FR: Offline mode

Having read-only access off-line would work perfectly for me. Think about creating a database of 1001 travel sites with associated restaurants and attractions (like a book). This could be built prior to travel and viewed on a laptop or phone at any location. It would be necessary to place the database in read-only mode while connected, which would be fine. Edits along the way could be added when reconnected to wifi.

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How would you want to use Airtable offline?
The First Tee of Greater Richmond uses Airtable to track student progress in our programs. Right now, we coaches use our own data to connect to Airtable on our mobile devices when we need to record information out on the golf course. If mobile data coverage is an issue out on the course, we are forced to write things down and perform data entry when we’re back in the clubhouse.

Also, coaches without a mobile device and mobile data plan must write everything down and record it later. It would be great to give them a WiFi-only iPad to use while coaching.

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

How much do you need to be able to do in Airtable while offline?
Ideally, everything we can do online other than modify table structure.

How tolerant would you be of having to resolve merge conflicts manually?
Honestly, not very tolerant. Our coaches have varying degrees of technical sophistication.

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

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Just a read only access for the existing database is huge for most people. it will be super helpful to quick search on the database even without internet connection!

2 Likes

How would you want to use Airtable offline?
I want to use Airtable as a small, easy-to-use database tool for personal and small business use, whether online or offline. That, I thought from your marketing/branding, was the whole point of the app. I don’t want a Filemaker, I want a Bento. So all your worry about all these multiple users potentially making changes at exactly the same time that might mess up the database doesn’t make sense to me; that sounds like an enterprise app problem. I think you need to make up your mind what market you are targeting. As far as how I want to use it offline, I want to be able to make a few changes while I’m flying, either on the OS X app on my MacBook Air or on the IOS app on my iPad, when I’m up in the air with no internet access, and have them automatically sync next time I connect with wifi or cellular. Or maybe I’m out on my boat for the weekend, same thing. Or maybe I’m in a client’s office or the audience at a symposium and I’m having trouble getting the wifi password; there are many different scenarios where I temporarily can’t connect. I’m not looking to do huge amounts of work offline.

Do you use Airtable alone, or with collaborators?
Right now mostly alone, although I anticipate collaborating with a small handful of, say, 1-5 people.

How much do you need to be able to do in Airtable while offline?
Would like it to be fully functional.

How tolerant would you be of having to resolve merge conflicts manually?
That would be time-consuming (time-wasting), so not very tolerant.

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

I’ve been searching around for a goo, easy-to-use simple database program. Started playing around with HanDbase but don’t like the complicated syncing methodology, so thought I’d look for something better. Your product is getting good reviews, and looks good to me, and the syncing problem is non-existent, as long as I’m online. The inability to work offline is a deal-breaker. May have to deal with the hassle of HanDbase syncing, at least I can work offline.

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I am using Airtable in Africa. Internet connections are not stable. Dificult to be used when connections are interrupted. An offline modus could possibly prevent data loss and resume syncing when online again. Would be a very helpful feature, whcih would enable us to use the product on a much larger scale!

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I would really appreciate an offline/sync feature.
E.g. if you planned your trip at home using Airtable and in the foreign country you do not always have internet access but would like to see what you planned.

Maybe a checkbox for each base which will allow offline/sync until the next WLAN Hotspot is available.

Read only as a 1st version will be cool.
But add/update of data for existing bases should also be possible.

Regards,
Stefan

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Thank you for asking !!

How would you want to use Airtable offline?
Teacher/coach/artistic director,mo have a database of exercises and data about projects and evolution.
I (very) often work in places with not coverage, and one wifi.
I see much more a database as being based on my device and backed up on the net (+possibility to sing with my other devices).

Do you use Airtable alone, or with collaborators?
I use it alone.
I had Bento and iDatabase, but they stop supporting their apps :frowning:
(Bento is a good example as the sync was between my MacBook and the I devices, without an online backup. IDatabase offered the possibility to backup (and also sync) with Dropbox) would you consider that as a possibility?

How much do you need to be able to do in Airtable while offline?
I would say: make it fully operational offline, so to have full autonomy is using the database. And the online connection is a bonus to backup and sync.
I would literally need it to be that way in order to be able to use it.

How tolerant would you be of having to resolve merge conflicts manually?
I can’t really answer this one for now.

I find your online facilities to be VERY USEFUL and answering my personal need of a database :slight_smile:)
So the real thing that I miss is the full offline use.

Thank you so much !

Ami

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

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How would you want to use Airtable offline?
I use AirTable for work editing a magazine. When working on an aeroplane or in a foreign country, I want to access a contact database and publishing schedule. Otherwise, I use Workflowy for less structured information, which works well offline.

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 would be better than nothing. Otherwise editing and adding records. I wouldn’t need to make any structural changes.

How tolerant would you be of having to resolve merge conflicts manually?
I like manual.

Would you primarily be using offline mode on desktop or mobile? Desktop on the plane, but mobile in the taxi.

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.

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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

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.

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!

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.

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.

This is a must have feature!

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.

I am also very interested in offline mode

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)

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

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.