Access to bases on mobile devices while offline


#41

Same here. Potentially great app let down by lack of offline access to data. E.G. myself and my partner have a holidays base with places we want to visit, etc. But it’s utterly useless if I’m out in a foreign country and have no data or roaming costs a fortune.


#42

How would you want to use Airtable offline?
I would like to use Airtable to save and manage all my data connected to different topics (work, ihome, personal …) It’s important to access my data offline on mobile (Android).

Do you use Airtable alone, or with collaborators? Alone

How much do you need to be able to do in Airtable while offline?
View my data is fundamental, but editing is very important - if I see something or I have an idea, or have to work on someting on the go.

How tolerant would you be of having to resolve merge conflicts manually?
If I have the opportunity to select the right version.

Would you primarily be using offline mode on desktop or mobile? primarly on mobile


#43

How would you want to use Airtable offline?
I live and work in the Blue Ridge Mountains, giving computer tech support. My main concern is about offline access for my iPhone. Verizon coverage is the best in the region, but in many locations I can’t get an LTE or 3G connection, and in some locations there’s just no signal. This problem is universal among professional service people in the region. I normally avoid any phone app that stops working when the signal isn’t good enough.

Do you use Airtable alone, or with collaborators?
Right now I’m learning Airtable and I use it alone, but soon I’d like to collaborate with my business partner, and may hire employees and have them use it later.
How much do you need to be able to do in Airtable while offline?
Read-only would be way better than having no offline access. Ability to edit while offline would be a plus.

For how long do you need to be able to use Airtable offline?
Generally up to 8 hours on my cell phone, till I return to my home office and use my computer to get a larger view.

How tolerant would you be of having to resolve merge conflicts manually?
No problem – for me that would be much better than losing access to Airtable. I don’t mind following instructions to compensate for less-than-stellar user features. For me Airtable is an excellent construction kit and already beautiful. I don’t need perfect versatility, just predictable access online and offline.

Would you primarily be using offline mode on desktop or mobile?
Primarily mobile. However, in stormy weather out her in the country, homes and businesses sometimes lose Internet service altogether, so offline access for desktop and laptop computers would also be appreciated.


#44

How would I want to use Airtable offline?
Let me explain. I used Bento on my iphone, still do actually, but I was introduced to Airtable just last week by my daughter who knew I was looking for a replacement for Bento. Airtable looked just the thing I was looking for until today when I tried to use it in the wild. I was in a bookshop in the outskirts of Glasgow and wanted to add a book to my booklist. I go the message “connecting …”. Then I noticed I had no network access. What use is it having a portable database that is only portable if you have an internet connection. I had to resort to Bento again. It’s clumsy and awkward and now doesn’t sync but it works on my phone.

In Scotland we have very poor public internet access. Sometimes we get 4G, but only really in city centres. If you’re lucky, 3G elsewhere. I’d like to see the app buffer the data and allow it to sync with the home station when access is available and when it detects that changes have been made.

Do you use Airtable alone, or with collaborators?
Alone

For how long do you need to be able to use Airtable offline?
About an hour max at a time should see me through the changes/additiions I would need to make.

How tolerant would you be of having to resolve merge conflicts manually?
That wouldn’t be a great problem for me. I’m used to fixing data stuff given enough instruction.

Would you primarily be using offline mode on desktop or mobile?
Primarily mobile. Thankfully we have good internet access at home.

PS
I’d just like to add that this is the most sophisticated forum reply form I’ve use. Quite excellent!


#46

How fabulous - an app company that allows users a voice.

How would I want to use Airtable offline?

I work in film. The problem occurs when out of internet range and I need to access and add information.

Do you use Airtable alone, or with collaborators?

Alone is my preference.

How much do you need to be able to do in Airtable while offline?

I would need to be able to add or subtract data information. I would not necessarily require the ability to make structural changes.

How tolerant would you be of having to resolve merge conflicts manually?

This would depend on the degree of ‘manual’. If it was something that required little skill, or a skill that could be learned with ease - I would have no issues, in light of having the ability to work offline.

Would you primarily be using offline mode on desktop or mobile?

