Offline Apps To Keep You Entertained On Your Commute

We’ve got a world of entertainment options at our fingertips with a smartphone. But without an internet connection while traveling, like on a long car ride or plane trip, most of those options are useless.

The good news is that with a little planning, many iPhone and Android apps can entertain you while on a commute or any other time when you’re without Wi-Fi or a cell signal. These apps are also great for conserving data if you’re on a limited plan.

1. Spotify

As long as you’re a Premium member, it’s easy to bring Spotify content offline. You can download up to 10,000 songs on a maximum of five different devices. Along with specific songs, it’s also possible to sync albums, playlists, and podcasts offline.

Obviously, you’ll need an internet connection to download songs. And to keep everything on your device, Spotify requires you to go online at least once every 30 days.

To start, tap the My Library icon. When you find something to download, select the download icon, which looks like a downward arrow surrounded by a circle. Anytime you’re offline, that icon will show you content that’s available to play without an internet connection.

Download: Spotify for iOS | Android (Free, subscription available)

2. YouTube

To say the number of videos available on YouTube is vast is definitely an understatement. You can download these videos offline as long as you’re a subscriber to YouTube Premium.

When online, a subscription also allows you to watch videos without ads, as well as keeping videos playing while using other apps or when the screen is locked. A subscription also provides access to the YouTube Music Premium offering. If you’re considering a subscription, take a look at our primer that tackles if YouTube Premium is worth the cost.

To download a video, select the download icon below the video icon. You’ll then select the video quality to download. Higher-quality video will take up more space on your device, of course. When complete, a downloaded icon—a checkmark with a line below it—will appear. Downloaded videos will appear in the Library tab.

Download: YouTube for iOS | Android (Free, subscription available)

3. Amazon Kindle

After purchasing an Amazon Kindle book, downloading it to your device is easy. Head to the Library tab in the app. When you find the title to download, you can simply tap the cover and it will automatically start downloading. Alternatively, long-press the title to see many different options, including downloading.

To see your downloaded titles, select the Downloaded section in the same Library tab.

Download: Amazon Kindle for iOS | Android (Free)

4. Pocket Casts

Podcasts continue to grow in popularity and offer an almost unending amount of entertainment on just about any subject you can imagine. Pocket Casts is a great all-around podcast player that allows you to find the perfect podcast episode and download it to listen without an internet connection.

When you find something you’d like to save, just hit the Download button on the episode page. To find all of your downloaded podcasts, select the Profile tab, then choose Downloads to start listening.

The app is more than just a way to listen to podcasts offline. You can easily build a playback queue from your favorite subscriptions, trim silence, change the playback speed, and much more. Anyone with an Apple Watch can control playback and adjust volume without having to touch their iPhone.

Download: Pocket Casts for iOS | Android (Free, subscription available)

5. Pocket

We’ve all found an article we want to read but don’t have time for at the moment. Pocket is the perfect way to save any content on the web to read later. You can install an app on your mobile device—as well as an extension on your desktop—and use that to save an article to the service.

And the best part about Pocket is that you don’t need to do anything to download an article to read without an internet connection. The service takes care of that automatically. All articles are stripped of the clutter found on many sites so you can focus on just the content. As a nice touch, Pocket can also read an article out loud.

Download: Pocket for iOS | Android (Free, subscription available)

6. Google Maps

Google Maps is much more than just a navigation app. You can easily plan the perfect vacation or just find a spot to unwind after a long day on a business trip. And you can do that without an internet connection by downloading the map of a location to your smartphone.

While online, search for a location. On that page, hit the Download button. You’ll confirm the area to download.

To find downloaded maps, select your profile image and then Offline maps. From there, you can get directions/see routes, use navigation, and search for locations.

Download: Google Maps for iOS | Android (Free)

7. Disney+

While Netflix is still the king of streaming services, the content available to download can be hit or miss. Just when you find a perfect movie or TV show you’d like to watch offline, you may find that it’s not available to save.

But that’s not a problem with Disney+. Everything on the great service—from Star Wars to Marvel and more—is available to download and view offline.

To download an episode or movie, just select the download icon. To find all the content you’ve downloaded, just select the same icon on the bottom bar of the app.

Download: Disney+ for iOS | Android (Free, subscription required)

8. Audible

For audiobook fans, Audible is the place to go, offering a great selection of books to listen to. And you can easily download any title you’ve purchased to listen offline.

In the smartphone app, head to the Library tab to see your purchased titles. Tap the cover to start downloading the audiobook immediately. When offline, tap the Downloaded section to see all of the titles you can listen to without a connection.

Download: Audible for iOS | Android (Free, subscription available)

9. Shine - Journey of Light

If you’re looking for a change of pace to keep you entertained offline, Shine - Journey of Light is a great choice. This beautiful game is a journey through shadow and light that focuses on friendship.

There are 40 levels to explore while looking for lost friends. Make sure to bring your headphones while playing, as the interactive soundtrack uses 3D sound technology to provide a unique audio experience. And the game is made for all ages to enjoy.

Download: Shine - Journey of Light for iOS ($3.99) | Android (Free, in-app purchases available)

Keep Entertained Offline With Smartphone Apps

There’s no need to worry while commuting, whether that’s on a short subway trip or something longer. With a few minutes of work, you can leave the internet connection behind and still stay entertained for the entire journey.

And if you also need to stay on top of work without an internet connection, there are also many killer productivity tools that work offline.


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