I make apps for a living. And one of the things that annoys me most is when an app just can’t handle being offline. It needs to be connected or else it acts unhappy or sick. I love apps that are offline first and silently sync with the network whenever they can. Some examples are Things, 1Password, or the stock iOS Calendar app. I know it isn’t always possible for an app to work offline. You can’t have all the movies on your device, after all. But a non-anxious offline app is a worthy goal that we app developers often forget about as we work through the endless details of making something work at all.
Above is a great article kind of about offline apps. It’s not a UX article and not a software development article. But it does give a very human-centered perspective on “offline mode” and why it can be so agitating when it’s half-baked or too needy. 😆
My favorite quote from the article…
We often speculate the end of computing looks like an all-knowing orb or a Skynet spawning android super-soldiers to murder us. But maybe it just looks like a beachball that never stops spinning, never lets us open our apps because they are always fetching the latest data. Wouldn’t that be funny?