Overview & Background
Occasionally, you may find yourself working in an area that doesn't have a Wifi network or strong cellular coverage. Fieldwire provides offline editing in our mobile apps so you can capture everything you need in the field and then sync it to your account when you next have access to better reception or a strong wifi network. This article outlines a few simple steps that ensure you can always have access to the most up-to-date information in your Fieldwire app, even in areas with poor cellular coverage or no WiFi network.
Disable 'Smart Synchronization'
Smart synchronization is a setting in both the iOS and Android Fieldwire mobile apps that ensures Fieldwire only syncs data when you're connected to Wifi, so that we don't use up your cellular data plan. Smart sync is enabled on your tablet or smartphone by default, and it greatly limits the amount of cellular data Fieldwire can use to sync updates to and from your device whenever you're not connected to Wifi. If you want to sync Fieldwire data whenever you have a cellular data connection but are not connected to Wifi, you need to disable smart sync.
This is useful when you anticipate being offline (and need access to everything) or do not care about storage/downloading large amounts of data on your mobile device. When Smart Sync is disabled, Fieldwire will download high-resolution files for plan sheets and all project photos, videos, and files over cellular data.
Navigate to the 'Profile' option on the project dashboard in your Fieldwire App on your mobile device, then switch off Smart Synchronization:
Please refer to this article for more information about Smart Synchronization:
Keep Fieldwire open but close any other apps that are running in the background
If Fieldwire is "running in the background" on your mobile device, i.e. you haven't closed the app but you are using another app on your smartphone or tablet, you will still receive notifications.
However, Fieldwire does not sync data to and from your mobile app while it's running in the background; data only syncs if you have the app open on your screen. Our platform pauses syncing if you close the app or open a different app on your mobile device and then resumes when you open it again.
Content is actively syncing whenever you see the pulsing blue line at the top of your screen:
Running more than one other app in the background on your smartphone or tablet can can take up valuable bandwidth and slow down syncing data to or from your mobile Fieldwire app. When syncing data to or from Fieldwire, it's best practice to close any other apps that may be running in the background.
Take a look at these articles for more information and instructions on that:
Disable inactive projects
You have the option to choose which projects you'd like to download to your mobile device at any time, whether iOS or Android. Simply open the Fieldwire mobile app and click the 'Settings' tab of any project.
'Enabled projects' are downloaded to your device; 'Disabled projects' are not, though you can still access them on Fieldwire web (logging in through our website, as opposed to our mobile apps):
If you have any projects that you do not need to access day to day on mobile, you can choose to 'Remove from device' - don't worry, you can also re-enable those projects at any time in the future if need be:
Disabling old projects preserves storage space on your mobile device and ensures faster syncing speeds for your 'enabled projects'. Since you can disable and enable projects on your mobile device at will, it's best practice to only enable the projects you're actively working on via our mobile app.
Refer to these articles for more information on this feature and the other options available in the settings menu on our mobile app:
Store files on an SD Card (only on Android devices)
The option to store files on an SD Card is an Android-specific feature, so you'll find it in our mobile app on Android smartphones and tablets, but not iPhones and iPads.
Note: If you are not connected to WiFi at the time of switching storage options (thus causing the re-download of data to the other disk to be handled by your mobile device's built-in internet service), this will eat up your cellular data plan - ensure you're connected to WiFi to avoid that.
To store data from your project to an external SD card on any Android device, open up the Fieldwire app and click the three vertical dots in the top right corner. Then select 'Data':
This will lead to a screen where you can choose where to store cached information:
Tap the disk to confirm the new storage location. All of the data on the original storage disk then deletes and re-downloads to the new storage disk (in other words, it won't remain on both).
Take a look at this article for additional information:
Store files permanently on your device (only on iOS devices)
The option to store files permanently on your device is an iOS-specific feature, so you'll find it in our mobile app on iPhones and iPads, but not Android smartphones or tablets. If you have room on your device, this setting to 'Store files permanently on [your] device' is a great way to ensure that you can quickly access your project files without a data connection.
When this option is turned on, files are stored on your device's internal memory, so they will always be accessible, even when you're offline. When this option is turned off, files are stored in your device's cache (aka "instant memory," which only allows you to files you've recently opened when you're offline). Disabling Permanent File storage reduces the amount of device storage Fieldwire uses, but it may mean you cannot access old project files when you're offline.
Navigate to the 'Profile' option on the project dashboard in your Fieldwire App on your iPhone or iPad, then choose to 'Store files permanently on device':
Going forward, all Fieldwire project content will be stored in your devices' internal memory.
Please refer to this article for additional information:
Check the logs (only on iOS devices)
You can check the logs of your project to confirm if project content is being actively downloaded to your device at any time and/or when it last was updated.
From the home screen in your Fieldwire mobile app (where your projects are listed) click the 'Support' tab, then select the Fieldwire Version that you are running:
You'll know you're close to everything being downloaded when you begin to see 'Prefetch' events. To confirm that syncing is finished, the last event in the logs will say 'Complete':
What if I continue to have synchronization issues?
If you're having any issues with information syncing to or from your Fieldwire mobile app, these articles contain device-specific troubleshooting steps you can take when you have access to WiFi or a stronger cellular network:
- Syncing issues? Troubleshooting on an Apple device
- Syncing issues? Troubleshooting on an Android device
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