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How to enable the offline mode on the Android app


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On the new Android app it is possible for you to access it and add observations whilst being offline, if your child's setting have allowed this. Please note that this authenticates PIN logins that have already been enabled on the device whilst you have connection. As such, it's not possible to login with an email and password whilst offline. 

To skip to the section of this tutorial on what happens if you change your PIN while offline mode is enabled, click here.

For you as a relative to use this feature, you must be permitted by the setting (school, nursery, childminder etc.) that set you up with an account. If they have not given you permission, you will not be able to use the offline mode on any devices.

If they have permitted this then you just need to enable it on your end to start receiving them. This needs to be done on a per device basis, we don't recommend enabling it on any devices that you share with anyone else.

 

To enable push notifications you just need to login on the new app and select where it says 'You' in the top left-hand corner.  

 

image.png

 

 

From this list of options, you'll need to select 'Enable Offline Observations On This Device'. 

 

Screenshot_20190430-162210.png

 

On the next screen you will see the 'Permission from You' section highlighted, showing you this is the action that needs to be taken. You just need to slide the toggle across so it shows as green and enabled (1).

You will then need to save your 4-digit PIN to this device (2). This is so that when you login when offline, your PIN is saved securely on the device and the PIN you enter when logging in can be compared to this. The reason this is necessary is because when offline, the app can't access our servers, which it would normally use to check if the correct PIN has been entered to login.

You won't be able to proceed with enabling the offline mode without entering your 4-digit PIN. 

 

Screenshot_20190430-162225.png

 

When you slide the toggle across to save your PIN, you will be presented with a PIN pad to enter this. 

 

Screenshot_20190430-162230.png

 

Once you've entered your PIN correctly, you'll then be able to see that the offline mode is now enabled for you. 

 

Screenshot_20190430-162237.png

 

You've now got the new offline mode enabled! This means if your device goes offline, any observations you add will be queued up so they can be uploaded when you go back online and login to your account. 

One important thing to note about the offline mode is that you will, at some point, need to go back online and login to ensure the work you save whilst offline does get uploaded. On the 'You' page it shows you the next time you need to go online.

Also, with the offline mode enabled, the app will always start out offline even if there is an internet connection. It will then check for a connection in the background, so you may briefly see a 'working offline' message even if you see your device is connected to the internet.

 

So now with this enabled, if you are not connected to the internet, you will see a red aeroplane icon in the top left-hand corner (1) and if you try to add an observation, it will show you this has been queued to be added (2). This will happen when you login and have a strong enough internet connection. 

 

image.png

 

 

What happens if you have the offline mode enabled and you change your PIN?

As I mentioned earlier in the tutorial, to use the offline mode you need to save your PIN on your device (because when your device is offline the app can't connect to our servers and it needs something to compare the PIN you enter when logging in with to ensure it is correct). If you then change your PIN there are a few different scenarios that might happen, which I have laid out below for you.

  1. Your device is offline and you enter the new PIN: the app will not let you in. This is because it is offline and has no way of knowing that you changed your PIN. If you keep trying you will eventually get the brute force lockout.
  2. Your device is offline and you enter the old PIN: the app will allow you in. This is because it is offline and has no way of knowing that you changed your PIN. If you later go online while logged in, the app will check the PIN with the server and discover it is wrong, and kick you out to the lock screen.
  3. Your device is online and you enter the new PIN: the app will let you login. As the device is online, the app has access to our server, so it will check the new PIN against it and the server will reply saying it is correct. The app will also update the PIN it has stored offline.
  4. Your device is online and you enter the old PIN: the app will briefly allow you in, so you will momentarily see the observation list. It will then check with the server, see the PIN is wrong and you'll be taken back to the lock screen. The reason you are initially logged in is because if you have set up offline access, the app will check the offline PIN matches first. If it does, it will let you in before making any attempt to contact the Tapestry server.

 

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  • Jamie changed the title to How to enable the offline mode on the Android app
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