iNaturalist App Crashes when using Explore function or Loading an Observation

Platform (Android, iOS, Website):

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

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

Step 1:
Trying to use Explore function the app shuts down and I receive the error message "iNaturalist keeps stopping:

app info
close app
send feedback

Step 2:
Once this happens then the app also starts to crash whenever I even try to view one of my observations.

I have uninstalled multiple times and I have also cleared the data multiple times and continue to have the same problem. Yesterday the app worked perfectly fine and has worked fine for months. Today is the first time I have had an issue and now even with reinstalling the program it does not seem to be able to be resolved.

Thank you in advance for the help.


We’re pretty sure is caused by an issue with Google Maps, which Google is working on. So unfortunately anywhere Google Maps is used in the app, there will be problems.



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Hmm, after deleting and reinstalling it’s working for me now.

If anyone is experiencing the crashes, it would be helpful for us to know if you are able to open other apps that use Google Maps, such as, well, Google Maps itself, Uber, etc.

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as of today I am having the app crash on me over and over again when I do anything other than upload photos. Will delete and reinstall it - also on an older android. My other map apps are working


I also have this issue with Explore and my own observations. I can use Google Maps just fine.
Hardware: Huawei P9 Lite
OS: Android 7.0
Version 1.18.5


Apologies for the duplicate thread, this one must have been created as I composed my own. The issue persists as of this moment but I appreciate the quick answer.


No worries, I imagine that’s what happened. Thanks for the thorough report.

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Same issue here, app crashes when I try to select my own observations. Google Maps opens and functions fine.


Deleted and reinstaled. Works fine now…


OK, here’s Google’s Response:

We believe the crashes of Google Maps SDK are partially resolved. Full resolution is expected to complete by Thursday, 2020-04-23 19:45 US/Pacific.

Customers for whom clearing application data is safe can recommend their users clear data for the applications (not just the cache). If there is uncertainty about the safety of clearing application data, users can wait for new data to be fetched within the next 3 hours (many users will see resolution of the problem sooner than this).

So basically, the bug should be fixed in about 3 hours or so. If for whatever reason you can’t wait until then, clearing the app’s data (not just its cache) or deleting and reinstalling should fix it. However, those latter options will delete any unsynced observations.


I’m still having this problem (I didn’t clear the app data, I did clear the cache).

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It didn’t resolve itself after 3 hrs for me, but clearing the data just now did fix it.

My app is no longer crashing but redirecting me to the “my observations” screen edit: deleting and reinstalling fixed it

got stuck in a “preparing, synching, cleaning up” loop on observations that crashed when I tried to view an observation
Cleared cache and data, uninstalled app, then restarted device and installed app. seems to be fixed now

Hi, i still had the issu this morning, fixed it by re-installing the app. It’s working fine now.

I also have this problem, except it’s when I try to upload a picture. It just goes back to the observation page and tries to upload it. When I go back to edit it, the app just shuts off.

Great timing, Google! ;)


Hi everyone. I had the same problem described above on my android phone since yesterday (app crashing when opening observation). Did empty cache and app data followed by reinstall. The app is now functional again.

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Alas, it looks like their 3 hour “full resolution” prediction did not pan out. Here’s their latest update, from about 1.5 hours ago. Hopefully they’ll post the next update soon…

Summary: Google Maps SDK is crashing; partially resolved

Description: Here’s an update on the current mitigation and resolution steps:

  • The backend service that caused this crash has been hot-fixed on 2020-04-23 15:00 PT (15 hours ago), and have seen a significant decrease in crashes, although we have again observed an increase in crashes in South America over the last 4 hours, as users have started to come online again. The remaining crashes are to due to client-side caching, which is why we recommend the workarounds mentioned.

  • For Android users, we are currently expediting a new release of the Google Play Services (that contains the Maps SDK runtime) that will also fix this issue client-side. The previous ETA of 48 hours as communicated previously still applies.

Thank you to everyone for your continued patience. We will provide another update here by Friday, 2020-04-24 08:00 US/Pacific. (~ 2 hours from now)

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