So, imagine we have this situation: your payment app cannot finish said payment because the internet broke down and you are left standing. You surely don’t want that to happen to you, right? Well, imagine this kind of stuff happens to your users, and let’s reflect on this.
You don’t want to cause distress to your users. And so, the saying: “I can still post something even if I am offline” is kind of a must when it comes to your business apps. Facebook has this thing when, in case of “no internet”, lets your post be published when the connection is found, fixed or created. This kind of approach never disappoints, no matter of what kind of internet connection.
When you simplify the users life with your mobile app, think like this: your business can serve its purpose just like in an offline world, where there is no internet connection around.
If you have a B2B or a B2C business, you must not always rely on a good connection to the online world. Of course, this is the era of fast things and rapid movement and of good internet conection, but what if all these are gone? Things can happen: the user is on a remote site, on an abandoned land, on a subway, places where we have no network on phones. This is the time when we need an app that works offline.
WHAT IS AN OFFLINE APP?
Well, this means that the app can work or can be resumed from the point where you lost the connection. For example, Whatsapp and Wechat can send your unsent messages as soon as you find a new working internet connection or coming out of no-internet area.
What is the benefit? Well, it’s not just the messaging apps mentioned before that have this ability. This is how more other apps like Google Maps, AccuWeather, Pocket, Amazon Kindle, Trip Advisor, Google Drive, Google Translate and various others work. Gaming apps like Angry Birds or Temple Run can be put in the category of offline apps.
These apps can to sync in the cloud, but can survive any downtime. At the same time, though, offline apps need to work outside the cloud. It’s a complex thing, but that’s why we are here.
Let us give another example. You’re going on a trip and you need to read some articles. On that trip, you are certain you are going to lose connection to the internet from time to time. What will you do? You will download an app that downloads your article feeds to be viewed or read when in offline mode (on the airplane, for example).
Offline abilities of an app are transforming the app world into a more secure environment. When you are adding an offline mode to your app, you are providing the user with the same experience he has when in online mode. This effort cannot go unnoticed by your user base and potential customers.
KEY REASONS TO MAKE YOUR APP OFFLINE
- Users will lose their boredom when they are in no-network zone.
- You will surely become their first choice.
- You can gain more loyalty from customers.
- Users stay connected to your app when they are located in zones that cannot provide connection to the internet (subways, planes, tunnels, etc.).
- You can store the data locally than on the server for simple applications.
HOW CAN YOU MAKE YOUR APP WORK OFFLINE?
The three major actions that need to be done while developing an app for offline mode are: sync, serialization and conflict resolutions. Firstly, you need to provide smooth synchronization for user’s app updates with the server.
What is the goal of offline app design? Build an app that can transit from online to offline online and viceversa or making it that way that the app can be used offline all the time. When you’ll start the offline app development, you’ll need three important things to start:
- With your app you should be able to keep a copy of the data and the structure of the app.
- Bidirectional data synchronization should be taken into consideration.
- When multiple updates occur, a mechanism should be developed, for resolving conflicts.
A huge popularity is gained these times by offline mobile apps. Thinking as an app owner, we might back off a little, thinking of the time and costs it will take to be developed. But thinking of what the user needs might be the deciding point in this. Especially now, when we aknowledge the benefits.