There are many benefits to both users and developers regarding local-first web applications. Here we dive into how local-first apps provide a better user experience while increasing resiliency and responsiveness and improving security.
Uninterrupted Productivity and Enhanced Reliability
One of the key reasons folks choose to build and use local-first applications is their ability to work offline. Users can access and interact with the app with limited or no Internet connectivity. This is great for users in rural areas with poor networks or when there is spotty coverage.
Offline functionality is made possible through data synchronization and conflict resolution. Fission's WNFS (Webnative File System) uses a cryptographic tree structure (cryptree) that gives every file and folder a unique key. This enables offline access control while keeping the data encrypted and portable.
Instant Responsiveness and Faster Performance
Local-first apps store and process data locally! That means less waiting around for a server to respond to the user's request. Fetching data locally leads to quicker load times and a more responsive application. It also helps users with limited bandwidth or costly Internet connections by reducing network costs.
Enhanced Data Privacy
Since the data remains on the user's device, nothing gets transferred to a server. This minimizes the risk of data breaches and opportunities for bad actors to access personal information. Users are happy because it keeps their information private, and developers enjoy not having to become security experts on top of everything else they are already doing. Another bonus - there is no risk of violating GDPR because the developer cannot access the user's info.
Fission's WNFS offers users public and private file systems. In fact, we were the first to introduce private end-to-end encrypted data to IPFS! Using UCANs to manage authorization, users have granular access control of all their files.
Seamless Collaboration and Data Portability
Users want to be able to work together on files. Concurrent editing allows multiple users to access and edit a file at once. A distributed file system like WNFS uses CRDTs to guarantee eventual consistency.
While centralized collaboration tools lock users into their platform, local-first applications empower users to switch to different devices, platforms, and services as their needs change since they're not tied to a specific infrastructure.
Are you building a local-first application? Tell us about it in the comments!