Mobile App Offline Data Synchronization – Architecture

Many mobile apps are data-centric and are designed to replace pocket atlases, and dictionaries, as well as create new smart digital pocket references for data that changes seamlessly by leveraging different synchronization technologies.

In today’s world, the major challenge in mobile computing is to provide the same user experience to customers during poor or no network connectivity as with LTE or Wi-Fi networks. Mobile users keep on roaming to different places, and oftentimes, they receive poor cell coverage and bad network connectivity. Most of the smartphone apps fail to work in such conditions since they are engineered to rely heavily on strong data connectivity.

The contexts causing the use of a data synchronization mechanism can be considered from two viewpoints: uploading and downloading. Uploading is the transfer of data from the mobile device to a remote backend server, whereas downloading is the transfer of data from the remote backend server to mobile devices.

In both cases, the success or failure of the data sync should be conveyed to the user either directly (with a notification or dialog), or indirectly (in a log), with appropriate error information if a failure occurs. Let’s explore with me the valuable aspects of mobile app offline data synchronization.

Data Synchronization Mechanisms In Mobile Apps Should Address Key Questions Such As –

  1. When should an application synchronize data between a device and a remote server?
  2. What should be the sync frequency so that it doesn’t drain out the user’s battery & network bandwidth?
  3. Should data sync be performed in the synchronous or asynchronous mechanism?

Check Out What It Takes To Build A Successful App Here

Data Synchronization On The Mobile Device Can Be Performed In 2 Ways

  1. Asynchronous Data Sync –The intent is to manage a data synchronization event asynchronously and without blocking the user interface.
  2. Synchronous Data Sync –The intent is to block the user interface while data sync is happening in the background. The architecture of data synchronization in mobile applications can be described in the following figure. Sync Service is responsible for syncing data from a remote server to a mobile device and stores the data locally in the SQLite database. All UI components are rendered via the local database. Now even in case of subsequent sync failures, it will provide the same user experience to customers.

Data Synchronization On The Mobile Device Fig: Data synchronization on mobile application

The data synchronization in the mobile applications can be achieved using Sync Service and Sync Adapter. A Sync Adapter is a plug-in that handles the background of the Android app sync data with the server. This plug-in is registered on the platform’s Sync Manager, which is in charge of running it and can be triggered when needed, requested, or scheduled.

We Helped A Smart Bags Company Zero In On Their Idea With Design Sprints

The data synchronization in Android apps can be achieved using Sync Service and Sync Adapter. A Sync Adapter is a plug-in that handles background syncs on the Android platform to sync data from your app to a server. This plug-in is registered on the platform’s Sync Manager, which is in charge of running it and can be triggered when needed, requested, or scheduled.

In Android, Sync Adapter Has Many Advantages Over Other Approaches –

  1. Battery Efficiency
    The system schedules the sync to run when other syncs run, or when some other network request was already made on the device. This prevents waking the device from its sleep for performing single sync.
  2. User Settings
    All sync adapters on the device can be accessed from the Settings screen, under the account they are tied to. This gives the end-user the option to change sync preferences, see if there are any sync problems, or even disable the sync.
  3. Data Responsiveness
    If we use the Content Provider for accessing/manipulating our data, the sync adapter can observe any changes done to it. That way, it can run only when the data actually changes.
  4. Retry Mechanism
    The sync manager has its implementation to retry failed syncs, using timeouts and exponential backoffs.


I hope our article will motivate you to design your mobile application differently: offline-first instead of online-only. Importantly, it would move your app to the next level of the user experience and can improve the amount of time a user spends with your application. If you have any queries about data synchronization in mobile applications don’t forget to comment.

Content Team

This blog is from Mindbowser‘s content team – a group of individuals coming together to create pieces that you may like. If you have feedback, please drop us a message on

Get in touch for a detailed discussion.

Hear From Our 100+ Customers

Mindbowser helped us build an awesome iOS app to bring balance to people’s lives.


We had very close go live timeline and MindBowser team got us live a month before.

Shaz Khan
CEO, BuyNow WorldWide

They were a very responsive team! Extremely easy to communicate and work with!

Kristen M.
Founder & CEO, TotTech

We’ve had very little-to-no hiccups at all—it’s been a really pleasurable experience.

Chacko Thomas
Co-Founder, TEAM8s

Mindbowser is one of the reasons that our app is successful. These guys have been a great team.

Dave Dubier
Founder & CEO, MangoMirror

Mindbowser was very helpful with explaining the development process and started quickly on the project.

Hieu Le
Executive Director of Product Development, Innovation Lab

The greatest benefit we got from Mindbowser is the expertise. Their team has developed apps in all different industries with all types of social proofs.

Alex Gobel
Co-Founder, Vesica

Mindbowser is professional, efficient and thorough. 

MacKenzie R
Consultant at XPRIZE

Very committed, they create beautiful apps and are very benevolent. They have brilliant Ideas.

Laurie Mastrogiani
Founder, S.T.A.R.S of Wellness

MindBowser was great; they listened to us a lot and helped us hone in on the actual idea of the app.” “They had put together fantastic wireframes for us.

Bennet Gillogly
Co-Founder, Flat Earth

They're very tech-savvy, yet humble.

Uma Nidmarty
CEO, GS Advisorate, Inc.

Ayush was responsive and paired me with the best team member possible, to complete my complex vision and project. Could not be happier.

Katie Taylor
Founder, Child Life On Call

As a founder of a budding start-up, it has been a great experience working with Mindbower Inc under Ayush's leadership for our online digital platform design and development activity.

Radhika Kotwal
Founder of Courtyardly

The team from Mindbowser stayed on task, asked the right questions, and completed the required tasks in a timely fashion! Strong work team!

Michael Wright
Chief Executive Officer, SDOH2Health LLC

They are focused, patient and; they are innovative. Please give them a shot if you are looking for someone to partner with, you can go along with Mindbowser.

David Cain
CEO, thirty2give

We are a small non-profit on a budget and they were able to deliver their work at our prescribed budgets. Their team always met their objectives and I'm very happy with the end result. Thank you, Mindbowser team!!

Bart Mendel
Founder, Mindworks