Platform(s), such as mobile, website, API, other: mobile
URLs (aka web addresses) of any pages, if relevant: n/a
Description of need:
Support fast first-time browsing to older observations on Android (and I assume also iOS) without tying up large amounts of user time scrolling through all of them to load them first.
Sometimes you don’t have a specific goal in mind and would just like to browse all of your observations backwards in time until you reach something interesting. So long as you previously loaded all your observations, this is fairly smooth and painless. However, if you have thousands of observations on iNaturalist already, and are loading the data for the first time (as you might do when installing the app for the first time, or having to relogin for some reason) then loading all those observations by scrolling requires lengthy, repetitive user input until the job is done. Every 20 seconds the user needs to scroll down to load another 20 observations. This adds up to many minutes even for modest numbers of observations, or possibly hours once you’ve accumulated multiple thousands of them.
Most users will tire of this before they ever reach the end. If they can’t endure the painfully long wait, those older observations will remain unreachable to them by just scrolling them in their My Observations pane.
Feature request details:
Please provide a way for the user to preload all of their observations as a background job after a fresh install or relogin.
I understand that normally, loading all observations is not a thing a user would want to do, so I imagine the feature would be hidden in Settings and perhaps even challenge the user with an “are you sure?” prompt after explaining it could take a while and will potentially use a large amount of storage on the device. A notification bar with progress indicator and a Cancel option might be appropriate.
When data and bandwidth are plentiful (e.g. on a home WiFi network), and the device has sufficient storage to hold them all, preloading the app’s cache with all your observations is practical. You only need to do that once per install (or once per login) and it will eliminate the waiting while scrolling your My Observations tab. Thereafter, just waiting for the app to catch up all the newer uploads in the foreground since the last time you used the app is no great hardship.