iNaturalist Updates for December 2020

When we first made the Forum, I imagined this category could be used to collate recent iNat updates every month or so but that didn’t happen until @bouteloua and the other @forum_moderators started one for December, so a big thank you to them! This first one really covers all of 2020, future ones will cover shorter periods of time. Since this is just an announcement of updates, I’ve disabled replies.



  • Designed new Life Lists
  • Added text formatting buttons for comments and IDs
  • Added a setting for collection projects to show observations from members only
  • Updates to the Year in Review, e.g. “Observation Streaks” and “Compare to Previous Years” sections
  • Made sorts/filters on taxon page photo browser and batch edit observations pages “sticky”
  • Added sorting for observation fields
  • Improvements to taxon page seasonality charts


  • Send and receive direct messages
  • Support for HEIF files


  • Completed major app renovation, paving the way for feature parity with Android
  • Improvements to database synchronization
  • Added sign-in with Apple (available on the website too)


  • Camera can now automatically take a photo at the moment a species is identified
  • Switch between identifying plants vs. non-plants to help narrow down species suggestions (currently Android only)
  • Released the last challenge of the year: the Ecosystem Challenge!
  • App language can be selected separate from device language

For hundreds of other bug fixes and iNat updates, check out iNaturalist on github and the iNaturalist Blog.