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The myth of pervasive Internet & why “offline mode” is the best free marketing you could ask for

I'm sitting on a train, making my 45 minute, 3 mile commute.

And by train, I mean: tiny aluminum can filled to capacity with iPhones and their owners.

The alarming speed and sheer mass of concrete above our heads isn't getting any attention from these nerds.

Because they're too busy looking at iPhones.

But wait a minute – not their own iPhones. A lot of them are looking at somebody else's. In fact, I'd say in a given subway ride at least half of them will glance at their neighbor's display. You know you've done it. Moving, flashing lights are hard to ignore.

Eavesdropping. iVesdropping? Heh. I love a good pun.

Let's talk about pervasive Internet. That idea mobile developers keep spouting about how we have Internet access "everywhere" thanks to our iThings. What shit.

I spend an 90 minutes a day using an iPhone with no Internet. That's very possibly the majority of my phone usage. 5 days a week.

And I'm not the only one.

Most of the iVesdropping I see is people watching somebody else play a game.

I think it's because games are immersive and the device owner is least likely to look up and trigger that awkward moment where you both realize just how long you've been snooping.

Speculations aside, this is not going away. And I know I've searched the App Store on more than one occasion for an app I saw in that sardine can.

Guess which apps I never see down there. Words with friends, song pop, facebook, twitter, buffer.

All those social ones that demand network access.

But Mail works, so does Podcasts, and Reeder, and letterpress (sort of).

And I know that not everyone lives in the city. But cities are cultural centers. Getting big in New York or San-fran can catapult an app into the charts, and the visibility of being in the charts can make or break your sales numbers.

Dear app developers, I'm begging you. Please make your apps work offline. At the very least make sure they don't crash when you launch them without internet (I'm looking at you zynga).

It's in your best interest.