Observation dates appear on browser but not in app

Please fill out the following sections to the best of your ability, it will help us investigate bugs if we have this information at the outset. Screenshots are especially helpful, so please provide those if you can.

Platform (iOS):

App version number: 3.2.6, build 670, iOS 16.1.1

Browser: Firefox shows dates (above app does not)

URLs (aka web addresses) of any relevant observations or pages:

Screenshots of what you are seeing:

Description of problem: I recently used a program to import my Mushroom Observer observations onto the INaturalist platform. I’ve noticed that, while using the app, the date appears as field notes but is not registered as the date of the observation. However, when I use INaturalist via Firefox, each observation is dated appropriately.

Step 1: Use an import program to move MO observations to INat

Step 2: Celebrate at the apparent ease with which the program smoothly (if slowly) generates INaturalist observations that mirror your Mushroom Observer observations.

Step 3: Finally notice that the dates are not populated after editing a few observations. Lastly, become confused after realizing that the website has each observation dated (while the app does not).

Any suggestions or help would be much appreciated. I’ve had an INat account for a long time but have decided to switch over recently. I’m learning the platform. Perhaps there’s something I’m overlooking? I have noticed that my observations, even on the app, can attain “research grade” after my identifications are seconded by other users. That shouldn’t be possible if there are no dates, right?

I can’t offer much help myself, but it might help others if you could post a link to one of the observations that you notice the issue on.

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This is a screenshot from my app after clicking on edit.

This is a screenshot from my laptop (via Mozilla). Note that the date is included here but is not included in the same observation viewed in the app.

Welcome to the forum!
I’m not sure what tool you’re using to import or what exactly it’s importing, but if I were troubleshooting, I would start with the raw unicode emdash in the description field:

At any rate, iNat definitely does have the observed_on date, it’s just the iOS app having trouble displaying it. (Also note that since the app is being rewritten, bugs are less likely to be fixed.)


Thank you, first of all, for the thoughtful response and the welcome. I’m using a program designed specifically for the importation of Mushroom Observer data into INat.

Perhaps a silly question: Can I delete the app on my phone and download a more recent one? Or does that effectively delete my account and all the data associated with it? My thinking is that, since I can access my account on my laptop and elsewhere, couldn’t I back up my account? I’m also assuming that having a more recent iteration of the app may solve my problem (an assumption, clearly, that may be groundless).

If you have synced all your observations from the app to iNat proper, you can safely delete the app and nothing will be lost. But you said you have 3.2.6 and that’s the newest version of the iOS app. The new cross-platform React app hasn’t been released yet (and I don’t have any information on when it will be).

I don’t personally have access to the iOS app or I would try tinkering myself. I do think a reasonable first step is to edit an observation from the website, deleting the description field and see if that fixes it. (Just be sure to save the text somewhere else if you want to put it back later.)


OK, I think I figured out what’s going on here. The MO importer is formatting the observed_on_string in a way that the iOS can’t read. If I look at your observation’s JSON I see this:

Whereas if I look at one of my observations that shows properly in the app, I see this:

When I change that to 2023-02-01 the iOS app doesn’t show the date.

Try editing your observation so that the date is formatted 2022/09/08 and see if that works. You may have to sign out of the app and sign back in for the change to occur (that’s what I had to do).

If this is the case, then I don’t know if it’s really a bug with the app - it’s the Mushroom Observer importer that needs to be changed to write the date in the proper format.