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How to get more out of your phone when you're offline

If you find yourself without reception or want to cut down on mobile data usage, you’ve come to the right place.

Image: Maps/Google Play

SOMETIMES, YOU WILL end up in a situation where you don’t have access to a web connection, rendering a number of your apps useless.

Whether it’s a case that you will end up in a location that doesn’t have reception or are just mindful of how much mobile data you’re going to use, offline mode is a handy way of bypassing this.

If you have a limited data plan, then conservation of data is more important. Here are some of the things you can prepare for once you’re offline.

Save maps for future use

Chances are wherever you go, you will be quite reliant on a maps service to help you reach your destination or make your way around. All the major maps services, Google Maps, Nokia’s HERE and Apple Maps all allow you to save sections of maps for future use.

For Google Maps (both iOS and Android), tapping on your profile icon at the top right-hand corner of the screen and scrolling down will present you with offline mode, allowing you to save any area so long as it’s not too big. If you go over the size, it will ask you to make it smaller. Once you have it saved, you can access it offline and zoom in and out.

Nokia HERE users have it easier, going into ‘…’ and tapping download maps when displayed.

Since all maps rely on GPS to track your location, it means you can still find your bearings without having to rely on an internet connection.

Google Maps save map Source: Google Maps/Google Play

Read articles later

The majority of webpages that you’re going to save will be mainly articles, mainly because mobile sites and apps optimise them so they streamlined and only take up the minimum amount of space.

Apps like InstapaperPocket (both iOS and Android), Poki and Squirrel (Windows Phone) allow you to save articles onto your phone for reading later on and are useful if you’re the type of person who would rather stockpile articles for reading later on a commute or .

If you want to be really meta (and don’t mind a shameless plug), you can save articles here for reading later on this app by hitting the button at the end of this piece.

Source: crenkonline/YouTube

Listen to streamed music later

On the off-chance you don’t have music saved on your phone already, many music streaming services like Spotify allow you to save tracks onto your phone so you can listen to them later on.

The only caveat is you will need to be a paid member to avail of this, but if you have a playlist that you enjoy listening to and don’t have the files on MP3, it’s a handy way of saving them. You will still need to go online with the app you’re using every 30 days.

Save webpages

If you want to save a specific page that isn’t strictly an article, you can still save it directly on your browser. Some like Safari on iOS allow you to save articles via an offline reader, similar to Pocket, but if you want to save specific pages, you will need a separate app.

The best one to go for is Offline Pages Pro (iOS) or Offline Browser which has the same name on Android and Windows Phone but made by different developers.

Offline Browser Source: Offline Pages Pro/App Store

Translate offline

Ok, so you probably won’t need to translate signs while you’re home, but should you find yourself abroad, Word Lens (iOS and Android) is a great app to have.

The best part is once you’ve downloaded it, you don’t need an internet connection to use the app meaning you can translate anything you see without having to worry about reception or bills.

Also, Google Translate (iOS and Android) has an offline mode, allowing you to download specific language packages for future use. Windows Phone users can do the same with Bing Translator.

Source: QuestVisual/YouTube

Access Wikipedia

Whatever your opinion of Wikipedia is, it’s easy to lose hours of your time visiting different pages and seeing where it leads you. So what better way to kill time than to have the entire Wikipedia archive in your pocket.

If you have an iPhone, you could download the entirety of Wikipedia with the app All of Wiki – you will need 4GB free to download it all and it’s available for €7.99. Android users can get Wiki Encyclopedia Offline (free) while Windows Phone users can download Wikipedia Offline (€0.99).

Wikipedia offline Source: All of Wiki - Offline: A Wikipedia Reader/App Store

Read: What you need to know about saving on the cloud >

Read: Want to discover something new over the summer? These apps will help you out >

About the author:

Quinton O'Reilly

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