A Complete Guide to Offline Mobile App Development for Beginners

Does your mobile app work offline?

Are you facing app crashes as soon as your network signal goes out?

If that is happening with you frequently, you need offline mobile app development.

Because, if your app won’t load properly, there are higher chances that users will leave early before the app loads completely.

You might be surprised to know that, there were over 8218 hours of internet shutdown across the globe. It has cost the global economy over $3 billion. In this situation, offline mobile app development can become the best solution.

By having an offline native app, you don’t need to bother about the poor data connection or the internet. But the question arises, how do offline apps beat online applications? Being a mobile software development company, we discussed this topic with our experienced app developers and noted down the benefits, technologies, and features of launching an offline-first app.

Offline Mobile Application Development Explained

With a world so reliant on mobile devices, the majority of people feel restless when they are unable to access the internet. Thankfully, emerging technology has paved the way for the usage of offline native applications.

Due to poor internet connection, many mobile applications have been discarded by smartphone users all over the world. This has made businesses turn towards offline app development.

Now, let us explain the meaning of offline native/mobile application development.

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What is Offline Mobile Application Development?

An offline mobile app is an ordinary application that works smoothly in both online and offline modes. This application runs seamlessly even with no internet connection without compromising the quality and so the user can access and store data without a web connection.

Offline-first apps can download data from the server and store it on the mobile device of users so that they can access that data even in offline mode.

Offline-First Approach to Mobile App Development

An offline-first approach allows you to store data and manage it locally on the mobile device to make the mobile app work in the offline mode as well. There are 3 approaches to storing, syncing, and updating the local data which are mentioned below.

  1. Caching to Manage Local Data Faster

  2. The easiest and fastest way to manage the local data is to cache it so that you can access it even when the database connection is unavailable. For simple apps caching will suit perfectly.

  3. Manual Replication to Avoid Data Disputes

  4. This offline first approach allows you to modify the viewed data even in offline mode. When the app gets connected to the database, you can upload those changes manually. Though this approach is more advanced than caching, manual replication is prone to data conflicts.

  5. Real-Time Data Synchronization to Enhance App Performance

  6. This offline first approach is similar to manual replication and allows you to upload data automatically. The major benefit of using real-time data synchronization is that it allows the system to resolve conflicts automatically, improving the overall performance of your mobile application.

So, understood the meaning of offline native application development? Let’s learn about the industries that need to head towards offline first app development.

How Much Does it Cost to Develop Offline Mobile Apps?

Offline native app development costs between $20,000 to $1,20,000.

But the cost of app development also depends upon the features and functionality of the mobile application.

Let’s have a look at some of the factors that affect the actual mobile application.

Factors on Which the Cost of Mobile Application Development Depends

  • Application Development Partner i.e. Freelancer or Development Company
  • Location of the App Development Partner
  • Features of the App
  • The complexity of the Appv
  • Mobile App Development Platforms i.e. Android or iOS
  • App Design Complexity
  • Industry Type

To help you understand better, we have created the following table containing the type of mobile application and estimated cost.

Different Types of Offline Mobile AppsApprox Cost
Simple$20,000 to $25,000
Medium$30,000 to $50,000
Complex$60,000 to $1,20,000

Why Should You Opt for Offline App Development?

There are numerous reasons to choose apps with offline mode which are highlighted below.

Reasons to Opt for Offline Mobile App DevelopmentDescription
Less Battery UsageWith too many applications running on the phone the battery drains fast. So, the majority of users prefer to use offline apps so there is no need to keep the internet running.
Faster Loading TimeOffline-first apps not only save you money but also offer plenty of users. These apps offer speedy loading even if the internet connection is not working properly.
Better User ExperienceDue to caching ability, offline-first apps allow users to browse pages that were previously viewed without the need for an internet connection.
Gain A Competitive EdgeDo you know why WhatsApp and Facebook are popular? The reason is their functionality, performance, and user experience. But apart from these features, users are demanding these apps to work smoothly even in offline mode. The offline state keeps the work going and helps you win over your competitors.
Improved Customer LoyaltyIt’s no secret that users prefer to use applications that run without any difficulties. If they see that your mobile app is reliable even with no internet, they will simply love it.
No Roaming Charges InvolvedSome apps need more data to access the large data network. If you are traveling abroad, it will impose more roaming charges. And using offline-first apps can help you access particular features at no cost. This not only saves money and data.
Simple Data StorageInternet is essential to store data on the server for every mobile app. But, you don’t need to bother about internet connection in an offline first native app and it will store data on the server automatically once you get a stable web connection.
No Monthly Data Usage on MapsMobile apps that are working even with no internet is best for saving your data. It doesn’t use data for sending or receiving photos or web browsing.

