Android iPhone and iPad

5 Productive Things You Can Do With Your Smartphone Without a Signal

Tina Sieber 02-04-2014

In many ways, your smartphone is more powerful than the computers of Apollo 11. While it won’t get you to the moon, you can be lightyears ahead if you use your phone to its full potential. That includes using it when you have no mobile or data connection.


Listen To Podcasts

You can listen to music to pass the time or you could go with informative podcasts. We have previously written about podcast apps for various platforms (iOS, Android 4 App Showdown: Which Is the Best Android Podcast App? There are great podcast apps available for Android, whether you're willing to pay for an app as good as anything you'd find on an iPhone or want a polished, free app. Read More , Windows Phone Enjoy Podcasts, Music, Talk & Sport On Windows Phone With TuneIn Radio Aware that I should probably listen to the occasional contemporary sound, I became a convert to the BBC's 6 Music channel, which plays an astounding mix of great tunes from the 1950's to the 2010's.... Read More ).

One Android app we haven’t covered, yet, is Podcast Addict. Using this app, you can search audio and video podcasts by keywords or networks, subscribe to your favorites, manually add RSS feeds or YouTube channels, import OPML files, and download episodes for listening or watching them offline.

Podcast Addict for Android

Download: Podcast Addict for Android (free)

Catch Up On Your Reading List

If you’re like most people, you hardly have time to read all the interesting articles you come across on a daily basis. Maybe you could get through some of them, if you started reading during your commute. While doing nothing or reading novels can be very relaxing Free Music & Nature Sounds To Relax, Sleep, Meditate, Study & Concentrate [Sound Sunday] Discover a vast collection of free ambient, electronic, drone soundscapes, plus nature sounds, ASMR, and singing bowls. Many hours of free music downloads are hidden in this edition of Sound Sunday. Come inside and listen. Read More , it’s not always the best use of your time. Plenty of applications support offline reading and syncing between your desktop and your smartphone, it’s just a matter of finding what works best for you.



Pocket, formerly known as Read It Later, lets you save pretty much anything Pocket - The Ultimate Digital Bookmarking Service As Bakari previously reported, the well loved Read It Later - which enabled users to save articles to read later from a bookmarklet or various apps it was integrated with - was discontinued and replaced... Read More you can view in a browser, including articles and videos. You can even email content to your Pocket. When you have some Internet downtime, check your Pocket for entertainment.

Download: Pocket (free) for iOS, Android (our review Pocket 5 For Android: A Polished Way To Save Content To Read Later The Web is full of cats. Seriously, they're everywhere. So are other silly memes and many other things conspiring to steal your attention. So how do you make time to read the good stuff? Read More ), Windows Phone, Blackberry, and more.

Readability [Broken URL Removed]

Do you already use the Kindle app to read books? With Readability you can send articles How to Send Websites to Kindle so You Can Read Later The Amazon Kindle isn't just limited to reading ebooks. Here's how to send and read web articles on your Kindle. Read More from your desktop or its mobile apps to your favorite ebook reader and read them on the go. Simply add to your Kindle approved email list, then send articles to your Kindle email address.

Readability Kindle Settings


Download: Readability [Broken URL Removed] (free) for iOS, Android, Bookmarklets, and more.


If you’re using RSS, you can go through your feeds with this add-free Android app that supports offline reading and Feedly. You’ll find more mobile RSS apps for various platforms in our Unofficial Feedly Guide Unofficial Guide To Feedly: Better Than Google Reader Do you hunger for the best desktop and mobile RSS reader ever made? For both the hungry and the hopeful, Feedly satisfies. Read More .


Download: FeedMe (free) for Android.



Did you know the web clipping service Why You Should Be Using Evernote As Your Go-To Place For Remembering Everything Remember Everything. That’s the Evernote motto and that’s what it allows you to do best. If you aren't familiar yet with Evernote, you’re in for a real treat! If you have heard of it, but... Read More Evernote had an offline feature for mobile devices? It’s only available to Premium subscribers, but if you happen to be one, this is a feature you should take advantage of!

Download: Evernote (free, Premium option $5 per month or $45 per year) for iOS (our review Evernote: A Must-Have App for the iPhone and iPad [iOS] In the last several months, the iOS versions of Evernote have undergone a significant overhaul of their user interfaces, closely mirroring the design and features of the counterpart web and Mac applications. We have added... Read More ), Android, Windows Phone, Blackberry, and more.

Improve Your Foreign Language Skills

Whether you’re a bloody beginner or have some basic skills, practicing a foreign language has many benefits. Apart from being able to eventually speak a few sentences or even have a conversation, it’s also a great way to sharpen your memory and expand your horizon. With new words and phrases come new insights.


The question is, can you learn a new language using your phone? Absolutely! If you’re lucky, the language you’re interested in is offered by Duolingo. You can learn Spanish, French, Italian, German, or Portuguese with the most engaging, fun, and best tool out there. And it’s completely free!



Download: Duolingo (free, our review Learn A Language And Translate For Practice With Duolingo (Now Open To All!) The internet has given us some fantastic tools for language learning, and Duolingo is the latest site to give it a go. It's just come out of closed beta and is now available for everyone... Read More ) for iOS or Android.


If you’re not so lucky, give Babbel a try. Here you can currently pick from 13 different languages. You can try the tool for free.


Download: Babbel (try before you subscribe, our review Study a Language From Your PC, Phone or Tablet With Babbel There are all sorts of reasons to study a new language. For learning to write and speak conversationally, an online tool like Babbel provides some obvious benefits. Read More ) for iOS or Android.

