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Offline-First Approach: An Approach to Increase the Customer Engagement With Your App

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Introduction

The growth and enhancements seen in the mobile app development technologies have picked up a faster pace. Hence, even the top android app development company has been working rigorously to build robust mobile applications today that include the latest development methodologies. This needs to be done by every app development company to uplift their business model and survive in the competitive market by maintaining the maximum engagement of the audience in their application and providing them maximum customer satisfaction. These companies have adopted the online first approaches to develop the android applications and are already creating wonders through it. So, when things are going too smoothly with online-first architecture, why do companies prefer the offline-first approach too? Let’s discuss.

Why Offline-first approach?

Certain mobile applications require internet connectivity for their applications to run. Hence, the model, view, and control of the mobile application all depend on internet connectivity. Also, the data used in the application is also stored on database servers on the internet. On the contrary, the data used in the application can be stored on the local database servers if we follow the offline mobile app development approach. This data is being stored in your system only. This local database server periodically synchronizes with the backend server and updates the data after establishing the connection periodically. Therefore, one can “push” or “pull” the data from the local database easily and in less time as compared to the time taken for the same operations on the data stored in the online database servers.

Although the offline-first architecture to develop android applications is not accepted by the developers initially. The reason behind this is internet connectivity usage in the maximum of the applications; the offline-first architecture is still a feasible solution as we cannot rely on the mobile networks to the fullest.

Hence, the app developers are now switching to the offline-first architecture. As a result, we can run an application even without internet connectivity, thus providing the developers the advantage of syncing their data with the local database servers and getting more updates done in no time.

Other advantages of using the offline mobile app architecture can be: reduction in the cost of roaming charges in case of on-site app development, minimization of data usage in case GPS are used, more battery power, and hence faster loading of applications on local machines.

Approaches used in developing the application using the offline architecture for android:

The most basic assumption taken while opting for offline android apps development services is that the data used in the app is stored in the local engine. But, the way the data is arranged and stored can be different based on the type of server, its architecture, and the device on which the applications are run.

A top android app development company uses the following three approaches for using the offline-first architecture for providing the best android apps development services:

1. Offline Data Storage:

To help the users and the developers access the available offline data, one of the best techniques recommended to use is Caching. This is used to store the data on the local server or the local browser, from where the device on which the android app is being run can fetch it easily and hence provides a better experience for the developer as well as user in case of accessing the data in a very short duration.

2. One can edit offline and sync it online:

This approach includes the editing of the applications, i.e., making changes in the code offline, and once we establish the connection with the server online, we can synchronize all the changes made offline.

3. The users can make changes in other users’ data:

Once the connection with the servers is established, the synchronization process starts on its own without any manual processing. While these changes are being stored in the server from the device in the minor binary format, only some information can be synchronized once the data intended for the specific user is accessed. If any conflict arises in this process, the system can resolve the same on its own.

So these were the three approaches used for implementing the offline-first architecture in any top android app development company. In the next section, we shall discuss some of the points that we can keep in mind while selecting the offline architecture.

What can be considered while defining the offline app architecture?

Before you start your android apps development services in offline mode, you can consider answering the following questions first:

  1. What will be the strategy you use, and where will the caching of data be done?
  2. If you are opting for caching of data, how reliable is the technique?
  3. In case of concurrent access of data between users, how will your offline architecture be helpful in handling this concurrency?
  4. How will you solve the conflicts occurring while accessing the data?
  5. Have you made specific provisions to solve the conflicts? If yes, then how will you synchronize the data again after the conflict?
  6. In case of internet connectivity issues while syncing the data with the server online, how will you deal with it?

Also Read: Benefits of on-demand Mobile Application Improvement – Mobile Purposes

Hence, for a android app development company to run the applications successfully on the offline-first architecture, answering these questions will help gain expertise over it.

Benefits of on-demand Mobile Application Improvement – Mobile Purposes

Also, certain high-level and low-level tools are available for developing applications in the offline architecture, which an android application development company can use effectively. Here is a listing some of these tools:

High-Level Tools:

  • Progressive Web Apps
  • Polymer AppToolbox
  • Couchbase Mobile
  • Hoodie
  • Ionic
  • Mapbox Mobile
  • Realm Mobile Platform

Some of the lower-level tools are listed as below:

  • Service Workers
  • local forage
  • PouchDB
  • Cloudant Sync
  • Cloudant Envoy

CONCLUSION

To Summarize the blog, it is necessary to have a good user experience for an application to run successfully. Still, it is also vital for good connectivity with the internet to keep using the app effectively. The issues created due to this may create frustration among the users and increase their disinterest in the application. Hence, the best solution to this is to create an application that helps provide an experience that is similar to the online app experience in the offline mode itself. Hence, Hire top android app development company as your growth partner.

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