Android app seems to overwrite updates to observations

Platform (Android, iOS, Website): Android

App version number, if a mobile app issue (shown under Settings or About): 1.26.9 (539)

Browser, if a website issue (Firefox, Chrome, etc) :

URLs (aka web addresses) of any relevant observations or pages:

Screenshots of what you are seeing (instructions for taking a screenshot on computers and mobile devices:

Description of problem (please provide a set of steps we can use to replicate the issue, and make as many as you need.):

I frequently create observations using the Android app and then update them using a web browser (Firefox). Sometimes my updates appear to be reverted later. I’ve noticed this issue affecting both the notes and location fields. Unfortunately, I haven’t been able to reproduce the data loss reliably.

I have been able to reproduce an issue where the Android app shows older values than the browser, and when I try refreshing the “My Observations” page, the app either uploads the older values to the server or fails to update local observations with newer values from the server. I haven’t been able to figure out how to reliably make the app upload the older values, though both behaviors seem incorrect. These instructions reproduce the issue with only the notes field:

Step 1: Open the Android app. It should open to the “My Observations” page.

Step 2: Tap the plus button to create a new observation.

Step 3: Tap “No Media”.

Step 4: Enter “Notes 1” in the notes field.

Step 5: Tap the green check mark to save the observation, and then tap “Yes” to continue without coordinates. The app should return to the “My observations” page. Wait for it to finish uploading.

Step 6: Open the “Your Observations” page in a web browser.

Step 7: Click on the new observation.

Step 8: Click the edit button.

Step 9: Update the notes field to “Notes 2”.

Step 10: Click “Save observation”, and wait for the operation to complete.

Step 11: The Android app should still be on the “My Observations” page. Tap the new observation to open it.

Step 12: Observe that the notes field still contains the old value of “Notes 1”.

Step 13: Tap the arrow button to return to the “My Observations” page.

Step 14: Swipe downwards to refresh the “My Observations” page. This action has two possible outcomes, and I’m not sure what determines the behavior:

A. The app says that it is syncing the observation. It seems to upload the value of “Notes 1” to the server, which can be seen by opening the observation again in the browser.

B. The app does not say that it is syncing the observation, even though it syncs other observations if necessary. Opening the observation in the app again shows “Notes 1”, and opening the observation in a web browser again shows “Notes 2”.

Both behaviors are incorrect, and I would expect the new observation to receive the value of “Notes 2” from the server.

Same as ?

This issue is different than because there was no subsequent edit in the Android app. The only edit (after the observation was created) was made in the browser, so the browser’s version of the observation was strictly newer. could be an issue with merging different edits made in the app and browser.


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I was wondering if there is a workaround to this issue that would allow me to continue creating observations in the app and editing them in the browser. I tried turning off “Automatic Upload (Auto Sync)” in the app settings, but I’m afraid that I’ll accidentally press the sync button at the top of the “My Observations” page and sync everything at once. Is there a way to manually clear all edits to observations in the app, without reinstalling it?

I also wanted to add something to the reproduction above. I noticed that the inconsistency in the notes field in case B from Step 14 above can be seen entirely within the app. The app shows “Notes 1” when the observation is viewed from the “My Observations” page and “Notes 2” when the observation is viewed from the “Exploring All” page.