Smartphones have evolved past the point of just being able to make phone calls and sending text messages. They now include features that allow you to surf the web, watch feature-length movies and listen to music. Unfortunately, due to constant load shedding and rolling blackouts, these features are made redundant due to the lack of WiFi and poor reception that comes with the loss of electricity.
To ensure you never run out entertainment when load shedding inevitably hits, here are a few of the best applications to use offline.
Pocket- Offline News
Staying up to date with the latest news is essential in today’s day and age, this is, however, easier said than done thanks to never-ending power cuts. Thankfully, the Pocket application allows you to download and save as many articles as you want to read later when you’re offline. Simply open the application while connected to a WiFi signal or mobile data, select which articles you would like to save for later, hit the download button, and read them once you’ve got some time to kill, or when the power goes off. Available on iOS and Android.
Google Maps- Navigation
This may come as a surprise to some, but Google Maps has a pretty good offline mode which lets users download maps for later use. To make use of this feature, download an area you would like to navigate around and use Google Maps as you normally would, with the only difference being a small lightning bolt symbol to notify you that you’re offline. Note that with this offline version, you will receive directions for driving, but not for transit, bicycling, or walking. Also note that you won’t be able to select alternative routes, lane guidance, or traffic info. Available on iOS and Android.
Music streaming applications have become the primary way most people listen to music, however, listening to hours worth of music using mobile data can cost you quite a bit. Thankfully, Spotify has come up with a way of letting you listen to your favourite albums by giving you the option to download songs, podcasts, albums, and playlists directly to your phone. Once downloaded, regardless of your reception, you’ll be able to listen to all your favourite songs and albums. The one caveat with this feature is the fact that you’ll be required to have a paid subscription of R59.99 to Spotify to enable it. Available on iOS and Android.
Google Drive- Productivity
Load shedding usually hits at the worst of times, more often than not when you’re just about to start an important work document or project. Luckily, with Google Docs offline, you can still work documents, sheets, and slides, even when you’re stuck without any Wifi or data. To make use of this feature, ensure you have an internet connection first, then on both iOS and Android, tap the menu tab, then open settings, and select the option ‘Make recent files available offline’. Once you’ve done this you’ll be able to work on recent documents without being connected to the internet. Available on iOS and Android.
There’s no better way to kill time then to sit back and watch your favourite show. Unfortunately, load shedding often gets in the way of that. Thankfully, Netflix has come up with a way to get around that, by allowing you to download episodes or movies directly to your device. To make use of this feature, make sure you’re connected to WifI or have sufficient data. Then locate the episode or movie you’d like to download. Once you’ve found you title that you like, click on the download icon on the description page. You can then access the download once it’s complete in the ‘My Downloads’ section of the app to watch later when you’re offline. Available on iOS and Android.