This one days we get endless news, entertainment, work and social media from our smartphones or laptops. But without an internet connection while traveling, on a plane or enjoying the outdoors, it all disappears. You don̵
Google Maps (iOS / Android)
You often need Google Maps in areas without cell service or internet, so this is our first recommendation. Most people use maps apps for navigation, but that’s just one of its many features. You can quickly find a place to eat (or rest) while on a new journey or find your next destination. And luckily, you can do all of that without an internet connection by downloading maps to your phone offline.
This requires some consideration as you will initially need to be online to save maps for offline access. Here’s a quick guide to saving your cards. Later on on your journey, tap your profile picture in the top right corner of Google Maps and select the Offline Maps section to get started. You can find a similar feature in Windows Maps for those on a Surface or laptop. And if you’re really going to the middle of nowhere, try something like onX Maps for off-the-grid trails.
Google Maps is available on iOS and Android.
Spotify (iOS / Android / PC / Mac)
If you’re going somewhere with limited internet or planning to be offline, you’ll want to prepare some tunes or podcasts for listening offline. We could recommend different services, and almost all of them offer some sort of offline mode, but Spotify is one of the best.
Depending on the platform, you can go to Settings, put your entire app in offline mode, or make selected playlists, music collections, albums, or podcasts available for offline playback. Premium subscribers can store up to 10,000 numbers. Either way, you’ll be able to stop anywhere, wherever life takes you.
Spotify is available on iOS, Android, PC and Mac.
Google Translate (iOS / Android)
Google Translate is one of those essential apps for anyone traveling, especially to a non-English speaking region. You want to be able to communicate anywhere, anytime, even without a reliable internet connection. Fortunately, Google Translate works offline.
You can translate up to 59+ languages in offline mode, it offers real-time translation, and you can even point the camera at signs and menus for instant translation. To be on the safe side, we recommend downloading your native language wherever you are, while still having an internet connection. Microsoft offers a similar app and offline mode with Translate for Windows.
Google Translate is available on iOS and Android.
Amazon Kindle (iOS / Android / PC / Mac)
Amazon Kindle is a great way to stay entertained with or without cellular service. Avid readers know all about the Kindle app, which allows you to read anywhere. Whether it’s a free book or a book you bought online, add it to your device and you’re done. Go to the Library section and tap the downloaded section to read offline.
Amazon Kindle is available on iOS, Android, PC and Mac.
Pocket (iOS / Android)
If you enjoy reading news articles and blogs like ours instead of books on Kindle, download the Pocket app and save articles and other content for offline viewing. If you don’t have time to read an article or know you’ll be offline later in the day, launch the Pocket app (or the desktop extension) and save a link.
Pocket removes all unnecessary clutter from the page and provides a cleaner reading experience. There is even an option to have the app read a web page aloud.
Pocket is available on iOS or Android.
Netflix (iOS / Android / PC)
For those who don’t know you can download Netflix movies and shows for offline play on anything but the cheapest plan. So open Netflix and tap the “Downloads” option at the bottom to get started. You can even choose how much space to use for movies, so you still have room on your device for other things.
This is especially useful for car or plane travel, camping, or downtime where Wi-Fi is not an option. YouTube and Disney + also have a similar function.
Netflix is available on iOS, Android and Windows.
Offline Reader for Reddit (Android)
One of the most popular sites on the web is Reddit, and some fans will still want to check out all of their favorite subreddits even if they don’t have an internet connection. Fortunately, if you have an Android device, you can download Offline Reader for Reddit. This app stores everything you can later view from entire subs, threads, comments, GIFs and more. You can customize what’s saved and even set the app to hide content you’ve already viewed.
Unfortunately, this is only available on Android, but you can still save some of Reddit to watch later on iOS with the Pocket app we mentioned earlier.
Offline Reader for Reddit is available on Android.
