Buzztouch: Whether Your App should be an Online or Offline App

Buzztouch Apps are either Online or Offline apps.

To properly publish and maintain your app you need to understand this feature. Understanding Online vs. Offline apps, is an extensive explanation by @GoNorthWest of how the Refresh process works and how online vs. offline apps behave and how it is related to the Data URL and Report To Cloud URL settings in your control panel and BT_config.txt file.

Once you understand this feature the next question is,  “Whether you should Publish your app as Online or Offline?” and “When to take your app Online or Offline.”

Factors to consider:

  • How complicated is your app?
  • Is it feasible to have a duplicate app?
  • How frequently will you update?
  • How urgent are the updates?
  • Is it possible your app will have latent defects?

Interactive App Development: When initially publish the app consider making the app’s development interactive by having users post questions and suggestions that you can deploy immediately.  Have the users engage in game like competitions, earning points and climbing numbered levels winning bonus content. They can also receive non monetary awards. A new doctor’s website uses this interactive feature by awarding whimsically named prizes, like the “It’s Not Brain Surgery” prize.

Even if you can or wish to have an Offline app you should consider initially publishing the app as an Online so you can immediately fix overlooked and latent errors after upgrading the app. This is especially important if you don’t use the Ad Hoc method for testing. How many of us wish we could correct a post immediately after we post it. Can you deal with a week or more of complaints, refunds, uninstalls and bad ratings because you couldn’t immediately fix an oversight.

Publishing Process should probably be something as follows:

Step One – App Creation & Initial Deployment:

  • Build app
  • Install on device
  • Build ad hoc network (Have others test your app)
  • Fix bugs, oversights
  • Publish Online App
  • (Consider using Interactive Features)
  • Fix bugs, oversights
  • Consider taking app Offline

Step Two – Updating App:

  • (If feasible, use duplicate app to add and test new features.)
  • (If app is an Online app consider taking app Offline to deploy major update.)
  • Add / Test new features
  • Take app Online with updates
  • Fix bugs, oversights

Step Three – App maintainance:

  • Repeat Step Two as necessary.

Updating an Online app (on iTunes or Android Market):

By submitting an update with images you intend to use later but haven’t currently used in the app you can update the app’s static content without going through an approval process.

  • App is live (published) on market/store
  • Option #1: Submit update to app store (Repeat as necessary)
  • Option #2: Submit app with unused images.
    If using Option #2, after update is approved and published, make changes in control panel (You may wish to temporarily take app off-line but not necessary.)
    Next time user opens app, the app updates with latest version.
    This way you can make changes to static (non-dynamic) content on online apps after review by Apple.
    You may need to explain to the Apple reviewer why there’s an update, but by apparent review there no difference.

Fred

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