Mobile apps are central to businesses in this era characterised by mobile devices, the internet and social media. Mobile apps increasingly make it possible and easy to do virtually anything from your mobile devices and from anywhere. So I would like to discuss some useful mobile apps that you can use for your business. My specific focus though is apps that work offline. The deliberate focus on offline workability is borne out the realization that most people cannot always be online due to various reasons. Before I outline some of such mobile apps I will touch briefly on the aspect of mobile apps working offline.

Offline Functionality For Mobile Apps

When I say ‘working offline’ I am not insinuating that the app works wholly offline. Considering the root essence of what a mobile app is and what it is built to do, wholly offline functionality will erode all the convenience that comes with mobile apps. The online aspect helps in taking advantage of cloud computing in order to limit the amount of onboard space that an app uses. This is particularly important because that is what makes for fast and seamless operability of a mobile app. So the idea of working offline is only just a portion of the whole which is just meant to cater for instances where there is no internet connectivity.

Google Drive

This is one of the most popular cloud storage apps out there. It has a 3-tier functionality that entails 3 platforms for Slides, Documents and Excel Sheets which are all integrated with it. The beauty of Google Drive is that you can do two important things whilst offline. You can either view saved files or you can create new ones. What this essentially means is that you can make files accessible whilst offline through the settings. Then as for the 3 platforms mentioned earlier you can create new files whilst offline.

Alternatively, there is something you can do to access files offline. After creating and storing files online you can download them onto your device. This you do by going to the ‘Options’ option on the files in question and toggle on for the files to be kept on the device. You then do whatever it is you want to do whilst offline i.e. editing and the like. Then when you get an internet connection you can synch the downloaded and edited copy with the original copy already online.


When it comes to note-taking mobile apps Evernote is one of the leading ones – arguably the best actually. Its in-built ability for multi-platform functionality is one of the things that make it cutting edge. This means you can have one Evernote account that you can access from more than one device. It is even possible to sync across devices running on different operating systems i.e. iOS and Android, for instance. When it comes to working offline there is a bit we can talk about there. For starters, you can access data stored in your Evernote account whilst offline.

However, for you  to do that you need to upgrade your account from the freemium level. You can either choose Plus or Premium and once you do that you can access all your data offline. In fact, when you have upgraded there will be room for you to choose which notes you would want to be accessible when you are offline. If you have not upgraded you will only see tiny parts of your Evernote notes e.g. titles and tags when you are offline. Just to add, if using Evernote on your computer you can access all your data without any need to upgrade to Plus or Premium. This is possible because all your Evernote data is automatically stored onboard the internal hard drive.

Microsoft Outlook

Outlook is a great app for doing your emails without using a web client. While there is a bit of limitation on offline functionality it still is a must-have email client app. The fact that when you are offline you cannot access emails when using web clients makes this app convenient. Basically, when you are offline you can view all your emails when using Microsoft Outlook. Obviously you cannot send emails when you are offline but you can always compose and send them. They are then saved as drafts and as soon as you get an internet connection they are automatically sent.

If you muse over this there is something that must dawn upon your mind. It is the appreciation of the fact that we need more home-grown applications. This expands beyond just having our own mobile apps that work offline but local mobile apps in general. Just look at the mobile apps I discussed herein they are all of foreign origin. Locally we have to up our game and it is crucial because it enables us to have apps specifically tailored for Zimbabwe.