IOC 9.2 & more

We've made some good progress on an IOC 9.2 taxonomy update in the last weeks. Work is continuing and it will be released soon. This will include updates to all of the checklists that are based on IOC. Thanks for your patience here. Whilst we do this, we're making sure that future updates will be easier to deliver.

After IOC, our roadmap includes:

  • Support for new European Strong Customer Authentication (SCA) requirements
  • BirdTrack export improvements
  • iOS and Android app updates
  • Clements 2019

For those attending Birdfair, we wish you a great weekend. Sadly, we'll not be exhibiting anymore. We're always keen to hear from you though, so please feel free to get in touch.

Clements 2017 update available

We've just released an update for the Clements taxonomy, bringing it right up-to-date!

You'll see a number badge on the Library button if you've updates to install.

Updates are automatic where possible, but there may be changes that you need to think about, for example when species are split or lumped. Head to Tools > Taxonomic Updates in the desktop app to see a list of issues and details of changes applied. You may wish to refer to our a guide on taxonomic updates.

We're aiming to issue future updates around the time they're released by Cornell, and have put processes in place to make this easier to achieve.

Let us know how you get on. Updates to the IOC taxonomy are next.

A new store for sync

A few months back we got an email from the company that stores all of the synchronized data in Bird Journal, telling us we were running out of space.  A good problem to have some might say!  But a problem that needs solving none the less.

Luckily, the company we use offers space upgrades that can help.  But on reflection, this would quickly become expensive and be harder and harder to maintain.  So we paused and had a think about how we might do better.  We considered learnings from running Bird Journal as a service for the last few years.

The result is a very different approach to storing synchronized data.  It’s faster, highly scalable, easier to maintain, cheaper to run and of course, secure.  We’ve been running this in parallel for a while now, ensuring behaviour is identical.

And it’s live for all account today!

Good for this change is no noticeable difference.  Which is sadly, not terribly exciting.  But it is (we hope) at least comforting to know that this change will allow Bird Journal to continue running smoothly for a long time to come.

As ever, let us know if you have any feedback, concerns or issues.  No app updates are required for this change to be in effect.

Windows XP

I just wanted to let you know that we’re today retiring support for Windows XP for Bird Journal version 4.

This decision is prompted by a security change in some of the services we use, combined with low usage of version 4 on Windows XP.

If you’re still actively using Bird Journal version 4 on Windows XP, please:
- Make sure all of your changes have been synced.  You can verify this using Bird Journal on any other supported device.  If you don’t have any other devices to check on, please get in touch.
- Uninstall Bird Journal 4 from your computer running Windows XP.
- Consider installing Bird Journal to a computer with a more up-to-date operating system.

Versions 1, 2 & 3 may still work on Windows XP as they do not use any of the impacted services.  We are however not planning any future updates for these versions.

Sorry for any inconvenience and please get in touch with any concerns.

Recent community content

The new year has seen a huge boost in the number of Bird Journal users. Some of these users have published content about Bird Journal.  Here are a few:

Video Tutorial: Locations, Entries and Photos by Simon Booton-Mander

My Views on Birding Apps by Terry Woodward

Bird Journal Review by Dr Gerco Hoogeweg

We've received many wonderful comments too.  Here are some of our favorite recent tweets:

"If you watch wildlife, I can heartily recommend @Bird_Journal as a way of recording and analysing your sightings." by @gardener_the

"Have to say mighty impressed with the @Bird_Journal app... Superb for nest recording - only a photo option would make it perfect for me." by @Nestfinders5978

"Been using this for a couple of years and it's great. Couldn't recommend more highly! Fantastic for all recording - not just birds." by @MarkG76

Let us know if you've produced or have seen an article you would like to share.

Wishing you great birding for 2017!

Making the most of the iPad screen

It has always been possible to use Bird Journal on an iPad, but only as an iPhone app.  This meant over-sized text and graphics and also being harder to find in the App Store.

The recent Bird Journal iOS app update solves this.  The same app is designed for both iPhone and iPad screens.  We also took the opportunity to enable landscape orientations, increase the resolution of images to ensure crisp display on the iPhone 6/7 plus and fix a number of bugs.

Our initial effort was to try to reuse the same full V5 user interface found in our desktop software.  While this was clearly possible, our experiments showed performance was not satisfactory.  Startup time was increased notably, especially on older devices.  There were also challenges preserving edit screen behaviour to ensure the fastest and most tailored experience for recording in the field.

We decided keeping and extending the existing mobile user interfaces was the best choice.  The apps will be as fast as possible and fit with the design style of iOS/Android.  Behind the scenes we'll be making changes to ensure we can add features more quickly, have less to maintain and bring more consistency between platforms.

Don't forget to visit our feedback site to let us know what mobile features you'd like to see next.  And if you have a moment, please consider leaving a review on the Apple App Store or Google Play Store.  These really help others discover us.