The Best Android Apps You Can Use Offline

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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 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. 

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Pocket by Read it Later


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 actually 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 lets you access your stuff when offline, great 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. 

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


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.

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FeedMe by dataegg


RSS feeds are a great way to aggregate and save content about topics you're interested in, but you have to be connected in order 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 your are without a connection. You can also save content from FeedMe to your Pocket, Evernote, Instapaper, and Readability accounts. Cool!  

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Google Maps by Google

Google Maps

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 to 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, including getting directions (driving, walking, cycling, transit, and flight), searching for places (restaurants, hotels, and other businesses) within that area, and as I mentioned, access turn-by-turn voice navigation. This 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 clearly displayed in the offline areas section of Google Maps, as you can see in the screenshot here.

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Transit: Real Time Transit App by Transit App

Transit App

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 access schedules, 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.) Better together!

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Podcast Player by Player FM Podcasts


Many podcast apps offer optional offline capabilities, but with Podcast Player by Player FM, it's baked right in. Unless you tell it otherwise, all of the podcasts you're subscribed to will be downloaded for offline access. This 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 true stories. True story!

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TripAdvisor Hotels Restaurants by TripAdvisor


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.

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Spotify Music by Spotify


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 you can enjoy your tunes uninterrupted.

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Google Drive by Google

Google Drive

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 actually 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.

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Kiwix by Wikimedia CH


As well all know, the Internet was created in order 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.

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Evernote by Evernote Corporation


I love the Evernote note-taking app and use it frequently. It's a great 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.