Looking for some help with a Seek bug

Hey all,

There’s bug with Seek that’s being reported to us but, try as we might, no one on staff can consistently replicate it on our devices, which makes it very difficult for us to investigate them. It’s also often been difficult to get clear, detailed steps from people who’ve reported the bug. If anyone out there has some time and either a) is experiencing this bug or b) wants to try and replicate it then send us details, we’d be very grateful.

It’s detailed a bit here, but basically what’s happening is that when you take a photo of something and Seek can only identify it to a level higher than species (eg genus or family), the app grays out on the ID screen and freezes. It looks like this:

From what I’ve been able to gather, it seems to happen after you’ve been able to make a few successful IDs. What I don’t know is whether people encountering the bug are doing anything between making observations, like going to species pages, checking out achievements, uploading to iNat, or closing the app.

This seems to be happening mostly in iOS and on all kinds of devices, from older to newer ones, and using the current iOS system releases. Seek version 2.14.1.

By far the best thing would be to get a screen recording of your usage of Seek until you hit the bug. Here’s how to make a screen recording in iOS: https://support.apple.com/en-us/HT207935

If you’re not able to get a screen recording, it would good to know exactly what you did in the app in the minutes before it froze, as well as how many observations you have in Seek.

Thank you!


I have had this happen a few times when using Seek, both prior to and also since installing the iNaturalist app on my iPhone and creating an account. As you mention, the app will freeze and allow no further interaction.

I have just now opened the app, added several observations (just to Seek) without visiting any other pages or closing the app in between. All successful, then it froze when I found something it couldn’t identify beyond genus. When at the Genus stage (Almost at species!) and 6/7 green dots I hit the on screen button to take a photo and it goes to the “We believe this is a member of the genus” but the screen is frozen and unresponsive.

If I close the app it reopens on the same frozen screen, to continue I need to completely shut it down.

Hope this helps.


OK, I just spent a good while outside trying to replicate this. I think I can consistently replicate the bug if I observe a species I’ve already observed and tap on “Keep old photo”. Then, without quitting the app, I open the camera again and make an observation of something Seek only identifies to genus, the app grays out.

@dave2022 do you remember if you did that in the example you described?

Yes, they were all photos of things I’d already seen, just pointed the phone at my computer screen showing iNat observations.

I just repeated the process again, starting by quiting the app, restarted, observed 2 repeat species and kept old photos on both, then tried the observation that only ID to genus, then the app froze as before.

I then repeated the same process again but this time selecting save new photo and the app the still froze on the genus level ID.

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Thanks, I can replicate if I choose to use the new photo as well. And it only happens if I take a photo with the Seek camera, not if I import photos from my device.

I’ve tried various combinations of photos from my device and everything works fine, like you say, it only happens when taking new images with the camera.

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I managed to recreate this with a full screen recording starting before I even opened the app all the way to the app freezing and becoming unresponsive as described.

Operating System: iOS 15.5
Device: iPhone 13 Pro
App Version: Seek 2.14.1 (248)

Cool! Are you able to send the recording to help@inaturalist.org?

Yeah of course. I think I accidentally sent it twice so uh…

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We just released a beta version with a potential fix for this issue. It’s working, as far as I can tell, but if anyone wants to test it out and let me know, that would be awesome.

To become a Seek beta tester, go to https://testflight.apple.com/join/LM5oO3P7

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