Play Games To Improve Your Memory

Is it possible to have fun and be productive at the same time? Kill two birds with one stone by playing games that sharpen your memory Get Smarter With Android: 5 Apps For Improving Memory, Math Skills, And More "You won't always have a calculator on you!" That's what my math teachers told me all through high school. Little did they know we'd all be carrying around miniature computers in our pockets within the... Read More . Be sure to set an alarm, as time will fly as you are drawn into these brain teasers.

Download: Lumosity, SEQ (our review SEQ Is A Puzzle Game That Will Push Your Brain To The Limit [iOS] A bit like connect the dots for grown ups, SEQ is a minimalist puzzle game that involves linking sequences of numbers. If you are the kind of gamer who enjoys a puzzle game that actually... Read More ), or ON/OFF (our review ON/OFF: One Of The Hardest iOS Puzzle Games You Will Ever Play When you play a game on your iPhone, are you looking for something relaxing and easy-going that will just kill a few minutes? If so, ON/OFF is another quick blast you should download. Read More ), all free for iOS.

Download: Mind Games, Memory Trainer, or One Touch Drawing, all free for Android.

Edit Your To Do Lists

You can be all low tech and do this on a digital or even physical notepad or you can employ an app. If you pay for Premium, you could use Evernote to manage your TO Do list How to Use Evernote: The Unofficial Manual Learning how to use Evernote on your own takes a long time. This is why we've put together this guide to show you how to take full advantage of the most important Evernote features. Read More while your phone is offline. A free alternative that offers unlimited offline editing and one free sync per 24 hours is Remember The Milk.

Remember The Milk

Download: Remember The Milk (free, Pro option for $25 per year) for iOS (our review Remember The Milk - A Beautiful, Feature-Rich To-Do App For iPhone Do you have a lot on your plate? Sometimes the things we need to do between work and home can feel overwhelming, and nearly impossible to remember. That is where applications like Remember the Milk... Read More ), Android, and more.

How Do You Kill Mobile Downtime Productively?

There is so much more you can do to pass the time in a constructive way. Sometimes, doing nothing Meditation Made Easy: Tools & Resources To Aid Your Well-Being If you have come to the conclusion that meditation is a method to calm your mind and achieve well-being worth trying, then we can help you with resources and tools. Read More can be the best thing do do and it doesn’t require an app! If you need to stay buy, however, you can find many more free productivity apps for Android The Best Android Apps on the Google Play Store for 2019 Looking for the best Android apps for your phone or tablet? Here's our comprehensive list of the best apps for Android. Read More and iOS The Best New iOS Apps of 2015 (And Our Favorite Updates) We've sorted through the stream of new apps that arrived in 2015 and devised a list of our favourites just for you. Read More on our respective Top Lists.

What else do you do with your smartphone?

Image Credits: David Becher via Flickr

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  1. trillionclues
    May 21, 2018 at 6:03 pm

    Wow! Amazing list of not for anything else. But I must sure confess, I was expecting something like things to do with smartphone without any form of internet connection. ?
    Great post once again MUO!

  2. Trillionclues
    May 21, 2018 at 6:01 pm

    Wow! Amazing list of not for anything else. But I must sure confess, I was expecting something like things to do with smartphone without any form of internet connection. ?
    Great post once again.

  3. Charles G
    April 8, 2014 at 9:49 pm

    Of late: FTL (Faster Than Light) :)

  4. Steve DenHerder
    April 4, 2014 at 12:12 pm

    Lumosity games can only be played online on my account, unless there is a way to download them to play offline that I don't know about.

  5. Ilijan
    April 4, 2014 at 8:45 am

    While I am offline, I personally use TagSpaces to tag my recent photos and to organize my todos and ideas.

  6. anonymous
    April 4, 2014 at 3:34 am

    I just want to toss out that that as long as I have Wi-Fi, I have service. Therefore, portions of this list don't apply. Holla!

  7. Vinod
    April 4, 2014 at 1:24 am

    Best is that you go to sleep. Thus saving on your battery and eyesight

    • keerthy vardhan
      April 4, 2014 at 2:29 am


  8. Steve DenHerder
    April 3, 2014 at 10:04 pm

    Some of the apps mentioned require you to be online to actually use even after you have signed up.

    • Tina S
      April 4, 2014 at 9:55 am

      That would have been an unfortunate oversight on my part. Could you please point out which ones?

    • Anonymous
      April 7, 2014 at 6:56 am

      Yeah. Duolingo does need an Internet connection.

  9. Skip
    April 3, 2014 at 6:28 pm

    I enjoy mobile photography which is my version of a book or a puzzle, so I break out my camera roll and all the apps I have which don't require a signal and edit images.

  10. TBG
    April 3, 2014 at 4:03 pm

    I keep my mind sharp (well as sharp as can be expected) with Shortyz for Android Shortyz is a great crossword puzzle app with daily free puzzles from The Washington Post, Newsday, LA Times, and USA Today. And, you can get weekly puzzles like The New York Times Classic, People Magazine, Boston Globe, and the list goes on.

    Helps me with my spelling too.

  11. Glen M
    April 3, 2014 at 3:49 pm

    Love the challenge of downtime productivity so I read and learn from the myriad array of articles from " Make Use Of ".....

    Informative and challenging to keep up to date in our ever
    evolving info age.

    Thanks " MUO".....