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I'm currently working on a 'mental wellness' app, functionality for which include things such as;

  • Making journal entries (typed and voice recorded)

  • To Do Notes

  • Setting Goals/Targets

  • Recording affirmations/gratitude

My question is - Should I store the user inputted data as per above such as journal entries locally on the device, giving users the option to sync to their icloud or Google Drive? Or - save on a database on a server, as well as having the ability to use offline i.e. store locally and sync with server once online again.

My thinking was that with storing locally and giving the option to sync to the users iCloud or Google Drive, all the control is in their hands, therefore I/we never even see their data on the backend obviously as it never touches the server.

Would appreciate your opinion on the matter

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  • Hi Lewis, this depends on several factors which could or could not be important to your users: - What is the user impact when storing locally/offline? (Being forced to having an account on Google Drive/iCloud, Switching seamlessly between devices). - Data privacy concerns - Performance: Will performance be impaired if I store it on a server? - Data usage concern: Does the app drain my data plan with its syncing?
    – Nash
    Jul 10 '20 at 7:14
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Storing personal data would touch many aspects. I think you need to consider the following in order to answer this.

Whats the value addition of your decision? E.g.Would it be substantial performance improvement by storing locally? Would your app later plan to become cross channel. e.g. would it be accessible from smart watch or web.

Privacy concerns- If it is stored remotely will it be secure? You need to also consider the nature of the information and considering if this is personal or sensitive information.

Some of these questions can be answered by looking at how similar apps in the personal growth space handle their data.

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