The Best Android Apps You Can Use Offline

01
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Staying (Somewhat) Connected Even When Offline

Portrait of a mid adult woman backpacker using smartphone, Achensee, Tyrol, Austria
Alan Graf / Getty Images

It's so rare to be offline these days, but it can still happen if you visit a rural area in the U.S., travel abroad, or stumble upon the occasional dead spot in someone's home, or while riding public transit. There are also times when you choose to disconnect, such as if you're reaching your monthly data limit and are worried about overage charges. Luckily, there are lots of Android apps that offer either partial or full offline access so that you won't miss a podcast, favorite tune, or the latest news. Most of these apps are free, though some require you to upgrade to a premium version, which I've noted, along with the pricing, in the app write-ups below.

Side note: One interesting app that I wanted to include in this roundup is called SMSmart, which is a service that gives you access to important information via text message. Using it, you can access a variety of apps, such as Twitter, Yelp, news sites, maps, and more without using data. However, I was unable to set it up, due to a persistent error message accusing me of being offline (I wasn't). While I can't heartily recommend it, I would encourage you to give it a try just the same.

Thankfully, I was able to set up these 11 apps successfully so I could verify their claims; I use many of them every single day. Many of these apps even work together to create an even richer offline experience. Let's explore. 

02
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Pocket by Read it Later

Pocket
Android screenshot

If you're anything at all like me, you're constantly saving things to read or videos to watch later, but then you can't find any of that content when you have time to do so. Pocket is a desktop and mobile app that lets you collect everything you want to read or watch later in one place. Plus, the app allows you to access your stuff when offline, perfect for when you need some airplane reading or when you're on vacation. You can save content to your Pocket account from your computer, email, web browser, and even select mobile apps. 

03
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Amazon Kindle (by Amazon) and Google Play Books (by Google)

Kindle
Android screenshot

This one may be obvious, but you can read download books to read offline on the Amazon Kindle and Google Play Books apps. Just be sure to remember to complete the downloads while you have an Internet connection. (I say this, only because I've often realized my mistake at 30,000 feet on a plane with no Wi-Fi.) Once you're back online, your progress with sync with any other devices you have, so you can resume reading on your Kindle device, tablet, or computer.

04
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FeedMe by dataegg

FeedMe
Android screenshot

RSS feeds are a great way to aggregate and save content about topics you're interested in, but you have to be online to get the latest. The FeedMe app connects with popular RSS apps, including Feedly, InoReader, Bazqux, The Older Reader and Feedbin, so you can access all of your updates wherever you are without a connection. You can also save content from FeedMe to your Pocket, Evernote, Instapaper, and Readability accounts. Cool!  

05
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Google Maps by Google

Google Maps
Android screenshot

Google Maps now offers full offline access to maps and turn-by-turn navigation, but it's not automatic. You have to save offline areas either to your device or an SD card if you have one. Once you save an offline area, you can use Google Maps as you would when you're online. You can get directions (driving, walking, cycling, transit, and flight), search for places (restaurants, hotels, and other businesses) within that area, and access turn-by-turn voice navigation. Offline access is a great feature to take advantage of when traveling abroad or visiting a remote area. Just be aware that your offline maps have an expiration date, but it's displayed in the offline areas section of Google Maps, as you can see in this screenshot.

06
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Transit: Real Time Transit App by Transit App

Transit App
Android screenshot

An alternative to Google Maps is Transit, which offers real-time updates in more than 125 cities. You can access schedules, plan trips, learn about service disruptions, and even track your bus or train--when online. If you're offline, you can still access transit times, and if you've saved your area offline on Google Maps, you can view that map in the Transit app. (Transit uses Google Maps for its maps and supports offline content.)

07
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Podcast Player by Player FM Podcasts

PlayerFM
Android screenshot

Many podcast apps offer optional offline capabilities, but with Podcast Player by Player FM, it's baked right in. Unless you tell it otherwise, the app will download all of the podcasts you have subscribed to for offline access. The ability to download podcasts is a must-have feature for those who commute underground by subway and a great convenience for travelers. You can access podcasts on all sorts of topics from travel to tech to comedy to riveting real-life stories.

08
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TripAdvisor Hotels Restaurants by TripAdvisor

Tripadvisor
Android screenshot

Chances are if you've planned a trip, you've landed on TripAdvisor, which offers reviews of hotels, attractions, restaurants and more in countries all over the world. You can now download reviews and other helpful information for more than 300 cities to viewing offline in the mobile app. No more wasting time looking for the next Wi-Fi hotspot.

09
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Spotify Music by Spotify

Spotify
Android screenshot

While Spotify Music is free if you listen to ads, the premium version ($9.99 per month) offers the ability to download your music for access offline so you can bring your music everywhere, whether it be a plane, train, bus, or far-flung locale. Premium also removes ads so that you can enjoy your tunes uninterrupted.

10
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Google Drive by Google

Google Drive
Android screenshot

Need to capture notes or get work done while offline? The Google Drive app, which includes Google Docs, Google Sheets, Google Slides, and Google Drawings, lets you access and edit your files offline, syncing them when you re-connect. Just to be sure to mark the files as available offline when you're still online. To do so, fire up the app, tap the more icon (three dots) next to a file, and then tap "Available Offline." You can also make all of your files available offline on your computer by downloading the desktop app.

11
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Kiwix by Wikimedia CH

Kiwix
Android screenshot

As we all know, the Internet was created to settle bar bets. Wikipedia and sites like it have become great resources for quick access to facts (some fact-checking required, of course). Kiwix takes all that information and takes it offline, so you can research to your heart's delight wherever you are. You can download content from Wikipedia as well as Ubuntu documentation, WikiLeaks, Wikisource, WikiVoyage, and the like. Just be sure to download before going offline and be aware that it's going to be a large file, so consider using an SD card or freeing up space on your device before proceeding.

12
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Evernote by Evernote Corporation

Evernote
Android screenshot

 

We love the Evernote note-taking app. It's a perfect place to store recipes, capture notes, and even capture recordings, images, and video. Best of all, if you upgrade to a Plus ($34.99 per year) or Premium ($69.99 per year) plan, you can access all of your notebooks offline. Once you're back online, your notebooks and notes will sync with all of the devices you use. These paid plans also let you forward emails into Evernote, which is a huge time saver.