TripIt (iOS / Android)
If you travel to a new destination and lose your cell phone, you could be in big trouble. Make sure you are prepared with apps like TripIt, a handy app to manage your trip even when you’re offline.
TripIt has always been around, but it is still one of the best apps for managing a trip. It can check your email for travel bookings and important updates, forward flight confirmations, and sync the latest updates and information when it finds an internet connection. That way, you are good to go whether you have service or not.
TripIt is available on iOS or Android.
Evernote (iOS / Android / PC / Mac)
Evernote is one of the most popular note taking apps, thanks to a slew of useful features. If you are always working, even on the go without internet, you will love the offline notes option. Plus, once you get get online again, it automatically syncs notes across as many devices as your plan supports.
Take notes, tasks or reminders on one device and add or delete them from another device. Moreover, you always have access to all your notes or reminders, even when you are offline. While we’re at it, here’s a list of a few other great writing apps that work offline.
Evernote is available on iOS, Android, PC and Mac.
Adobe Lightroom (iOS / Android / PC / Mac)
Photographers always have photos to edit or update, so don’t let the lack of the Internet slow down your productivity. Lightroom is a powerful tool and most of its functions will still work in offline mode. That way, if you take a beautiful landscape photo in the wilderness, you can make changes while enjoying your morning coffee wherever you are.
Keep in mind that you don’t have access to select presets, cloud photo storage, or things that require internet. Offline mode is available for both mobile and desktop users. Pixlr is another popular photo editing tool that also offers offline functions.
Lightroom is available on iOS, Android, PC and Mac.
Google Drive (iOS / Android / PC / Mac)
Much of our work and private life revolves around Google Chrome and Google Drive, especially lately. If you’ve ever used Google Docs, Sheets, or Slides to get your work done, Google Drive makes life easier when you go offline because they’re all part of it.
After Google Drive is installed and set up, you can access your files offline and create and work on new files. Work doesn’t have to stop while you fly or when cell service and Wi-Fi disappear. When the internet connection is back, all changes are saved to Drive’s servers and are ready to use. It is an essential tool that had to be included in this list.
Google Drive is available on iOS, Android, PC and Mac.
Offline games (iOS / Android)
There are many great mobile games that also work offline. Everything of Two points to Candy Crush. Whether you’re bored on a flight or relaxing in a cabin in the woods and want to pass the time, here are some fun offline mobile games to keep you entertained.
- Alto’s Odyssey (iOS / Android): This casual yet fun indie game is an endless runner, similar to Temple Run. Sandboard through Alto’s Odyssey while enjoying the in-game scenery, music and everything else that made this an award-winning title.
- Crossy Road (iOS / Android): Sometimes simplicity is best, and Crossy Road nails that approach. This is a retro, “Why Did the Chicken Cross the Road” hopper game, and you will love it.
- Minecraft (iOS / Android): Does Minecraft need an explanation these days? It’s a hit classic and yes, it works offline.
- Monument Valley (iOS / Android): Both the original game and Monument Valley 2 are award-winning titles with great visuals and excellent soundtracks and will help exercise your brain. These brain teaser puzzle games are great.
- Quiznoid (iOS / Android): This is a special offline trivia game for people who are traveling or stuck without wifi. They have over 7,000 questions, so you can play for hours on end.
Forest – Stay Focused (iOS / Android)
Our final recommendation is slightly different, but just as great. Today people are all addicted to smartphones. We constantly look for it out of habit, even when we are on vacation, outside, or somewhere we know there is no wifi or cell service. Still, we grab our phone.
To avoid that, or to stay focused and be more productive, download the Forest app. When you open Forest, the app plants a virtual tree that grows slowly on your screen, but dies as soon as you close the app to do something else. It works offline and encourages users to stay off their phones and be ‘in the moment’. Ultimately, you grow an entire forest.
Plus, the app developers teamed up with a real tree planting organization, Trees for the Future, to plant real trees on Earth, so it’s a win-win situation.
Forest is available on iOS and Android.