iPhone issues

Hi there

I just wanted to mention a few issues that iPhone users of our CyberTracker Locally -based biomonitoring users are reporting.

The most common problem is inexplicable “freezing” which seems to happen in different situations but some functions seem to consistently have that result e.g. editing a record and opening a field map. Another frequently reported issue is that CyberTracker stops functioning each time a new version goes up on the Appstore.

Finally it would be really great if it was possible for iPhone users to be able to directly access the CTX files from their phones eve when the transfer protocol is set to FTP. Because iPhones do not allow the same type of access to the files as Androids this is clearly difficult but probably not impossible. One user pointed out that FieldManager, (another app originally built for Androids) has found a way around this, allowing the users to locate the FieldManager output forms in the iPhone and email it out as an attachment. She sent me a screen shot from her I phone which I pasted below. Would it be possible to do something like this with CyberTracker?


Eren Turak

Sydney, Australia


Dr. Eren Turak

Principal Scientist Biodiversity Research and Assessment

NSW Department of Planning, Industry and the Environment

4 Parramatta Square, Parramatta 2150 NSW

Co- chair, Freshwater Biodiversity Observation Network (FWBON)

Tel: (02)99955506 Email: eren.turak@environment.nsw.gov.au

Hi Eren,

We want this to work, so if you are having trouble, we will want to fix that asap.

I am having a bit of trouble understanding the need for access to the CTX files. Presumably if email is working then FTP is also working.

If you have steps to reproduce issues reliably, that is very helpful.


Hi Justin

I don’t use an iPhone but an increasing proportion of the National Parks rangers and field officer are using I phones and many have been reporting these issues. Unfortunately the repeated occurrence of these problems have resulted in some people giving up on using the CyberTracker apps we developed.

There are two main reasons why people would like to have access to their sightings. The first is a purely practical one. It means that if the data fails to send the user can get access to the CTX file and open it in CyberTracker on their computer. We can do this with Androids and in about 1 out of 5 cases this has become necessary. The other answer goes to the hart our biodiversity monitoring approach. One of the key reasons for our choice of CyberTracker for data capture was that it allowed local communities a greater role in monitoring . National Parks staff and volunteers and especially Indigenous communities we work with are increasingly demanding to be part of design and data management. In particular they want to be able to access the data they collect whenever they want. For example this is of the reasons why they don’t use iNaturalist . It is really critical that we do everything we can to help people reach their data at any point in time. The FTP function sends the data to cloud storage and for practical reasons very few people have access to that. The data in the cloud storage will eventually be submitted to online databased but it might take months if not years for these sightings to be readily accessed by anyone. We would like to allow people to have a copy of their data for their own purpose. We know that this makes a big difference to people’s willingness to collect data. Within the National Parks and Wildlife Service just the introduction of that feature has resulted in a huge increase staff willingness to use Field Manager for collecting other types of data.



Hi Eren,

The latest build release to the App Store should upgrade without losing anything, please try it out.

I was not able to figure out the ‘freezing iPhone’ problem. If you are able to reproduce this, please let me know how.

The Android FTP failure rate you mentioned is abnormally high. Let’s take that offline and see if we can figure it out. Incidentally, there is a setting called “Upload requires WiFi” – maybe some users are turning that on and it is getting confused.