Alpha Software Blog

More Evidence Supports Building Offline Applications

WiFi and cellphone data networks may make you think that we live in an always-connected world, but nothing can be further from the truth. Spotty cellphone data network coverage, and flaky or non-existent WiFi means that all of us live not just in an online world, but an offline world as well. With unreliable coverage, developers should be building apps that support offline mode. Without offline support, mobile apps restrict where they can be used. Apps that provide offline access are able to be used anywhere.

Because of this, a recent blog from Appcelerator notes that "mobile developers understand that supporting an offline state has moved from an edge case to a core case in app development." And it points out several companies that have taken that into account when building apps., for example, started building offline web apps all the way back in 2011, letting customers place orders even without a connection. And Nokia's free map app lets you download maps for offline use.

That Nokia feature is nothing new, of course. Google Maps have let you do that for some time. I found that feature exceedingly useful this past spring when I vacationed in France. Overseas data costs can easily break the bank, so I downloaded maps of where I knew I would be going so that I could use them without making a data connection.

In fact, Google has said that all Chrome Web apps will be required to work offline eventually. Google has also released a beta of Gmail Offline, which lets you read, respond to and search email when not connected.

What does this mean to you as a developer? Your employer or clients will require offline functionality in their mobile web apps as a matter of course. Ignore that at your own peril.

Build Offline Web Applications with Alpha Anywhere

Alpha Software makes it easy to build apps that work offline. And developers and businesses are making use of it. American Pool, for example, used Alpha Anywhere to build an app that lets its inspectors in the field work even when offline, especially important because some pools are located in areas without data coverage of any kind. And Dwellpoint's mobile app for real estate agents lets them work offline as well, particularly important because the competitive real-estate business requires that agents be connected all the time. For more details about how American Pool and Dwelltime use offline, click here.

You need to be building offline web apps
Alpha Anywhere is Recognized as the Fastest way to Develop Mobile Apps
Alpha Anywhere Gets Newly Trained Programmers Writing Mobile Apps in Record Time

About Author

Dion McCormick
Dion McCormick

Dion McCormick, Lead Solutions Engineer at Alpha Software, is a recognized expert on agile application development. He helps enterprise development teams around the world transition from slow legacy approaches to high-performance mobile, web, and desktop development using the Alpha Anywhere platform.

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The Alpha platform is the only unified mobile and web app development and deployment environment with distinct “no-code” and “low-code” components. Using the Alpha TransForm no-code product, business users and developers can take full advantage of all the capabilities of the smartphone to turn any form into a mobile app in minutes, and power users can add advanced app functionality with Alpha TransForm's built-in programming language. IT developers can use the Alpha Anywhere low-code environment to develop complex web or mobile business apps from scratch, integrate data with existing systems of record and workflows (including data collected via Alpha TransForm), and add additional security or authentication requirements to protect corporate data.