Things to Consider While Building Offline Mobile Applications

The significance of an offline mobile app

Have you ever tried to open any mobile app while in aeroplane mode? Were you able to take photos, read texts, and execute other tasks? That mobile phone application you opened had an offline support! Most of the companies are still planning to build mobile applications while others have already moved to the next level – The offline-first mobility. Whether it’s a metropolitan city or a rural area (where your company’s warehouse is based), internet connectivity is a major issue irrespective of the geographical condition. In cities, the network is poor due to over-crowding while in rural areas, either connectivity keeps dropping or speed is extremely slow. Poor internet connectivity and low speed are the two main reasons that prompted many companies to adopt offline mobile application development.

How to create an offline mobile App?

To understand the procedure of offline mobile application development, there are two core capabilities that have to be taken into consideration:

Offline Data Storage and Access

To build your offline mobile app, you will need to store the data on your client’s device directly. In this way, your mobile application will work effectively even without internet connection.

Local (Internal/External) Storage

There are times where you want to store data but the Shared Preferences technique is too limited for your requirements of saving images, serializing objects etc. In such cases, adopting an Internal/External Data Storage technique is an excellent choice. Furthermore, it is used especially for those conditions when you want to store files to the device filesystem which doesn’t require relational database abilities.

Normally, it allows you to swiftly store the required data with great ease. Additionally, the information is saved privately to your application when you use the Internal Storage technique. Therefore, once you uninstall the app, all the information stored is automatically deleted. Hence, keeps your privacy intact.

Local caching and cookies

Your browser sends a request to the server to revisit any specific page while visiting any URL. But when a server is offline, the browser may not succeed to show you the requested page. In this situation, you will need a cache manifest which is merely a list of necessary files. Hence, cache manifest will immediately display that page instead of showing an error when there is no network connection.

Synchronization

Data synchronization is an equally substantial core capability that is vital for building mobile applications. It is the process of constantly uploading the feed from the source to target data storage and vice versa. It also involves the continuous coordination of the data over time. When you perform an action in an offline mobile app, it is essential to get the data harmonized with a central repository when the network is finally available.  Data syncing proves to be one of the most difficult tasks for the programming team as there are many factors involved such as data model intricacies, how much data is to be transferred and stored along with the speed of the same.

Deliver minimum base requirements in offline mode

Most importantly, you should try to incorporate only the bare minimum requirements that are required to make the mobile app function in the offline mode. The lighter the app is, the less time it takes to sync the data as well as figure out file and data storage.

appsFreedom – Delivering bespoke offline mobile applications

Offline mobile apps are indeed a game-changer in today’s fast-growing digital landscape. If you want your business to grow higher every day, appsFreedom will provide comprehensive support for building offline mobile applications.  We can also guide you on how to efficiently access real-time data. You will be able to perform all your business functions like data sync, orchestration, conflict resolution, offline authentication and secure data storage etc. without any internet connection with appsFreedom’s offline mobile application development templates.

You can also check out our blogs on the need for offline mobile apps in oil and gas industry and the developing world of mobile apps for warehouse management for a better understanding.