I consider the online feature as a way to backup. Therefore, I would tend to work as much as I could in this mode.


#47

Thanks, AirTable and Howie for taking the time to explain the issues being explored and listen to needed uses.

How would I want to use Airtable offline?

I work for an international nonprofit where we visit many sites that have no internet. We would need to have someone use it offline for at least a few hours up to a day or two. Most offline cases would be intentional and foreseen but there is poor internet connection in other places, so there would be many times when the connection would be interrupted.

Do you use Airtable alone, or with collaborators?

I would collaborate with 4-10 other users.

How much do you need to be able to do in Airtable while offline?

I would need to add records, ideally using a form, as well as read/edit, and add tasks. I would not need to do and restructuring of the base.

How tolerant would you be of having to resolve merge conflicts manually?

This would depend on the complexity. I would be open to this if it were simple, especially if the offline use was noted explicitly so I knew what was coming.

Would you primarily be using offline mode on desktop or mobile?

Mobile.

I’m also curious, can you help me understand how much data Airtable uses, now if a user is editing offline?

Thanks.


#48

This is a must have feature!


#49

While I have applications where offline field data collection, as described, is critical, those are currently in Filemaker using Tim’s FM EasySync to sync the collection when returning to wifi.

The current application in development on air table requires a much more modest off line use.

When volunteers are providing a service to a client they need to enter data.
Currently if they open the form while online, and keep the page open they can use pick lists but not linked selections. They also cannot submit the data, and certainly cannot enter another, or more services before coming back to internet connectivity. Some can do this with mobile connectivity but it is not available in all locations.


#50

I am also very interested in offline mode


#51

Offline vs what exists now is a matter of increasing the allowed latency.
So I’m curious - if one of the potential un-resolvable conflict situations arises with the current setup - what happens? And how often does it actually happen?
Going a step further, how often are users actually engaging in behavior that would lead to such conflicts were they offline? (if you were to log and analyze data from current use in order to determine such a thing)


#52

+1 for offline support to serve as trello replacement. Thank you!


#53

Are you a world traveler? US and Canada, east coast.
Do you use Airtable alone, or with collaborators? With a few collaborators. A rather historically fraught term, btw. Can’t we say "associates?"
How much do you need to be able to do in Airtable while offline? Ability to edit.
Do you need to have the ability to change the database schemata while offline? Ehhh, not that big a deal.
For how long do you need to be able to use Airtable offline? For a few days, as I trek through the not so remote reaches of the maritime provinces.
How tolerant would you be of having to resolve merge conflicts manually? Somewhat tolerant. In fact, probably necessary if we’re both changing the same inventory.
Would you primarily be using offline mode on desktop or mobile? Mobile.


#54

Hello! Recent convert, love the product so far. If this feature is still under consideration:

1. How would you want to use Airtable offline?

I’m a web developer, and as such I like to do much of my planning and proposal writing online. For the most part this works fine, but you wouldn’t believe how many meetings I’ve been in to demonstrate my product, only to have the meeting take place in an environment with no Internet connection. Restaurants, tech-backwards offices, waterfalls – you name it.

Obviously I’m not requesting you create offline versions of my websites (though I wouldn’t object if you did :imp: ). But I currently do write my proposals on my website – a strategy which, for its many advantages, leaves me at a significant impasse without the Internet. If Airtable supported an offline mode, building a connection via API between my website’s backend and Airtable would be relatively simple, allowing me to upload my proposals and present them while offline without fear.

2. Do you use Airtable alone, or with collaborators?

I work with one other person for now – though I could foresee that growing as time goes on. So, the latter.

3. How much do you need to be able to do in Airtable while offline?

For my use case, I’d just need read-only privileges. The only important part for me is being able to show my proposals to relevant parties regardless of Internet connection. I can take meeting notes separately and incorporate them into the database later.

4. For how long do you need to be able to use Airtable offline?

A couple hours, at most. Most of the time shorter than that.

5. How tolerant would you be of having to resolve merge conflicts manually?

Personally I’d be fine with that – Git is a regular part of my workflow so I’m familiar with the process.

