Access to bases on mobile devices while offline


#122

I had the exact same experience as one of the previous posters-- spent an hour or two using Airtable to set up a database for a project. Useful right from the start- a simple an elegant solution to something I would have otherwise used a spreadsheet app on the laptop for. Except I was working on my iPad, which was very cool.

Then got on my flight and stared with dismay at a blank screen.


#123

How would you want to use Airtable offline?
In all of the normal ways - reading and editing existing bases, adding new bases.

Do you use Airtable alone, or with collaborators?
Alone, but possibly with a small number of collaborators in the future

How much do you need to be able to do in Airtable while offline?
Ideally everything, but editing, adding and deleting records in existing tables at a minimum

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

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


#124

Hi, I too started using AirTable recently and was dismayed to learn the iPad/iPhone apps just show nothing when there’s no internet connection. I think a database app like this really needs offline mode for best use.

How would you want to use Airtable offline?
As a coach. Recording client meetings, in person (without reliable wi-fi) or on the phone (potentially remote, with no cell signal). Brush up on the details of previous meetings, that sort of thing.

Do you use Airtable alone, or with collaborators?
Alone, for now

How much do you need to be able to do in Airtable while offline?
Read, edit existing records, add new records. Not so much tinkering with the database schema

For how long do you need to be able to use Airtable offline?
However long it takes. A few hours? A regular train journey I make – with incredibly patchy signal – takes three hours. I’d want to be working, using Airtable, the entire way, ideally.

How tolerant would you be of having to resolve merge conflicts manually?
Very tolerant. It’s just me. I know what’s the truth and what’s not.

Would you primarily be using offline mode on desktop or mobile?
Ideally both, but given the comparatively primitive iOS version, I’d settle for this being a mobile-only solution. If I knew I had to stick to iOS when working offline, that’d be ok.

I’ve read someone else’s suggestion for a sort of Offline toggle and that would work for me. If I knew I was going to be suffering wi-fi or mobile signal woes, but had work to do, I’d happily engage Offline mode, keep all my editing to the one device, and wait for the return home to switch back online and upload all my changes.

I definitely need to be able to see my bases, without an internet connection!

Thanks for listening.


#125

+1 - for use in rural India!

How would you want to use Airtable offline?
To view, edit, and capture new data.

Do you use Airtable alone, or with collaborators?
With collaborators

How much do you need to be able to do in Airtable while offline?
Read, edit existing records, add new records. Not so much tinkering with the database schema

For how long do you need to be able to use Airtable offline?
Possible a few hours

How tolerant would you be of having to resolve merge conflicts manually?
Very tolerant but likely not a problem.

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


#126

I would also love an offline mode on Airtable, as I’m currently trying to centralize more and more personal (and not so personal) things on it :smile: !

How would you want to use Airtable offline?
Well, I’ve got a concrete example.
Not so long ago, one of our cats got really sick and we had to hospitalize it in 2 different vet clinics in just a few days : one near us and the other one pretty far, in a rural area, with no Wifi.
We got information there, information here and in just a few days, I accumulate a big and heavy pile of papers I needed to take everywhere and consult during interviews with many different vets. And it was a mess.
I was exhausted, anxious and couldn’t think straight so, I forgot things.
Since then, I’ve created a DB dedicated to our pets and I know can answer every precise question a vet could ask … but I need Wifi or roaming data (which I couldn’t get in the 2nd vet clinic) on my phone which was dying quickly at that time.
As I’ve got an iPad, if there was an offline mode, I could have just taken these 2 devices and travel lighter (without a messy pile of papers). It would have been a lot easier and far less stressful.
This just an example… I’ve got many personal other ones…

Do you use Airtable alone, or with collaborators?
Alone

How much do you need to be able to do in Airtable while offline?
Consult, populate and edit bases.

For how long do you need to be able to use Airtable offline?
A few minutes to some hours.

How tolerant would you be of having to resolve merge conflicts manually?
Very tolerant if it’s explicit : « This what added while offline (by « X » if collaborators) at that « Date + time » > « Accept / Reject / Merge ? »

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


#127

Offline mode is a must-have feature to crown Airtable king.

How would you want to use Airtable offline?

I use Airtable to manage my personal life, which includes a tremendous amount of traveling and my business. I’m constantly working while on the move- and without offline caching, I’m not even able to access Airtable content at all. Currently, I’m having to take screenshots of the things I’m working on, work on them offline, then work again to add them back into Airtable when I do have an internet connection. This is pretty bad. Also, I can’t even count the amount of occasions I needed to access info that was only available on my Airtable that, without an internet connection, was frustratingly unaccessible.

