Option to open camera with one tap when creating new observation

Prior to the update on iOS, clicking the camera/“add photo” button on an observation would automatically open the camera, with the option to open photo library as a secondary button from there. But now it takes you to a screen where both buttons show, and you have to click which one you are using, no longer defaulting to the camera.

This actually has impacted me more than I expected. I’m so used to the auto-camera, and especially if I’m holding the phone one-handed in an awkward manner to reach a shot where my finger can only press the “take photo” button, it’s no longer possible to grab that photo because I have to retract my arm to select the additional button. The ability to have the camera just “ready” to go instantly has been very useful and surprisingly time-saving.

Arguably a minor thing, but it takes nearly 2 more seconds to load the camera this way compared to the old form, which is enough time for a lot of things to fly away.

Even just an option in “settings” that I could select so that camera comes up first, without having to press the extra button, would be enough.

I approved this since there’s been some time for people to get used to the new workflow. Can’t promise this is something we’ll add, but curious to hear opinions.

I advocated for the current new observations workflow that doesn’t automatically load the camera because a) we constantly received emails asking how to import old photos into the app and b) for immediate photo needs, it will almost always be faster to open up the camera app on your device (which you can do from the lock screen) than opening iNat and making a new observation.


It’s the same situation on Android (have to tap twice to open camera), so I broadened the title; feel free to modify that.

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Just to be an annoyance, I actually prefer the new system. I never (literally never) use the inbuilt camera in the iNat app, so I prefer having the ‘use photo from library’ button being more accessible rather than pushed up to the corner.

With that in mind, I’d prefer this route if the request is fulfilled


b) for immediate photo needs, it will almost always be faster to open up the camera app on your device (which you can do from the lock screen) than opening iNat and making a new observation

This is absolutely fair enough. I used to go this route as often times I needed to manually focus or correct lighting, and the former iNat camera disabled that functionality. But since the update enabled those functions, I have started to use the iNat camera a little more often in cases I otherwise wouldn’t.

I don’t believe that has affected my perception or experience with the topic at hand, though. Those cases that I ordinarily opted for the default camera were marginal as is (usually certain coloured flowers getting overexposed) normally.

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I usually take a photo directly in the app - I know I’ll forget to upload some if I leave it to add until till later, and very often observations are made on the fly during a family walk with some pressure to keep moving!

I don’t mind the new workflow though.

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I never use in-app camera, so it’s gonna be very annoying to have it opened each time.

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The request is for an option to have it open directly. The staff are aware people have very different workflows.


I agree with the option for one tap to open the camera. If you are already in the iNaturalist app and a fleeting photo opportunity of a fast-moving organism presents itself, making an observation under time pressure is frustrating to me with the two clicks.

If I am NOT already in the app, then I use my cellphone camera. And with due respect, when I am adding my photos later to my existing observation, I am not under any time pressure so the double click then is inconsequential for me.

Please, an option to select in settings so the camera comes up first?

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Absolutely agree! Very unhappy with new interface, it is clumsy, takes far more time, and adds unnecessary steps.

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Current situation is better than the old one as i use the library in 99% and rarely make a photo from the app.
I prefer a tab with already has those three buttons immediately. You can keep that tab open and can immedately choose between those three options. In that way you can remove the “Observe” option

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This has been bugging me for a while. I finally got around to thinking I should add a feature request, and found this thread.

Yes, please, give me an option to just default to the camera!

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This change bugged me initially, but then it just pushed me to use the inbuilt camera more and get used to a different workflow. I liked this in the end too as I had less instances where I just lost the observation from the app crashing halfway through. But …then I found that this was too slow a workflow as well, as uploading 50 observations when you get home, via the app, doing it one by one is just a real chore. So, in the end, after a wee stint using the phone app I’ve migrated back to using my DSLR on the whole as I realised the app didn’t save much time overall and wasn’t worth the sacrifice in quality. I use the app for plants and habitat shots though still atm, and think a toggle option would be a great solution.

As a sidenote, with regard to time it takes to use the app via phone camera library : I really wish you could upload more than 4 photos at once and more than one observation in one round of selecting.

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