6. Would you primarily be using offline mode on desktop or mobile?

Honestly, either would be helpful. Mobile would probably be ever-so-slightly more helpful, as I try and bring my laptop to all meetings but there’s some instances where it’s not feasible.


#55

+1 Vote for this feature request. I use Airtable on my mobile phone when I go to remote areas in the Philippines where there is no mobile phone signal. Airtable helps me keep track the products and prepare the invoice for my customers (billing and budgeting purposes for the customer). This is a window of a couple of hours since I return to my home base wherein I have good internet signal. The offline mode with syncing would be “bridge the gap” of those couple of hours wherein there are only a few INSERTs and UPDATEs on the records needs to be synced up in the cloud.


#56

How would you want to use Airtable offline?
One real-life example: My recipe collection is in Airtable; sometimes I need to check a list of ingredients while I’m in the grocery store, and for whatever reason, the store’s roof tends to block cellular access pretty effectively.

Do you use Airtable alone, or with collaborators?
Alone.

How much do you need to be able to do in Airtable while offline?
Read-only access is probably sufficient for my purposes.

How tolerant would you be of having to resolve merge conflicts manually?
Willing to do this if necessary — but if I’m the only one accessing the data, and especially if access is read-only, then I anticipate this won’t be necessary often, if ever.

Would you primarily be using offline mode on desktop or mobile?
Mobile, exclusively.


#57

Hi,

Thanks for the detailed explanation, as this is critical feature for me and reading your post give me impression that it may be possible for you to allow a locked-down version be saved on device and then that snapshot will work off-line.

Once that device having locked down version becomes on-line again then let it not-sync rather present a list of conflicting changes requiring them to be approved.

Reading all I think if you implement some thing which will work for single user while offline then it will solve problem for lot of people. In my particular case we are in National Park with no mobile/internet connection nor there is any hope.

In old days when only connection was Dial-up the POS systems would at the end of the
day dial-into each location from head-office, collect the file for all changes made at that location during working hours. Head office would merge all to main server then create a new file for each location that got applied to the store POS. In morning Head office would run reports for previous days activity and store would have updated data.

Apart from sales and request for inventory update there were transfer between stores, which also got processed this way.

I think if you can put a lock on instant update thing, let folks be bit more patient then a solution could be found. Let one user be designated as Admin and his/her changes or those approved by Admin will prevail. Each user can decide how long they want to be offline the merge file will be created for that duration… Then for that duration you create transactions/changes file for each user and then merge them [ after all
who made changes to structure ack ] them with the snapshot, approve then merge.

Hope this may help you to provide even a limited [ single user / Admin ] offline capability.


#58

+1 vote
How would you want to use Airtable offline?
Personal use for the listing of students, their presence and performance and some other personal app
Do you use Airtable alone, or with collaborators?
Alone most often, sometimes sharing with my assistant.
How much do you need to be able to do in Airtable while offline?
Read-only access is good, editing posssibilities would be great.
How tolerant would you be of having to resolve merge conflicts manually?
Resolving conflicts manually would be OK.
Would you primarily be using offline mode on desktop or mobile?
Mobile, exclusively.


#59

How would you want to use Airtable offline?
I use it to manage short film productions. Therefore offline mode would be super great to update database as needed when on location without internet.

Do you use Airtable alone, or with collaborators?
Mostly alone and/or with small teams.

How much do you need to be able to do in Airtable while offline?
Everything it can already do as if you were working alone.

How tolerant would you be of having to resolve merge conflicts manually?
Resolving conflicts manually would be ok

Would you primarily be using offline mode on desktop or mobile?
I would primarily use offline mode on my laptop (meaning as a desktop app but on locations that are not necessarily connected to the internet). I find that editing on small screens like phone or tablets is cumbersome but it can be useful for occasional consultation if need be.

I dont’ know what are the technical limitations you would face to make the app work as a regular desktop app. But I would gladly pay for such a regular desktop app even though that means I cannot work on DB with collaborators.


#60

Easily my number one feature request. I travel a lot and would LOVE to get some Airtable work done while I do it. I run into this limitation weekly.


#61

+1
Offline access would be a really useful feature for me.