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I'm beginning work on an app and one of the requirements is that there be some visual indicator for the user that displays their devices' connectivity status. I'm wondering if there is any research on the subject because it strikes me as a bit redundant since iOS and Android already have status indicators. The app doesn't take full control of the screen so the OS chrome will still be visible.

The app does require network connectivity for certain features and there is a offline functionality strategy established. If a user attempts to make a remote call while offline, a dialog will appear. My gut tells me that its unnecessary but I'd just like to learn more about it to make a more informed recommendation.

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3 Answers 3

Depends on what they would need network access for. Are they trying to submit/fetch data? If not, I don't think an indicator would be needed.

A geocaching app that I use comes to mind. I am able to save data for offline use, but there are times I would like to fetch data from the server. When I'm out in the middle of nowhere disabling a button is a nice way to instantly know I'm offline, instead of proceeding with actions under the assumption that I was.

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Some apps just displays a message "You're offline so certain features are not available" once when its launched and then allows the user to go about their business (offline, of course).

When the user attempts any remote calls while offline, it would indicate that with a message so they will know right away. This type of feedback would cover the rare case where server is offline as well.

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I guess there should be a clear indication of being offline, as user might not actively participate in sharing data online but surely will expect the app or device to be online. So there is no button to press, even then user should be able to figure out that the status is offline.

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