Photos taken for an observation are not uploading properly and causing additional observations to be recorded

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 (Android, iOS, Website): Android 11

App version number, if a mobile app issue (shown under Settings or About): 1.25.7 (522)

Browser, if a website issue (Firefox, Chrome, etc) :

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

Screenshots of what you are seeing (instructions for taking a screenshot on computers and mobile devices: https://www.take-a-screenshot.org/):

Description of problem (please provide a set of steps we can use to replicate the issue, and make as many as you need.):

Step 1: Doing a new observation. Select + and choose take photo.

Step 2: Take photo. Sometimes it goes back to the observation and I can finish the observation correctly.

Step 3: More often though, it just keeps taking me in a loop to take another photo. If I take another photo then it becomes another separate observation and I can’t seem to get back to the observation to finish it properly?

Then I’m having to delete all the observations generated by the new photos as they all contain missing date, location etc.

The observation with the first photo seems to have no photo at all?

This has been happening for a few days if not a week now and it’s becoming rather frustrating. I have uninstalled the app multiple times to no avail.

Everything appears to be up to date on my phone and I’m at a loss as to what to do next.

Thanks :)

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I’ve been running into this exact issue as well.

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Glad to hear I’m not the only one.

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I have also had this issue occasionally for at least a month on a Samsung Xcover Pro (Android 11). I haven’t figured out how to consistently reproduce it in order to submit an error report.

Try to email the error log to the developers next time it happens. To send log files, go to the Settings tab in the app and tap three times on the version number. You will then have the option to email the log files.

2 Likes

I’ve been trying to replicate this on my Pixel 3A running the latest version of Android 12 for days now and I just can’t.

Log files would be helpful, but what would be great is a screen recording, if possible, as well as which device you’re using. I feel like there must be some step or setting I’m missing when trying to replicate the issue. You can post them here or send them to help@inaturalist.org.

I’d also be interested to see anyone still experiences this if they install the current beta release. You can become a beta tester here: https://play.google.com/apps/testing/org.inaturalist.android

I have a Samsung Galaxy A32.

1 Like

Seen for a few minutes today.
Samsung Galaxy S7 (SM-G930U)
Android version
8.0.0
Samsung Experience version
9.0
Baseband version
G930UUESBCTA3
Kernel version
3.18.71-14970140
Build number
R16NW.G93UUESBCTA3

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 Android

App version number 1.25.7 (522)

Browser n/a

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

Screenshots of what you are seeing (instructions for taking a screenshot on computers and mobile devices: https://www.take-a-screenshot.org/):

Description of problem (please provide a set of steps we can use to replicate the issue, and make as many as you need.):

Open the iNat on Android.
Hit “+” to create an observation.
Take a picture.
Hit OK to accept the picture

It now is back in the “take a picture” mode.
An empty observation is created with no location or time. In the app it says the observation is “3w” old.

Created these observations (will delete them in a week or two)
https://www.inaturalist.org/observations/103988548
https://www.inaturalist.org/observations/103988616
https://www.inaturalist.org/observations/103988621
https://www.inaturalist.org/observations/103988622
https://www.inaturalist.org/observations/103988627
https://www.inaturalist.org/observations/103989263
https://www.inaturalist.org/observations/103995232
https://www.inaturalist.org/observations/103995234

Also created this observation with a location and date but I don’t remember what I did differently for this one
https://www.inaturalist.org/observations/103989269

I don’t remember trying 9 times but I can’t say for certain that 1 attempt created two observations.

I rebooted my phone after taking most of these observations. Same problem occurred.
Without any reboot, I was able to create a proper observation a couple hours later.

I found 5 pictures on my phone taken by the iNat app. All 5 were empty (zero-length).

3 were taken before the observation with a location and might correspond to the first 6 observations.

1 was taken after the observation with a location and might correspond to the last 2 observations.

This sounds like the same bug from: https://forum.inaturalist.org/t/photos-taken-for-an-observation-are-not-uploading-properly-and-causing-additional-observations-to-be-recorded/28663/4

According to that thread, staff are having trouble replicating this issue. If this happens again, they are looking for screen recordings or error logs.

You mention error logs. Are there logs I can try to recover?

I assume there is no value keeping the bogus observations anymore.

(moved the five posts above this one from a separate bug report)

Someone sent a screen recording to help@inat and I can replicate the issue - it seems to happen only when I turn the phone into landscape orientation when taking and approving the photo. If I keep the phone in portrait mode throughout the observation creation process, it seems to work fine. Can anyone else confirm this?

Made an issue here: https://github.com/inaturalist/iNaturalistAndroid/issues/1165

1 Like

This “landscape mode” behavior is consistent with what I have seen.

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A viable workaround is: take the photos first with the camera. Then create an observation in the app without sound or photo. Then as step 3 edit the observation and add the photos…

That sounds complicated. You can take a picture with camera and then just share it with an app.

2 Likes

Wow that’s much faster, thanks! … this option explains why many of the people I am following have been posting landscapes and photos of people lately… probably just a share with the wrong app :laughing:

For the record, those reports are also about the same problem:
https://forum.inaturalist.org/t/app-creates-multitude-of-empty-observations/29111/6
https://forum.inaturalist.org/t/problem-with-seeming-duplication-of-observations-on-mobile-app-android-in-previous-two-days/28571

@tiwane - I had a Pixel 3A for a couple of years prior to my Pixel 6 and never had this problem. It only started when I ‘upgraded’. And I can confirm it does appear to be related to landscape mode.

Just to add another datum to the story:

When you get the multiple record error, the first record that is created will often have the photo but no time or GPS locality. The second record will have no photo but will have the timestamp and GPS data. While the obvious solution would be to hit the + and add the photo to the second record, often when you do that you can’t find the first photo in your photos at all? I think if you close down the app, the photo then shows up in your photos but I need to double check that. I’m headed out today and will try to replicate this error and get the log.