Hi Miles, thanks for this.
Indeed, we are aware of these options. Nonetheless, Moodle's current architecture renders both static and dynamic content for all pages and views in the same process, meaning, both front-end and back-end tiers are intertwined.
We are evaluating separating front-end and back-end tiers into independent parts which communicate through web services, but, as you can imagine, it is a big undertaking. We have begun reworking some parts which could one day refresh in the background using Service workers like Snap's notification feeds, and are actively working towards adding more components like these to Snap, but they will still require an active internet connection due to Moodle's architecture.
As you said, "Apps" are the main actor which could benefit from this, and this is an alternative still under study. Does it make sense to make an Open LMS App? Should we work under the current Moodle App? Should we make several Apps?
It's an open conversation, you are welcome to continue participating.