April Wildflower Challenge

Please fill out the following sections to the best of your ability, it will help us investigate bugs if we have this information at the outset. Screenshots are especially helpful, so please provide those if you can.

Platform (Android, iOS, Website):

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

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: https://www.take-a-screenshot.org/):

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

We are trying to do the April Wildflower Challenge. When we open Seek, we tap the “Continue Challenge” button, then “Open Camera”, then “Continue”, then identify a wildflower as usual. We identify a flower and everything seems to go as normal. We believe we are doing everything right and can’t imagine what we are doing wrong. With 426 successful observations in the app, you would think that I knew how to use this app by now. Yet, Seek continues to say “0 observed so far”. Is this Challenge not working? What could I possibly be doing wrong?

Rodney Pearson

We have identified several wildflowers and have them saved in Seek

Step 1:

Step 2:

Step 3:

Hm, it was working for me as long as Seek could identify to species – if it only guessed a higher rank, like family, it didn’t count.

My experience is that seek never “counts” anything for the category “Subphylum Angiospermae.” You can identify a hundred flowering plants, and for some reason, they just don’t register. It’s happened to me in other (perpetually unfinished) challenges involving that category before. I’m so glad you brought this up!

We were definitely identifying the plants all the way down to species. Some were new species, and some we were asked whether we wanted to use the new photo or keep the old. I surely could be missing something, but it seemed to me it was just not working as far as giving credit for those plants.

I should add, we have recently linked Seek to iNaturalist, so for most of the plants we were also using the option to post them to iNaturalist. Just in case that was a problem, we also did several and did not post to iNaturalist. Having said that, it doesn’t seem like that posting should have been a problem because that question comes up AFTER identifying the species. Is it possible the linking is getting in the way?

Sorry it’s not working for you. I don’t think it’s the link to iNat – I have the same version of Seek and also a link to iNat and it worked for me. I’m running on Android, but that shouldn’t make a difference.
Can you give an example species or two that it didn’t give you credit for?

Also, if you can get it to happen again, you can try sending debug logs. Immediately after the problem, go to About and tap the version number.

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I am using the iOS version of Seek. We identified many wildflowers on Monday, including: Common Chickweed, Pacific Bleeding Heart, Large White Trillium, Azure Bluet, Lesser Periwinkle, Virginia Strawberry, Bulbous Buttercup, and Crane-fly Orchid (there are more but I’m thinking that is probably enough!). These are all listed as April 11 observations in Seek, but when I click the “Continue Challenge” button upon opening Seek, it says “0 observed so far”.

I will definitely send the debug logs tomorrow. I just identified a flower from a photo and sent those debug logs in case that helps, but I will do a new one tomorrow.

Thank you for looking into this. I am an iOS app developer myself, so I know how difficult it can be to track down things like this, but I also know that no developer wants their app to not work correctly!

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Hm, I can’t reproduce even with those exact species. Hopefully someone on staff can figure it out from the log files.
(To be clear, I used photos from the internet, not the actual plants, but that definitely shouldn’t make a difference.)

Hopefully. I also just id’d Ground-Ivy. Stored as an identified plant in Seek, but my phone still says “0 observed so far”. I rebooted my phone last night – that fixes so many computer problems – but no improvement so far. Thank you for pursuing this.

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Were all of these species that you recorded for the first time on April 11? For species to count towards challenges, they need to be both 1) observed after the date you started the challenge and 2) species you haven’t seen before.

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Carrie, I think you got some information from me earlier today about this. I did not know that the identifications needed to be new, but many of them were.

I also told you about another problem I had been having for several days. I had suspected something was amiss several days ago, but really started watching it today. When I id a new plant, (1) the app will say “Replace photo?”, then show what would normally be my new photo and my old photo, with the date of the old photo underneath that picture, except that this is just showing my new photo in both places, with no date underneath. It asks "Would you like to replace the photo of your resighted observation? (2) Then, regardless of which option I choose the next screen says “You observed a new species!”

I just don’t see how this is not a bug. I identify a new plant. The app asks if I want to replace my old photo with the new one. But there is no old photo. Then it says I have observed a new species. This happened on Garlic Mustard today, a plant I had never identified before. I surely think this qualifies as a flowering plant, yet in the Wildflower Challenge I still see “0 observed so far”.

I’m pretty sure I also submitted the log files for that observation, because I was really trying to pay attention to what the app was doing. I think you have even responded to that log file message, but now that I’m back at my computer I thought I could type a better explanation than I did on my phone.

Thank you all again for looking into this. I could be crazy, and this could be user error, but I surely don’t see what I could be doing wrong.

Rodney Pearson

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I should have added one more thing. Seek is doing the exact same thing on my wife’s phone. She gets the “replace photo?” question even on new identifications, and she is not getting any credits for new wildflower identifications. We do get “Continue challenge?” when we open the app, and the challenge shows as in progress, so we think we have started it, if there is such a thing.

One more thing. You mentioned “the developer” in an earlier message. Is one person the developer for both the iOS and the android app? If so, I am very impressed. I am an iOS developer, and that’s a handful to keep up with. I really can’t imagine creating and maintaining both platforms.

Rodney Pearson

One thing that I thought of during the night, if Seek is classifying all plants as “resighting” regardless of whether they are new or resighted, I guess that would explain why we can’t get a Wildflower Challenge plant.

I made a bug report for this a little while ago: https://github.com/inaturalist/SeekReactNative/issues/426

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How long does it take them to fix a known bug? This has been at least two weeks.

I can replicate this following the description in @tiwane’s bug report. Following an event when I actually resight a species, it continues to ask “replace photo” for new species until I force quit the app. If you both force quit the app, does the “replace photo” prompt go away?

This is a good hypothesis. When I tried to replicate, I was still able to make progress on challenges while getting the not applicable “replace photo” prompt. What happens for you with challenges after force quitting? Are you able to start making challenge progress again?

Yes, we have one React Native Seek developer who is also leading a complete rewrite of the iNaturalist mobile apps in React Native.

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Yes, force quit does stop the erroneous “replace photo” prompts. But we have never successfully gotten any credit on the wildflower challenge, despite identifying numerous new species.

Thank you for following up.

I can report that as of April 8 the Seek app still has this bug that was reported about 6 weeks ago. It’s hard to keep replicating the bug because you have to identify a new species and at some point you’re running out of new species that you can find.

Today I identified Upright Carrionflower for the first time. The first screen that comes up is incorrect – it says “Replace photo?” It has two pictures. If this were indeed a re-sighting, it would have my new picture on the left, and my old picture on the right. Underneath the righthand photo would be the date that the picture had been taken. What this shows however, is my new picture in both spots, and no date underneath.

The next screen says “You observed a new species!”

The app is clearly confused on whether you have identified a new species or re-sighted one.

I too would really like to be able to have new observations counted for “Angiospermae.” This bug has made it difficult to feel enthusiastic about starting new challenges.