Apps are commonplace in 2020. However, knowing what kind of app you might need isn’t as simple as it sounds. There are various types of applications available to businesses, from native mobile apps to progressive web apps and hybrid apps.
In this article we’re going to look at offline applications, but not as you may know them…
What is an ‘Offline’ App?
Put simply, it is an application that can be made available without the need to access the internet. Each type of app can leverage offline capabilities, what changes is how they are accessed and the resources needed to produce them.
Native mobile apps are tailored to the target platform, i.e iOS & Android. They can offer improved performance and take advantage of platform-specific features. The downsides being you need to create a separate app for each platform you wish to target.
After being reviewed and approved by Apple & Google respectively, they are made available to download on the App Store & Google Play.
Progress web apps or offline web apps, on the other hand, are created similarly to a website. These apps can be made available in a browser just like a website and/or can be downloaded to the user’s desktop/home screen.
Only a single app needs to be created and is available to any device or platform that can browse the internet. Web apps are far easier and quicker to produce than fully native apps.
They are not reviewed by Apple or Google for approval as they are accessed via a web browser. Due to this, they are not able to be made available for download in the App Store & Google Play.
Hybrid apps combine elements of both native and web applications. Much like progressive web apps, they are created like websites that are then put inside a native app ‘shell’.
Because the underlying technology is the same, a hybrid app can be created once and made available to both platforms simultaneously.
This approach is cost-effective and easy to keep up-to-date. Just like native applications, hybrid apps are made available to download from the App Store & Google Play. They can also be made available on the web.
Why Would You Need an Offline App?
There are many reasons why you may want or need your application to be available offline. You may wish for your app to be available offline if your user base or target audience are those who are less likely to be connected.
You may also wish to create an offline app if you are merely providing information, and do not necessarily need user interaction. This can be true for hobbyists like bird watchers looking for species information to tourists discovering London.
If you’re only providing information, there is no need to be online. However, for some, there is a need to be available offline, especially in case of emergency.
Who Uses Offline Apps?
Those within certain sectors, especially within trades, may work in an area where there is no access to the internet. This can be anyone from a construction worker in the middle of nowhere to those working on oil rigs or fishermen out at sea.
In these cases, an offline app with important and helpful information could be the difference between life and death. This was especially true when we were approached by LOC Group, who are at the forefront of worldwide marine casualty and emergency response.
In an emergency, the Casualty Response feature we built into their app utilises GPS. This then connects it’s users to the nearest marine casualty expert, even if mobile data or WiFi is limited or non-existing. In the most literal sense, this app is a lifesaver!
If you or your business are looking for an offline app to improve or boost your business offering then please do not hesitate to get in touch. You can call us on 01206 364 674 or email us directly at [email protected].