The Lousy No Export iPad App

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4 - Data Explorer
4 - Data Explorer

I’m discontinuing using my iPad.
I’ve entered TWO YEARS of important contact info into my iPad AirTable data base file. There’s no way to save or export that information from the iPad app!

Why isn’t that WARNING made evident on the App Store site?

I’m blind in one eye, and have arthritic fingers - it’s going to be time-consuming torture for me to hand type the data elsewhere!

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It troubles me to learn that the iPad app has no ability to export data, but I’m also more disturbed that you spent two years plowing data into a tool without ever contemplating the possibility you would need to export or backup the data. User should consider the value of their data commensurate with the risk of losing it.

Two reasons -

  1. The vast majority of users have more than an iPad so exporting is a near-100% given. In fact, it’s not possible to use only iPad to build moderately complex apps in Airtable. They assume every mobile app user has at least one other way to use Airtable.

  2. Software that has a full contingent of ways to export data do not typically warn users about fringe cases.

The remedy, of course, is to simply access your base via a web browser and export all of your data. If that is not possible, you simply need to ask support to help you export your data and send it to you in some manner. I’m sure Airtable will accommodate this request.

As lousy as Safari is relative to every other alternative nowadays, the desktop version of Airtable is a way better experience than the iOS app. Especially on the iPad whose screen size is absolutely wasted on a miniature phone UI.

But basic data import-export should be a non-issue, just make sure you’re requesting a desktop version of the site. Or delve into Safari settings and turn on “save to homescreen” functionality that will basically let you save Airtable as a “progressive” web app on your homescreen.