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I am making a paid App for Windows 8, c#. I am wondering which is better?

  1. If my application doesn't need internet connection normally but does requires internet connection for the first time to download content data. --Makes my life easier
  2. Load the default data when installing. Then ask the user if he wants to update in app. -- Making the default data will be pain.

Now my big question is, is it safe to assume user has access to internet now-a-days when using application that shouldn't require internet?

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I think you have already answered this question for yourself: you should always consider absence of the Internet connection. For any platform, even smartphones, there are situations when you are out of the cell coverage. Just cache your network requests and perform them at first availability. –  bytebuster Nov 5 '12 at 4:53
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2 Answers

up vote 2 down vote accepted

I think you can be safe in 2012 saying that "broadband internet is required to fully use this product" --- many other things people love and use require it.

I would probably undergo creating the default data for demo / testing / refence purposes. The fact that it shows well when a user first opens the app is nice.

As @bytebuster points out, you should certainly consider scenarios where the app is offline -- lots of things can happen to infrastructure. Including your own.

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God no. If the app doesn't need internet to run, why make it mandatory? No using the app on a train or a tube, or a boat, or in my office where I can't get a 3g signal on my laptop. –  Ian Nov 5 '12 at 12:18
    
@Ian -- fair point, that is what I was hinting at about offline scenarios. I tweaked the language a bit to make this clearer. –  Wyatt Barnett Nov 5 '12 at 13:52
    
Ah I see :) I'm very defensive on that point mainly because I have no usable internet along my entire commute and most of the time in my office >_< I wouldn't mind if I lived in Tibet, but I'm in London... –  Ian Nov 5 '12 at 15:59
    
Oh, I still get my best work done on planes, not having distractions while having wiskey delivery helps. –  Wyatt Barnett Nov 5 '12 at 16:15
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Yes it would be safe to assume that most of the people will have internet 90% of the time. But for a better user experience you should consider designing you app in such a way that it is still usable even if there is not internet connection.

However it totally depend on the nature of the application and since you have not mentioned details about your app, so try to identify features which can still work without internet with the help of offline storage. (sqllite and Indexeddb are couple of option you might want to consider).

This will surely make the user experience much better, may be in background based on whether you are connected or not you can inform the user with the help of Toasts like

"App is connected" "App is in offline mode"

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