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.


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