Importing deck on mobile client from ankiweb often fails and blocks new user onboarding. How to fix?

When I have turned new users onto Anki, they begin by downloading the mobile app and then trying to import a shared deck from Ankiweb. Importing often fails, especially on iOS, I imagine because the apkg file is download to local storage and then imported. This seems to block new users from using the app, and only the determined first-time users are the ones who download Anki desktop, import the deck there and then sync it to mobile.

  1. Is importing from ankiweb directly to mobile (for first time users) on your roadmap?
  2. How could importing from ankiweb directly to mobile work? One idea would be have ankiweb send the entire deck contents via JSON/HTTP instead of an apkg file. Then clients could “import” that link and parse the deck contents into a new local deck and sync that with the server… Curious to hear your thoughts.

Maybe the easiest way would be to allow users to import deck within AnkiWeb, and then simply sync. This would would instantly be cross platform, and rather intuitive (imagine, for instance, a button on the shared deck page, if you are logged in, Import — that’s rather straightforward).

I agree importing in Ankiweb would be a better solution. As far as I can tell, that feature doesn’t already exist. Do you know of any plans for it?

When you say “fails”, do you mean they’re encountering an error? If so, please ask them to report it here, or relay it on.

I’m afraid importing via AnkiWeb is unlikely in the near future, as the more computation that is done on AnkiWeb servers instead of user devices, the more expensive it becomes to provide.