majority of the app possession demographics. The author from (Bay Journal) mentioned that he has had hands on experience with this app while hiking through a creek with his daughter in Maryland to test the app by identifying plant species. There may be many people like the author who falls under the demographics of app usage.
The author also mentioned that “Suddenly, before you know it, you and your normally half-interested child are communing with nature.”(Bay Journal). This app is a good example of how people can maintain a healthy balance between always being connected with technology and nature.
What is usually considered a task for experts such as naturalists, botanists or even gardeners to identify plant species, can now be achieved by anyone who owns a smart phone. This app is a tool that can narrow down thousands of plant species and enables the user with the knowledge of plant types. A worthy hobby to adopt and spend time on for anyone who are either nature lovers or just stuck at home.
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