Offline Mobile App: Basics & Implementation
It is a known fact that the majority of internet users own a mobile rather than a laptop/PC. So, it is obvious that maximum apps or websites are accessed through smartphones.
Therefore, eCommerce can actually be called mCommerce. In all this, let’s not forget that there are times when users don’t have a strong network or no network at all. In that situation, the need for an offline mobile app is felt more than ever.
Of course, the need for offline mode is felt in certain types of apps more than others. For instance, apps for medical assistance or banking apps should work offline as they can improve user experience to a great deal.
Now, before you reach out to a mobile application development services to discuss the idea of an offline app, it is necessary to know the basics.
What is Offline Mode?
Offline mode is a popular feature that will limit the inconvenience caused by poor network quality. Many popular apps like Amazon and Uber use the offline mode feature.
Including the offline mode in your app will help you retain more users.
Benefits of Offline Applications for Android & iOS
A study shows that 70% of the users will quite your app or website if the wait time is more than 3 seconds. Precisely for this reason, an offline app for Android and iOS is necessary.
We will explain the benefits of offline mode with a simple example. Many people use healthcare apps for multiple reasons. Even doctors keep track of their patient’s history with the help of such applications.
Let’s say during a regular checkup, a doctor just measured the vitals of a patient and tries to put the details in the patient’s profile. But the connectivity reduces. In that case, either the doctor has to remember to enter the details later or he may forget altogether.
Now, if your app has offline synchronization, then the doctor can finish entering the details. Later on, when high connection resumes, the data will be updated.
We have answered the basics such as define offline mode and benefits of the same. Let’s move ahead!
How to Decide the Features for Your Offline Mobile App?
Every app is unique and so are the features required in them. There is no single approach to create perfect offline apps.
The following pointers will help you decide the features to include in your offline web app.
- Decide your business requirements, carry out an analysis of your workflow, and convert these two in your application’s features.
- Categorize the features into three. The features that are absolutely necessary, the feature that is important but not urgent, and features that will be good to have.
- Know your ultimate goal
When you share all this information with the development team working on your application, they will be able to recommend a better technology stack.
Factors To Consider While Choosing Technology Stack For Offline Web Apps:
We all know that the technology stack can make or break an offline mobile app. You should keep in mind the following factors while deciding.
Frequency of Data Synchronization
If an app reconnects frequently then the phone’s battery drains too. On the other hand, reconnecting happens a few times then the users may miss necessary updates. You need to discuss it with the developers to find a midway.
To come to a decision, find the frequency at which your users get high-speed internet. Moreover, if the app is being used for work then which time slots of their day are best to download data.
A better data connection means shorter the timeslots.
Data Synchronization Cycles & Time
The offline sync of data should be given priority as per business needs. Some types of data can be updated once a year, and some need to be done a few times a day.
You have the option to decide different synchronization cycles for different types of data in your offline mobile app. There is also a possibility that your app doesn’t need constant synchronization.
You can sync the mobile app database at a specific time.
Shared Data Management
If a user is offline then any changes in the data thereafter won’t be available to him. It means that many people may be working on data without knowing the modifications by others.
If you don’t have an option to avoid such a situation, then focus on exceptional handling and decide the rules to handle those exceptions.
As per an IBM developer, the best way to handle such scenarios is that the first update to a data set remains and the rest will be ignored.
Handling of Sensitive Data
You cannot cache the private user data for security reasons. The cached information can be accessed by viewing the browser’s cache or by pressing a browser’s back button.
Therefore, sensitive information of users like credit card details will be at risk. So, make sure that any of the sensitive data is not cached.
Offline Syncing Methods
Here are some additional questions to answer for deciding a perfect technology stack for your offline mobile app:
- Will the data transfer be synchronous or asynchronous?
- Data sync will be automated or manual?
- Whether the app will ask the server for updates or will the server itself send new data?
Android or iOS Offline Mobile App?
There is a minor difference between Android and iOS apps when it comes to offline mode. Both of them will allow you to implement the offline feature.
It’s just that the guidelines for iOS are a little tough as Apple emphasizes privacy and is not much interested in collecting user data. However, in the case of both platforms, it is easier to include an offline mode in the app initially.
It works just like a software development cycle where making changes later becomes a little difficult as compared to the initial stages.
What is The Cost to Add Offline Mode?
If you want to add an offline mode in your mobile app then it is like adding a feature. Adding a feature will have different costs depending on the development stage of your project.
If you decide to include the offline mode since the very beginning then it will turn out to be perfect for you. But if you decide to include it during the development process then the costs may vary.
Of course, the cost also depends on the hybrid app development company that you partner with.
Another factor to influence the cost is the type of your application i.e whether it is simple or complex. Also, the technology stack used in your app.
You can discuss all of these factors with your development partner and they can provide the precise cost. To say the least, the whole process may cost you somewhere between $500-$1500 for both platforms.
Do you want to get an offline mobile app developed? Or do you want to consult an expert first if it is necessary for your application type? Let us know about your queries on [email protected]!
What is an offline mobile app?
An offline mobile app is the one that works even after the internet connection is lost and a user can resume working from where the connection was lost.
What are the best offline mobile apps?
Some of the best offline mobile apps are Amazon Kindle, Google Drive, Google Translate, etc.
Adding an offline mode to your mobile app is worth doing?
Yes, adding an offline mode to your mobile app is worth it but it largely depends on the type of your application.
Can mobile apps work offline?
Yes, mobile apps can work offline.