How important is offline mode?

Grindstone Next will, of course, have a “team multiplayer edition” (like Grindstone Sync and Task Force).

This time around, unlike previous versions of Grindstone, we are going to have the cloud/server do all of the heavy liftings, even when it comes to rendering for the UI. When you open a view while you’re connected to a cloud or server, the view will be rendered remotely and elements of it will be sent to your client to be displayed on your screen as you scroll through it. The reasons we are taking this approach are:

  • it will dramatically lighten the load on clients (especially mobile ones)
  • the cloud/server needs be aware of view contents anyway to support push notifications

This presents an interesting technical choice: whether or not to drop offline mode. Now, before you say it, I know getting rid of a feature rarely benefits the user. However, the amount of work that has to be done to support this one, in particular, is extensive and we’re currently asking ourselves how important it is, the highly connected world of 2020 and beyond, that offline mode be in Grindstone Next.

Your thoughts?

Edit: Just to be clear, we’re talking about removing the working offline mode when you would otherwise be connected to the cloud or a server but your internet connection is dodgy, not the standalone mode that isn’t interacting with a remote service at all.