Know which industries require offline mobile app development by referring to the following section.

Which Industries Require Offline Mobile Application Development?

Let’s have a look at the top 10 industries that must use offline native applications.

Type of IndustriesDescription
Healthcare IndustryRegardless of the types of healthcare apps, the usage of offline native applications will allow doctors to receive information about patients without an internet connection. These offline web apps are beneficial for all niches such as weight loss, nutrition, fitness, pregnancies, and more.
Finance IndustryBanks all over the world are expecting to invest their resources into offline native app development to keep up with the financial activities happening on the apps. Even, offline apps help in mobile banking app development as well.
Entertainment IndustryIt’s no secret that Facebook has become one of the most popular mobile applications across the world. Other big mobile applications include YouTube, Netflix, and more. Imagine! What will happen if the entertainment industry begins to use offline native apps? It will gain more people to communicate.
IT IndustryThe IT industry has been expanding so fast through the use of mobile applications. Turning to offline app development can help the IT industry function on the go.
Tourism and Travel IndustryAirBnB and other travel apps have helped the industry become more powerful. You can book your flights, hotel rooms, or tours using offline native apps even without having an internet connection.
Fashion and eCommerce industryWith the use of offline native applications, enhance your shopping experience. One such example is Amazon which runs offline to offer a seamless experience to users.
Real Estate IndustryThe majority of realtors, brokers, and property owners are already using smartphones to connect with potential customers to buy properties. Leveraging offline native apps will help real estate professionals as well as customers, saving their time and hassle.
Education IndustryDue to COVID-19, e-learning has started growing at a high pace. Having offline native applications in the education industry can help in facilitating learning and keeping up with progress and scores. You can even create a language learning app like Duolingo for your education business as well.
Hospitality IndustryMobile apps have grown due to the pandemic as users prefer to order meals online. If this industry will begin to use offline native apps, ordering food will become more convenient.
Logistics IndustryWith the help of mobile applications, package tracking has become easier. The logistics industry will become accessible with the use of offline native applications. It will improve consumer-to-business and business-to-business transactions.

You have learned about the top industries that need offline mobile apps. But what technologies to apply to develop successful offline apps? Get your answer in the next section.

What are the Top Offline-first Technologies?

List of TechnologiesBenefits
Progressive Web Apps
  • Additional native-app-like capabilities
  • Short loading time
  • Allows you to keep on browsing even with no internet
  • Easy to install
  • Enhanced performance
  • Ability to work everywhere
  • Eliminates the cost of app development
  • Eliminates the need for third-party app distribution
  • More efficient security
Polymer App Toolbox
  • Features a collection of tools and templates to build mobile apps
  • Can be used for creating a variety of mobile applications
  • Uses service workers to offer offline caching
  • Includes routing, layout, storage, and localization
Hoodie
  • Complete backend for your mobile or web apps
  • Transforms both app development as well as user experience
  • Allows you to send emails, post comments, and edit accounts
  • Solves a major problem for users by eliminating their dependence on internet connectivity
Ionic
  • Allows you to build hybrid mobile applications
  • Built on standardized web technologies
  • Enhance the overall performance of your app
  • Offers good documentation for all
  • 100% free, open-source framework
  • Complete access to native plugins
  • Huge and supportive community including programmers
  • Easy to learn
  • Lower data usage
  • Allows you to build high-quality apps using web technologies i.e. CSS, HTML, and JavaScript.
  • Apps with less development cost
  • Used for building cross-platform mobile apps
  • Shorter download times
Couchbase Mobile
  • Saves bandwidth and data charges
  • Allows programmers to add beautiful maps and navigation to their applications that work offline
  • Robust NoSQL technology
  • Enterprise-level security
  • Easy to manage
  • Offers generous support for APIs
  • Flexible data model
  • Perfect for mission-critical applications
  • Requires low maintenance
  • Offers better data resiliency
  • Enhanced performance
Realm Mobile Platform
  • Offers extensive offline native experiences
  • Solves major problems in the process of mobile app development
  • Easily integrated with existing infrastructure
  • Seamless real-time synchronization
  • Efficient solution for mobile platforms
  • Handles offline content availability, authentication, or conflict resolution
  • Reliable data protection
Mapbox Mobile
  • Allows you to create beautiful custom apps
  • Completely free to use
  • Extensive documentationv
  • Standardized data flow for complex projects
  • Fast loading time due to customization of map tiles
  • Enhanced performance
  • Offline mode in the API
  • Provides an in-built Map Editor named TileMill

Want to Know the Cost of Offline Mobile App Development?

