Best Apps to Play Outdoors in the Summer

Published: July 21, 2017 - 9:00am EDT

Smart phone outside

Are you tired of being indoors with nothing to do on a nice day? Not sure how to spend your day off? If so, we’re here to help you out. There are tons of apps you can use that will give you something fun to do, and help you get outdoors to enjoy the nice summer weather. In this article, we’ll be telling you about some of our favorite apps to use outdoors this summer. To begin, let’s discuss the types of apps that you can use outdoors in the summer.

What kind of apps can get you outside?

The types of apps that can help you get outside include games, exploration apps, and nature apps. Games with augmented reality can be incredibly fun, and they give you something to do if you’re bored on a nice day. Others can teach you things about your city, its landmarks, history, or ecosystem.

Now, let’s talk about some of the best outdoor apps we’d recommend trying out this summer.

1. Pokémon Go

Pokémon Go is a popular mobile game app that uses augmented reality to allow users to catch virtual Pokémon creatures. To move your character in the game, you have to physically move yourself to a different place. The game uses your smart phone’s internal GPS system to place you on a map. There are landmarks in the game that are tied to landmarks in real life. This app was one of the most popular summer games in 2016, and is a great way to have fun while exploring your city. Head over to our Pokémon Go course to learn more.

Download the app: iOS - Android

Pokemon Go button

 

2. Star Walk

Another app that uses augmented reality features is Star Walk. This app lets you use your smartphone as a guide to the stars. If you head outside at night when the stars are visible, you can use Star Walk to identify noteworthy stars, constellations, and planets. It’s a great way to learn more about astronomy and enjoy the beauty of the night sky.

Download the app: iOS - Android

Star Walk button

 

3. Ingress

Ingress is a game created by the same developers as Pokémon Go – Niantic. Like the other apps we’ve mentioned in this list, it uses augmented reality to turn your surroundings into the setting of a virtual competition. In this game, each player must choose to join one of 2 sides – “Enlightened” or “Resistance” – where one side competes against the other. Like Pokémon Go, you have to physically move to a location in order to move your avatar to the same place on the game map, making this a great way to play outside and get in some exercise!

Download the app: iOS - Android

Ingress button

 

4. PlantNet

The PlantNet app is another great one to try out that can help you get out of the house. It allows users to take images of flowers, trees, and other plants in their area to identify them and learn more about them. PlantNet has visual recognition software built in, which allows the app to quickly identify different species of plants. The more users submit photos, the greater the app’s database will become!

Download the app: iOS - Android

PlantNet

 

5. Field Trip

Last on our list of apps to play outside is Field Trip. This app will run in the background on your phone while you walk around your city, and when you approach a landmark or interesting location, Field Trip will send you a notification and give you information about it. If you have headphones or a Bluetooth device connected to your smartphone, the app will read the information to you. This app essentially turns your mobile device into your own personal tour guide!

Download the app: iOS - Android

Field Trip

 

That does it for our list of our favorite apps to enjoy outdoors. Now that we’ve told you about the best apps, let’s talk about some things to keep in mind when using outdoor apps like these.

Notes on using apps outdoors

1. Be sure to pay attention to your surroundings when playing a game outside.

It’s quite easy to get distracted staring at your phone screen when playing games and exploring your city. Be careful when crossing roads and always pay attention to the world around you. Watch where you’re walking so you don’t trip and hurt yourself. Stay alert and look out for potential hazards.

Pokemon Go safety warning

2. It is illegal to trespass on private property.

Though you may want to get to a specific spot on the map within an augmented reality game, you can’t get there by walking across someone’s private property or other restricted areas. Trespassing is illegal and law enforcement won’t care about the fact that you did it because of a game you’re playing. Pay attention to where you’re going.

3. Apps that use your device’s GPS can use a lot of data.

Many of these and other similar apps require your device’s internal GPS to be active so that the app can detect your location. This is necessary for augmented reality games, as well as most exploration apps. Keep in mind that you could use quite a bit of cellular data when using one of these apps. Periodically check up on your data usage to ensure you don’t go over your limit, as this will cost you a lot of money.

4. In case of emergency, be sure your device is fully charged before you leave the house.

Before you head outside to try out your new apps, be sure your device is fully charged. In case anything goes wrong and you need help, you’re going to need a way to contact someone who can help you, so check that your battery is full first.

 

That does it for this article on the best apps to play outdoors in the summer. Which one is your favorite? Tell us in the comments. If you’re interested in more content like this, check out our blog post about Pokémon Go.

Support TechBoomers

TechBoomers offers free articles that teach people how to use technology to make their lives easier (and more fun!). To support our work, some of our content contains links to websites that pay us affiliate commissions when our users visit them through us and make purchases. Learn more about how this works.

Add your comments below. We'd love to hear from you!