What does "Is Online" or "Is Offline" mean when I do particle list?

It seems like there is not a proper way to check whether my particle KidsSeeGhostathon3000 machine is online or offline.

When it’s turned on and connected to WiFI and I do particle list everything is GOOD and it says online. Makes sense right?

But now, if I unplug it, it’s no longer connected to WiFi and I do particle list… it now says… online

It takes up to 15 minutes for it return offline.

HOWEVER, if I plug it back in and it’s back on WiFi particle returns online instantly… why is offline such a hassle?

Well you could make a cloud function on the photon and call it whenever you need to check if it is online. If the photon is offline it will time out.

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The cloud knows a device is online because it has a continuous connection with the cloud. So long as that connection is intact, it will show as “online”. Once you break that connection, the cloud doesn’t know whether that it because it simply isn’t broadcasting anything for a bit, or because you pulled the plug. As such, there’s a timeout on the connection, after which it will show “offline”.

Going online is much quicker since the device can basically say:“here I am”, while it cannot say “hey, I’m gone” if the power drops.