Data Storage

by D, Coker

Data storage tips.
Data storage question. Can these apps store data locally on the device? Depends on the app. Most apps do, here's how.

Storing data to a local storage device is accomplished using javascript and html programming codes. It is too complicated to explain fully here. Essentially there are two types of storage methods, they are 'local' and 'session.'

Local storage means the data is retained on the users device for future use. Session storage means the data is temporary and is deleted when the user closes the app.

Both data storage methods use what is called a key/value pair. The key is like a label or name for the data. And the value is the data input by the user or already exists. Data can be retrieved from existing storage bins or new data can be created in the app.

Data Storage Restrictions And Permissions

As you can imagine a lot of restrictions go into properly storing and reteiving data. Primarily the users device must allow storage on their device. The next biggest obstacle to data storage is collecting and retrieving the data.

Apps will need to either access existing data or create a place to store new data. Therefore a check for a storage location must happen. If no such place exists then the app must create a new space. Thus, will need the user's permission to do so.

Security may also be an issue. In some cases the user may want their information to be kept private. In other cases the information is purposely shared to a community. If the app allows anyone to access the data then private information may be leaked out. For instance an email address could be spoofed by an advertiser.

Storing data may be restricted by several factors. The biggest limiting factor is disc space. Disc space allowed needs to be controlled. Limiting the amount of space available for data storage will prevent attackers from filling up the user's disc.

Another restricting factor may be the type of data stored. For instance birthdays can be limited to numbers only, length of input characters and dates only. Text fields may limit use of special characters and length of entry, so attackers can't rewrite existing code.

Basically it comes down to this. Most apps store data either during the session or using local storage. Session data storage is very common for an app. This type of app asks the user for permission to do so before allowing the app to be downloaded.

A good example of session data storage is a calculator. A calculator app needs to store users input before the calculation is made. Then the data has to be retrieved during the actual calculation.

Sometimes the user wishes to save their data on their device. Using the calculator example above, the user may want to save the information from the calculations for future use. If the app is able AND the user allows permission then the data can be saved locally. This is a good example of local data storage. Later on the user may retrieve the information without having to keep the app open all the time.

Apps that use local storage include contact or favorites lists, email addresses, phone numbers, street addresses, gps locations, social media shares, the list goes on and all require the users permission to access in some way. These access permissions from the user are usually required when downloading from an App Store.

Some (but not all) apps that use session storage may require a user's permission before downloading is allowed. The permission request is typically made prior to download. By asking permission prior to download the request only needs to be asked for once. And gives the user has an opportunity to NOT download an app if they choose. Here is an example of some of the permissions an app might ask for.

Data Storage Access Permissions Check List

Data storage tips.

Some permissions are implied. Meaning the user agrees to data storage when they purchase the device. An iPhone for example requires the user accept and agree to a terms and conditions statement before they activate the device. Included in this agreement is permission to update the operating system without prior notice. Implied permissions refer to the end users operating agreement. Specific permissions refer to a single app.

Do these apps have data storage?

Yes they do. Most apps use a data storage method for one purpose or another. Just keep in mind that permission is required from the user to store data on their device. Miappmaker builds these permissions requests into all of our apps. Thanks for asking.


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