Automatically Adding Photos to Observations in Android App


Perhaps it is just me, but was wondering if anyone else was experiencing this. Whenever I create a new observation in the Android app, it automatically adds photos from what I had assumed were old observations, but I wasn’t sure as they only appeared as the grey squares (all the info in relation to date was accurate to the new observation). Today, however, I found that the app was automatically adding photos that were not mine, and that I do not have saved anywhere on my phone. The only thing I can think of is that perhaps they are photos from an observation which I identified on the site.

I can easily delete the photos from the observation, so it isn’t a huge problem, but it does get annoying after awhile.

Anyways, I attached two screenshots from two separate observations I made, the pictures of the Pileated Woodpecker (first picture) are not mine.


Argh. Yes, we’ve been fielding complaints from a few folks, but so far only for photos that belonged to them. This is the first I’ve heard of seeing photos by other people. None of us on staff have been able to replicate the problem, though. It would help enormously if you could provide us with some steps to get to that. Some questions:

  1. Does this happen with every new observation?
  2. What happens when you add an observation while offline (e.g. airplane mode?)
  3. Does it happen when you sign out and sign back in again? How about after you reinstall?
  4. If you sign out and back in again, does it make a difference if you’ve visited explore or not?
  5. What version of the app are you using?
  6. What device are you using?
  7. What version of Android are you using?

I signed out and then signed back in, and that seemed to fix the problem. Probably should have been the first thing I tried, haha. Will have to see if it starts up again.

Prior to “fixing” it, however, it did occur on every observation, as well as when I uploaded offline observations. It started about a week ago.

As for the technical side of things, I’m not sure on the version of the app or any device specifications. The device is a couple years old, but not sure what model. Sorry about that.



Ok, we think we have a fix for this in the latest beta version of the app. If you’re already a beta tester, check the Google Play Store for an update (version 1.11.22, build 346). If you’re not a beta tester and want to try this out, check out If you test it out, please let us know how it goes. I still can’t replicate this issue and since it doesn’t cause a crash it’s hard to see in our log data, so we won’t know it’s fixed until people who are experiencing the bug tell us it’s fixed.


@tiwane I think I may have struck another example of this bug:
observer indicates they can’t see the additional photos, I was looking at it through the nz portal

Photo from someone else in my record

@kiwifergus I think this is more likely related to this bug, so I moved it to this category.