What is the difference between KoBoCollect android app and an ODKCollect android app?

Hello sir @Kal_Lam,

If I may I ask, what is the difference between KoboCollect and ODKCollect?


Hi @alexpolo01,

KoBoCollect android app is based on ODKCollect android app. Basically both these android apps are used for collecting data. The ODKCollect android app is used by ODK users while the KoBoCollect android app is used by KoBoToolbox users.

It’s not that a KoBoToolbox user is not allowed to use ODKCollect android app and vise-versa. They can be used by any users interchangeably. However, there are some specific features built for their uses which would be an added asset if used by the targeted user. Maybe this post discussed previously should help you understand the difference between the two that was discussed way back (years ago):
Relationship between Kobo and ODK

I’m editing my response based on @tinok’s more detailed answer. There used to be differences between the apps but that’s no longer the case.

Have a great day!

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thanks, but the cited article is very old (and I think the mentioned differences do no more exist).
As several users have/had this question it would be great if we could have an up-to-date detailed article on

  • What are important differences between KoBoCollect and ODK Collect?
  • What are main questions/criteria to decide which of both to chose for a humanitarian survey project?
    These question adress the user view (not so much source code, forks and javarosa background)…

I would also like to know if there are any plans to join together for one system and development.
Kind regards

Hi @wroos

Unfortunately, the definition of the differences between ODK Collect and KoBoCollect by way of application may vary from user to user. As such we may not have the entire spectrum of differences noted and we would rely on all users to point them out. As it is we are limited in our response.

Where users not any differences on ODK Collect and KoBoCollect, we encourage that the document the issues on GitHub, and our developers can look at resolving them.

I misunderstood your question. Please ignore my previous post and refer to @tinok’s response below. Sorry for the confusion!


Dear @stephanealoo,
It’s more about

  • people and organisations often need to chose between KoBoCollect and ODKCollect for their humanitarian projects
  • and guiding documentation for those decisions would be great.

I also think the develppers might be able to share related nformation about differences and pro & cons.
I am sorry to say, but we are looking for better resources to find this out instead of trial and error or scanning around the 2 user forums. And we would also like to better understand why an extra fork is really necessary instead of enhanced synergie of one common development and user community.

Kind regards

Hi @alexpolo01 and @wroos :wave: I’m happy to shed a bit more light here. As @Kal_Lam said above, KoBoCollect is a fork of the excellent ODK Collect. As of today there are no substantive differences anymore between the two apps. Users are free to use either one for their data collection work. KoBoToolbox’s online features are built to be fully compatible with both apps, so there is no advantage of one over the other.

We don’t recommend having both apps installed concurrently. (This could lead to some confusion depending on the Android settings. For example, you could use ODK Collect to download your blank forms but then be asked to choose between the two apps for entering data.)

Historically there used to be some significant differences. Back in 2009 we made a number of significant changes to ODK Collect that became KoBoCollect. That included cascading questions, hiding delete and edit buttons for field data collection, and other changes. That was in part because XLSForm was not yet an option and we built a formbuilder for all question types and advanced settings, including cascading questions, which were saved directly as an XML file for the mobile app. All of these changes were eventually added to ODK Collect over the years, along with many other great features. So in 2014 we decided to refork KoBoCollect off ODK Collect, keeping only minimal changes. Today these include the KoBoToolbox server in the configuration dropdown, a reference back to ODK Collect, and the KoBoToolbox logo and name.

We update the app periodically; the most recent update was done two weeks ago and released via the Google Play Store. You can find the source code here. There are tens of thousands of KoBoCollect installations used around the world, so we are not planning to discontinue KoBoCollect at this point. But if you are starting a new project you may very well start with ODK Collect. One advantage is that the app is updated more frequently than KoBoCollect, so you may receive bug fixes more quickly that way.

Let me know if you have any other questions.


@alexpolo01, @wroos, kindly please be informed that we have updated our support article with the discussion we had on this post:

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Hello @Kal_Lam
Good to hear, thanks.
Based on our experience and some forum discussions, we would appreciate that there is also a suggestion included, please, to preferably use ODKCollect (with KoBoToolbox), instead of KoBoCollect. Esp. for new (Collect) users.