Can I copy my Favs & Notes in iBird to Waite’s Guide?

A Little History

The simple answer is no you can’t copy favorites and notes from iBird to Waite’s Guide. The reasons why you can’t requires you understand a little history of our product line. We currently have three products that offer backup, export and synchronization features: iBird, iBird Journal and Waite’s Guide to Birds of America. However at this time there is no unifying system for backup, export and synchronization between all products and each of these products handles these features differently.


There are several reasons for this but the primary one is when we designed iBird Pro in 2008 we had no idea what features people would want beyond its basic purpose. Nothing like iBird was on the market; in fact it was referred to as “disruptive technology”, since it essentially replaced the printed field guidebook. iBird’s goals were to be much more than a book.


Initially we did not have a way for iBird to save and share anything between other versions of iBird or between iBird running on different devices. As iBird became more popular we began adding features that took it beyond just replacing a book. One of them was Favorites and Notes. Our intention for Favorites was a simple way to mark species you like similar to the way you dog ear a book’s page so its easy to find again. The goal for Notes was to leave comments to yourself about a species, similar to the way you write in the margins of a book. Eventually we made it so Favorites and Notes could be shared between iBird on different Apple iOS devices. We used iCloud to accomplish the backup and sharing of Favorites and Notes. Later we expanded the feature a little more so you could have multiple lists of Favorites.


iBird Journal was started in 2011. It was aimed at being a powerful observation system that would work with iBird as well as any bird reference guide app. It was not intended to replace iBird’s Favorites and Notes feature since those were not designed for managing sightings, but rather to provide an app that was made specifically for keeping lists of all kinds. (However we discovered later that some customers had used Favorites and Notes to serve as a observation system.) We made sure that Journal interfaced seamlessly to iBird. We used Dropbox for backing up the Journal database and we designed a way for Journal to export to and import from eBird. We did not design any system for moving Favorites and Notes from iBird to Journal because as we said earlier, they were not designed to be used for the same functions.


Waite’s Guide to Birds of America, started in mid 2012, was designed to be a stand-alone reference guide app for the iPad with features that took it beyond iBird. It is the beginning of a new product line. We made sure that Waite’s Guide worked well with Journal. But we did not design it to work with any version of iBird. Like iBird it did have a system of Favorites and Notes that worked exactly the same way, but instead of iCloud for backing up Favorites and Notes we used Dropbox. We did this so that we could also share photos in a more robust and simple to understand manner. We also choose Dropbox over iCloud because it is a platform agnostic system, meaning it can be used on non Apple projects.


So the answer to the question “can I copy Favorites and Notes from iBird to Waite’s Guide” is basically no, you can’t. The only way to move Favorites and Notes from iBird to Waite’s Guide is to manually them down or enter them into a spreadsheet and then use that to recreate them in Waite’s Guide. However if you are using Favorites and Notes as a listing system we urge you to use iBird Journal since it was designed from the ground up for this specific purpose.


How do I unlock Waite’s Guide?

Once you download Waite’s Guide to Birds of America you have free access to 50 species. To access to all species you must unlock the app. To unlock the app you must get to the in-app purchase screen inside Waite’s Guide. There are several ways to access this screen but here is the simplest:


  • Go to the Home screen and tap the brass colored badge at the bottom of the screen which should be displaying UNLOCK ALL SPECIES.
  • A message box will open called Upgrade with 3 buttons at the top, from left to right: Not Now, Restore and Buy for $ (Price). The $ (Price) is the amount you will be charged to unlock all the species.
  • This message box explains the process for upgrading, the reasons for upgrading, how to contact us if you have any problems and how to get a refund from Apple.
  • Tap the $ (Price) button. A message “waiting for store…” will appear, followed by a small message box asking you to confirm your in-app purchase. You can either Buy or Cancel.
  • Note the amount shown in the Buy button is the actual price you will be charged regardless of what you have read elsewhere.
  • Press the Buy button. You will be asked for your Apple ID and Password. Type those in and tap OK.
  • If you have already purchased the app you will see a message box stating you have already purchased the app and to press OK to download it again for free. Since with Waite’s Guide you have already downloaded the app so pressing the OK button will simply unlock all the species in the app.
  • After you press OK the Upgrade screen will be replaced with the message All species unlocked and an OK button. Press the OK button and the brass badge at the bottom of the screen will say SPECIES UNLOCKED.


If you know you have purchased the app and are simply wanting to upgrade it, for example after downloading to a new device, press the Restore button. This will check to see if the account you are using on the device owns the app and if so it will unlock it. If you are using the app on a different account than the one you used to originally purchase the app you will be told you don’t own it and asked to buy it instead.


Note About Refunds. If you believe you were charged twice for Waite’s Guide and want a refund you will need to contact Apple to arrange this. Developers do not actually sell you there apps, instead they licensed it to Apple and Apple charges your credit card. Therefore we did not collect your payment nor do we have a way to credit your account. Keep in mind that when you signed up to use the Apple app store the agreement you checked off was that Apple’s would not refund mistakes made in ordering in the App store. However while Apple’s policy is no refunds, if you patiently explain that you made a simple mistake most of the time they will make an exception and refund your account.

How do I get a refund?

Getting a refund can be difficult.  Apple does not share any user information with App developers This is great for user’s privacy but it means as an app developer we have no way to issue you a refund.


Apple has a very strict and confusing refund policy that you agreed to when you set up your iTunes account.  Click here to view Apple’s refund policy


You will need to contact Apple directly for a refund.
Here are two links to Apple support and their US techincal support #: (This link shows you how to report a problem and request a refund, from within iTunes.) (This is a link to Apple’s express lane support. You will need to select iTunes store and go from there.)




Apple’s first response will be to deny the refund and refer you to the app developer.  You will need to be insistent: Apple collected your funds by charging your credit card, the app developer did not.  As the app developer we have no record of this sale.  You will most likely have to request to speak with a supervisor.  It has been our experience that they will eventually give in.