Yup. The web version of XForms Mobile can run in offline mode on laptops and even desktops. Sounds weird, but its true. Check out the following video illustrating exactly that. In the video below, the web version of XForms Mobile is running in a Chrome browser (v 104.0.5112.79) tab on a 2021 Macbook Pro running macOS Monterey 12.4 and Apple M1 Pro silicone.
In the video, you can see that I turn wifi off, check Google news to make sure there’s no wifi, and then proceed to fill out a form in XForms, which just works. Business as usual. Even the laptop camera can be driven by XForms Mobile in offline mode. Pretty cool stuff.
How the F*** does that work???
Progressive web app technology under the hood. That’s how. Check out the wikipedia page about this particular technology: https://web.dev/progressive-web-apps/
In a nutshell, there are these applets called “service workers”, coupled with browsers compliant with web standards, that do all the magic behind the scenes. You don’t really need to know how it all works, other than “it just works”.
Why would I want to run a laptop in offline mode? What’s the value in that?
If you are in the field, in a remote location, without access to the internet, you can still use XForms on your laptop to fill out your field forms. Try that with AirTable, Smartsheet, or Google Forms. That’s not even remotely possible.
Not everyone needs this feature. But some do. And XForms Mobile can fulfill that need.
Want to give it a look?
Click/tap the button below.