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Transitioning to eBird Mobile from BirdLog

On 16 June 2015 eBird Mobile was released to replace BirdLog on iOS. After several months of hard work, we also developed the Android counterpart—released in early December 2015. The newer eBird Mobile is more stable, fixes some outstanding bugs, marks rare birds in your list, has improved offline location plotting and location creation, and a sleeker data entry process. The new version also ensures that updates will not cause a loss of data: all your Recent Locations, Checklists, and Summary data will be retained with each update of the app (this was not true with BirdLog updates, so a major improvement!).

What do I have to do to move to eBird Mobile?

All you need to do is download the app, and begin eBirding! It is as easy as that.

When you migrate from BirdLog to eBird Mobile, three pieces of data will not migrate with you. The first is your "Recent Locations" list. eBird Mobile will be able to access all the locations from which you have submitted data using "Choose a Nearby Personal Location", "Choose a Nearby Hotspot", or "Choose a Location From Map". However, your "Choose a Recent Location" list will need to be rebuilt, and this will happen automatically as you submit from locations in eBird Mobile.

The second piece will be that your "My Sightings" list will be starting over in eBird Mobile. Before abandoning or deleting BirdLog, first make sure that all lists say "Accepted" in blue. If any list says "In Progress" or "Submitted" it should be finalized and submitted. Once all lists are submitted and "Accepted" into the eBird database, they will be accessible via My eBird. However, these lists will not be accessible via eBird Mobile at this time.

Finally, your "Trip Summary" data will also start over in eBird Mobile for iOS. We have removed the Trip Summary functionality from the first version of the Android app; it contributed a lot to the instability of the app, and we are exploring ways to make summaries more useful and easy in future versions. 

Why don't these data carry over?

Both BirdLog and eBird Mobile are data entry portals to eBird and provide a way to collect data in the field and submit to eBird. Once your lists from eBird Mobile (or BirdLog) say “Accepted”, they are accessible via My eBird for your record-keeping, and also accessible to other birders, conservation planners, and scientists. 

My eBird is the primary place to manage your checklists and see your locality lists in eBird. All your lists (country, county, state, year, month etc.) can be accessed via My eBird and any list can be edited via My eBird via the Manage My Checklists page. We encourage you to visit My eBird and explore the various options for summarizing your submissions.

What has changed?

  • Free—eBird Mobile is free.
  • Single global version—The eBird Mobile app is available in a single consolidated version that works anywhere on earth.
  • Improved offline use—Creating checklists offline is now easy and reliable and allows you to use eBird Mobile anywhere on the planet, regardless of cell coverage. Read more.
  • Expanded languages—The entire app is offered in 8 languages, plus species common names in more than 20 languages and many country-specific dialects, in parallel with the eBird website. Four-letter quick entry based on common name and scientific name for all taxa globally, as on eBird.
  • Rarity notations—Rare species are now indicated on the checklist view, providing more information about the status of the birds you’re reporting.
  • Auto-saved progress—eBird Mobile automatically saves the checklist whenever you update a count or close a comment field, saving them in your “My Checklists” section of the app.
  • Data quality improvements—The app more closely matches functionality of eBird web for protocols, the rarity documentation process, and prompts that ensure that users will be more precise with location selection.
For long-term BirdLog users, there are some changes. In the Android version there have been some features that were removed during development. We are sorry for any inconvenience that this may cause. This includes the sorting by families within lists, and the ability to edit date+time within the app. 

Both of these tools contributed to instability within the app, and the latter also created some problems with the eBird data quality process. With the greatly improved offline functionality in Android, you are now able to create offline checklists anywhere, anytime—making the need to edit date, time, and location for in-progress checklists not necessary. 

What is next for eBird Mobile?

In the coming months and years we'll be incorporating more functionality from the main website, which will include My eBird and much more—making your numbers and lists consistent between the app and the website. This will let you edit your submitted lists within-app, give you the ability to review your locality lists, access your targets, and much more. We have many ideas, and are working as fast as we can. We are hiring an Android developer right now—please let us know if you or someone you know is interested.
We are very excited to be moving into a new era of mobile eBirding, and look forward to working with you to build an app that provides an ideal data entry platform for eBirders worldwide.
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