Do you use Airtable alone, or with collaborators?

Alone for now specifically because I can’t rely on my staff to work efficiently without offline caching. I’m willing to do spend the hours doing the extra offline workarounds but can’t force my team to do the same.

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

Review databases and uploaded content, add to and edit databases, drag and drop attachments that are immediately accessible locally and cloud sync when back online.

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

With all the traveling A LOT. But realistically, I’ll get wifi at least once a day so from a few minutes to 24hrs- though there definitely shouldn’t be a time limit! Max 1GB of caching should be enough for pretty much everyone.

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

Very. Although this should work like Dropbox. Latest data automatically overwrites previous data, but there’s an option somewhere to view ‘Version History’ with the ability to overwrite the current data with a previous version.

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

Mobile has to be the first priority but the Desktop version definitely needs it too for power users.

As a side note, I’m using the free version now but will absolutely upgrade when this functionality is built in as I can drop the other apps I’m using just to work around this offline limitation.

I love Airtable. It’s an amazing product that has completely changed the way I work for the better, but it’s lack of offline support just makes it not quite entirely practical.

Hope this is being worked on and will roll out soon. Please keep me in the loop on this.


#128

How would you want to use Airtable offline?

We use Airtable for out youth sports organization. Right now I use it for one team as without offline we’re in too many remote locations that don’t have a connection. Our parent organization is 60+ teams and would likely roll out a similar implementation. We often interact with partners, recruiters, college coaches, vendors, etc in remote locations. We would like to access data about players, venues, schools and other elements as they were last entered online.

Do you use Airtable alone, or with collaborators?

With collaborators: players, coaches, parents.

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

Review last known state of the data and enter new data.

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

Odd question I think but typically no more than 24-72 hours.

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

This would be unlikely in our application - particularly if we could limit which tables could be edited offline. (I work in cloud/mobile/desktop software so this is a qualified estimation. Though if you’re looking for a model to follow, try github!)

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

We would only use offline mode for mobile

Great product by the way. I have used QuickBase extensively and find Airtable to be far more connected to other services and far more accessible for end users.


#129

How would you want to use Airtable offline?
I work as a film producer at a production company and travel frequently to shooting locations with various cell reception. Sometimes in the middle of corn fields and sometimes in rural landscapes with no cell reception at all. For Airtable to be a go-to no-brainer and for me to expand the usage of the product, I need to know I can access my Base anywhere in the world even if it’s just for reference/read-only with FULL data access from the Base including attachments and files. If we can’t see the data without an internet connection, the product becomes useless as soon as connectivity drops (bad location, weak internet, flights w/o wifi, 3rd world countries).

Do you use Airtable alone, or with collaborators?
Currently alone, but hoping to expand to my assistant and other executives at the company.

How much do you need to be able to do in Airtable while offline?
Immediately need access to a read-only version of my Base. It would be wise to choose which Bases read-only offline access is needed for so the database size doesn’t grow without cause.

At a future point, it would be nice to change various cells’ information based upon project we have in development. I use Airtable to manage my submission/read list and to track my notes different writers.

For how long do you need to be able to use Airtable offline?
for read-only - indefinitely for Base Owners or have an admin choose how long a team-member should “check-in” to ensure data isn’t stolen.

For editable Bases - whatever makes sense for Airtable. After that period of time has gone, the Base should transfer to Read-only.

How tolerant would you be of having to resolve merge conflicts manually?
I hate doing this. Whatever is frictionless.

Would you primarily be using offline mode on desktop or mobile?
Both are important. My heavy workload is done on a mac, but use mobile for reference all the time.


#130

An initial ability to just access the data offline in a copy of the Base that is uneditable and updated on the app manually would be irreplaceable. I use Airtable for storing Machine data, location, parts and service manuals, pictures in order to service and maintain hundreds of industrial machines all over my state. With cell phone coverage or wifi being mandatory, i am fairly tied down to taking pictures and screenshots of my Base so i can use that info offline. Offline usage could be limited to adding new records and editing current records. If there are conflicts it could just put that data in a New Record that could be manually resolved once i have internet access so the data isn’t lost, it’s just dislocated. I am using Airtable to manage all of my daily business, it is awesome.