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Top Examples of Offline Mobile Apps

IconOffline Mobile Apps ExamplesFeatures of Offline Mobile AppsRating (Play Store)
Google DriveGoogle Drive
  • Offline support for Google Docs, Spreadsheet, and Slides
  • Share links for files uploaded on it
  • Review Google Docs, Google Sheets and Google Slides without connecting over the internet
4.3 94L Reviews
Google MapsGoogle Maps
  • Download a map and use it offline
  • Feature to save offline maps on SD cards
  • Live traffic alerts
  • Voice instruction
  • Offer advice on transit
3.9 1.63Cr reviews
SpotifySpotify
  • Supports an ad-free playlist in offline mode
  • Allows users to create and organize their playlist
  • Offer access to millions of songs from artists all over the world
  • Available on Android, iOS, and Windows
4.4 2.69Cr reviews
NetflixNetflix
  • Enable download feature to get movie download recommendations
  • Wide selection of movies, TV shows, and documentaries
  • Allow you to watch on the go
4.4 1.35Cr reviews
Google TranslateGoogle Translate
  • Helps you translate your voice into words
  • Camera option is available in offline mode too
  • Supports instant camera translation
  • Allow you to translate text messages
4.5 85.2L reviews
Amazon KindleAmazon Kindle
  • The latest update of this offline native app comes with two new themes i.e. Dark and Light
  • In-built dictionary, Wikipedia, and Google
  • Allows you to customize your reading
  • Allows you to sync your eBooks
4.7 26.6L reviews
PocketPocket
  • Allows you to edit the title of saved pages
  • Special feature “surprise me”
  • Another feature of the Permanent Library is also available to help you save all the items in your account
4.8 3.05L reviews

Still have some questions in your mind about offline native app development? Check out the frequently asked questions to get a clear idea about this approach.

FAQs About Offline App Development

What things to consider while developing offline mobile apps?

In mobile app development and user experience, AI impacts in the following ways.

There are numerous reasons to consider developing offline native applications.

  • The major reason to consider offline first application development is that this app works offline, saving your battery.
  • Offline native applications run smoothly even with no internet connection.
  • An offline app is more likely to be used by travelers and tourists.
  • Your offline app doesn’t need online functionality, making it faster and more reliable.
  • These applications help you gain more customer loyalty.
  • Offline native applications provide you with a way to manage caching process efficiently.

Why you should implement offline mode in your mobile app?

There are several reasons why you should implement offline mode in your application. Here are the reasons to implement offline mode in your mobile app.

  • Enhanced customer loyalty
  • Offers a better user experience
  • Saves time in browsing the app
  • Saves mobile battery
  • Gain a competitive edge
  • No roaming charges

Want to Develop an Offline App for Your Business?

In this guide, we have comprehensively discussed the following points.

  • The meaning of offline mobile app development
  • Cost of offline mobile app development
  • Industries that require offline mobile app development
  • Top offline first technologies
  • Top examples of offline app development

You will learn each aspect of how to develop offline mobile apps after understanding the above-mentioned topics. If you are planning to develop a mobile app for your business, make a smart choice by choosing an offline mobile app. As a leading mobile app development company, we have experience in successfully developing 4400+ mobile apps.

Contact our app development consultants, share your requirement and turn your idea into a live app.

Bhaval Patel

Written by

Bhaval Patel

Bhaval Patel is a Director (Operations) at Space-O Technologies. He has 20+ years of experience helping startups and enterprises with custom software solutions to drive maximum results. Under his leadership, Space-O has won the 8th GESIA annual award for being the best mobile app development company. So far, he has validated more than 300 app ideas and successfully delivered 100 custom solutions using the technologies, such as Swift, Kotlin, React Native, Flutter, PHP, RoR, IoT, AI, NFC, AR/VR, Blockchain, NFT, and more.