Need help with new version of iPhone app

Just re-uploaded the iNat app to my iPhone because the old one had stopped doing uploads.

I want to turn off auto-sync, but when I went to iPhone settings and scrolled down to iNat, All I found were 5 items I could allow iNat to access.

Give iNat access to my location–absolutely. But what does iNat do if I give it access to my camera? My photos? My data?

For now, all I can do once I take photos is Share or Cancel. I cannot Save them and later type in an ID using a real keyboard.


As you can make observations via app you need to give it access to camera or it won’t be working, same with gallery probably.
In Android auto-synch is turned off in app settings, could it be the same in iOS?

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You’re looking at the settings in your phone which determine what permissions you give to the app. Eg, do you let it use your camera.
These permissions are necessary for the app to be able to function normally. For instance, the app allows you to photograph observations in the wild, but to do that it needs your camera. Or, if you prefer to upload photographs you previously took, it needs access to your gallery. I would suggest you allow the app to access everything. The iNat team are very transparent about what data they use, with whom they share it, etc., so I am sure there’s nothing to worry about.

Now, the iPhone app is in the midst of a series of major updates. And I use Android. But I suspect that the settings you are looking for are present within the app itself – not in the general phone settings. You may have been redirected to phone settings because, as I mentioned, without those permissions the app basically cannot work.

Also, after you’ve created an observation on the app, you do need to upload it before it will be accessible through the website.


You don’t need the iNat native app for that. You can simply take photos with the iPhone camera while you’re in the field, and then later transfer the photos to your laptop and upload them using a web browser. That minimizes the use of technology in the field while optimizing control over the upload process.


As @trh_blue said, you’re looking at device permissions and settings in regard to the iNaturalist app, not use/account settings for iNaturalist and the app itself.

To access the Settings screen in in the app, go to your Me tab and tap on the gear icon in the upper right-hand corner:

There’s an option to turn off Auto-Upload on that Settings screen:

Camera access: it allows you to take photos when making a new observation in the app.

Photo access: you can actually leave this at “None” if your device is running iOS 14. In iOS 14 we use Apple’s built-in photo picker which allows you to to choose photos to import into iNat. iNat only sees the photos you choose to add. But to be clear, we don’t snoop or import your photos or anything, we have no interest any photos you don’t choose to add to iNaturalist.

I suppose by “data” you mean the “Cellular Data” option? This just means that you allow iNaturalist to connect to the internet if your device is only using cellular data (not wifi). If your cell plan only gives you a limited amount of cellular data, this allows you to choose which apps can use that data.



Thanks, Tony! I looked at the app first. But that little green gear icon just didn’t register as something to click on…

… which proves I need to become more icon-savvy. There seem to be plenty of folks, who like me date back to a time when those slow dial phones were the only option, who didn’t need their nephews to explain that the unlabeled compass dial at the bottom of the iPhone screen is for Internet access. Duh!

As for access, I was puzzled, not suspicious. Thanks for explaining.

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Having a gear icon for Settings was/is a convention in some app designs, but I think it’s easy to miss. We’re looking at possible different layouts for hte iOS app to accommodate more features, so it might change.

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