PlantSnap - Interview with the developer of a fantastic app

Did you have any prior development or coding experience?

No, I’ve never had any coding experience, and I still don’t. I’ve owned several content sites over the years…RedOrbit and now…but this is my first app company. I found some wonderful coders who were able to turn my vision into reality.

What was the most challenging aspect of developing mobile app?

There are almost 500,000 species of plants. Each plant species is similar overall, but they can grow to different sizes and shapes, they only produce flowers during certain periods of time, etc. Training the algorithm to recognize each species took hundreds of images of each species. It was a very long and arduous process.

As the founder of and current CEO of both and, Eric Ralls has long aspired to merge technology with a love for nature and our planet. Eric is a serial entrepreneur. After graduating from Vanderbilt university with degrees in psychology and Japanese, Eric then attended Thunderbird School for International Management. Seeing the business potential of the internet, Eric then jumped into technology in the early days of the internet boom in 1998, merging the latest innovations with his love for the planet.

Name a few of your favorite apps and reason you love them.

PlantSnap is international…we have employees in 8 different countries around the world, so it is truly a 24/7 work cycle. We communicate and work using Slack…it is an incredibly valuable and effective app.

How long have you been working on this app?

I had the idea for PlantSnap in 2012. I worked on it for about 6 months back then before realizing that the technology wasn’t there yet. Every year I continued to build the database, knowing that eventually we could develop the technology to utilize the database I was building. In 2016, the tech had caught up to my needs, and from that point it took 1 full year to build once we started working full time.

What need of the user did you have in mind when developing this app?

I didn’t want to launch the app until we knew it could recognize at least 90% of all plant species that a person would encounter anywhere on Earth. The most important thing for us was to be sure it would be a very rare case for a user to Snap a photo of a plant that was not in the PlantSnap database.

In what way do you think your app is better than similar apps on the market? Please describe in detail what innovation you think you bring and what you are proud of in your app.

The free apps on the market have about 2000 species. That’s fine for identifying plants you find in grocery stores or florists or most gardens. As I mentioned above, the goal of PlantSnap is to bring order to the entire plant kingdom…PlantSnap now has 500,000 species in our database, and it works in every country on Earth. By the first week of July, it will be translated and released in 23 languages.

What are your future plans and expected features of the coming new versions of this app?

We just released an Android freemium version last week. We are releasing both Android and iOS apps in 23 different languages over the next 4-6 weeks. We are also releasing PlantCatch in July…it’s a gamification of PlantSnap aimed at younger generations and people who like games. Similar to Pokemon Go, rather than earning points for hunting and catching invisible monsters, PlantCatch replaces the monsters with plants.

Assuming new users of your app are reading this page. What do you want to ask them to do (contact you about X, Share the app, etc.)?

PlantSnap tech support is there 24/7/365. We implore all new users to watch the instructional video, read the directions, and write to [email protected] if they have issues, questions, ideas for new features, or if they need some tips for using the app to get correct results every time. Because there are 500,000 species to differentiate from, it’s important to read and follow the simple instructions.


About App: Instantly identify plants of all kinds, anywhere in the world! Flowers, trees, succulents, mushrooms and more can be quickly recognized with PlantSnap by, the mobile app built to help you identify flowers, plants & trees in a snap. PlantSnap’s huge database covers everywhere on earth so you can identify plants instantly, wherever you are! Simply take a picture of the plant you’ve found in nature, at the gardening store or wherever you are, anywhere in the world, and PlantSnap will tell you what plant it is in seconds. With PlantSnap, you can reconnect to the natural world around you and learn about nearby plants, or browse our gallery to discover new and exotic plants all across the globe. Whether you find peace and mindfulness from hiking, or if you are interested in studying nature, PlantSnap has the resources and technology you need.

Categories: Education

Date: June 12, 2018

Developer: Eric Ralls

About developer: As the founder of and current CEO of both and GreenAt ... Read more



App URL in iTunes
App URL in Google Play


Car Engine and Suspension

Car Engine and Suspension

October 30, 2023

This application features two animated mechanisms:

> A transparent mode of ...
Yak Tack

Yak Tack

October 25, 2023

Hi, this is Yak Tack. Yak Tack is a simple app that helps you remember English words ...
Tellmi: Better Mental Health

Tellmi: Better Mental Health

September 10, 2023

When you can’t tell anyone else. Tellmi.

Are you feeling isolated? Do ...
Gibson: Guitar lessons & songs

Gibson: Guitar lessons & songs

September 6, 2023

The ultimate guitar learning app! Interactive and engaging guitar lessons with insta ...


Every day we publish one great app and help 750,000 users discover new apps to add to their mobile device. Click here to add your app and let users discover it for free.

Social Links