Empty projects list in iOS app and Error 422

Platform (Android, iOS, Website): iOS

App version number, if a mobile app issue (shown under Settings or About): 3.1.1, build 626, iOS 14.4.1

URLs (aka web addresses) of any relevant observations or pages:
This is the project: https://www.inaturalist.org/projects/mapping-recovery-in-the-thomas-fire-scar
This is the example observation that I’m having trouble with: https://www.inaturalist.org/observations/72494060
It is not the only observation with the error 422 problem.

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

Background: Hi folks! My team and I are collecting data via the iNaturalist app in the field. Usually, I turn on airplane mode when I head out in the morning, to save battery and all that. This worked great for me for a whole year - I was always able to add data to my project and answer project questions without any problems while in airplane mode. However, I and other project members have recently run into an issue where the projects list will not load, and does not appear to be ‘cached’ to my phone. This means that when I try to add observations, I can’t add them to a project or add project attributes, because the list is blank.

Step 1: Make observation and attempt to add to project, but project list does not populate:

Step 2: On really low cell signal, check that I’m joined in projects under more, and then after that does load in (it doesn’t seem to be ‘cached’ and needs to be downloaded over the poor cell connection) add to the project and then add project details.

This is the version of the data I attempt to upload.

Step 3: Try to upload the project (now with project details) and encounter the 422 error.

I can see now that the observation is uploaded to iNat (https://www.inaturalist.org/observations/72494060) but was not added to the project, and it continues to show me the red warning in the app.

Additional details: If I put my iPhone in Airplane mode while at home, I can recreate the problem of the empty projects list under the “more” tab - this shows the app in airplane mode, on WiFi after backing to the main page and returning to the projects page, and then on WiFi after closing/rebooting the app.

Big Questions:

  1. Why can’t I save the project/project fields to my phone and add those while I’m in airplane mode anymore/Why doesn’t the projects list autopopulate when I’m on a poor quality cell signal?
  2. Is it possible to make the 422 error go away on the main page of my iOS iNat app?

I’ve searched the forum for 422 errors and found some informative posts about the problem appearing when the timestamp is edited, or when the observation doesn’t fit project requirements, but I don’t think that’s the case here. Happy to answer more questions! Thank you in advance for any help.

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After airplane mode I indeed did not get the projects back but it seems the whole iNat app was only 140MB as it used to be 7000MB. Will find out if airplane mode is a way to save space.

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Hi folks,

This error is still ongoing after the most recent app update. I’ve recorded a screen capture of it to help demonstrate the issue. At the start of the video, I am in airplane mode, and my project list does not load. This continues until I force-quit the app while on WiFi:


I think this may have started occurring after the 3.1 update? Not entirely sure. I don’t know if this is considered “working as intended”, as I was historically able to add to projects while in airplane mode. If that’s been removed as a feature and I need to request it as a new feature, I am happy to do so in the appropriate forum.

Thank you!

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iNat used to allow us to access our project list offline, but that has changed with an update in the past few months. The app will no longer bring up the project list without cell service/wifi. It was much more efficient when we could access the list in the field. Now when we take an observation we have to list the data in the notes field and input it into the project when we come back into service. It would be great if we could access the list offline again.

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Welcome to the forum!
I moved your comment to this existing bug report because I don’t think the developers intended to remove this feature.

Hello … Has this issue been fixed? I use iNaturalist with my students. They became concerned with all their iPads no longer showed their joined Projects they’ve been working on for the year. Not only that, several projects previously joined, could no longer be found.

Any fixes yet??

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Thanks! Do the developers typically respond to these forums to indicate whether it was intentional/bug or if they plan on fixing the issue?

There are staff on the forum, but not usually the iOS developer, so sometimes it can take a little while to get an answer. Sorry for the delay!

I’m sorry for the late reply. We’re aware of the issue but it has not been fixed yet, I’m sorry. I can’t really provide an estimate as to when it will be fixed.

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Ok, thank you for your response. I’m glad to at least confirm that you are aware of the problem and that hopefully one day it will be resolved.

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Thank you for chiming in! Glad to hear that it’s a known issue and not an intentional change.

Made a bug report here: https://github.com/inaturalist/INaturalistIOS/issues/602

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Version 3.2.1 (641) should be available to you all now and it has a fix in it for this. It’s working for me.