Android iPhone and iPad

12 Offline Smartphone Apps to Keep You Entertained on Your Commute

Khamosh Pathak 23-03-2017

We’re living in a streaming world. That’s all well and good when you’re at home, at work, or in a cafe. You can binge watch a TV show The Pros and Cons of Binge-Watching Television With streaming services so popular, most people now binge-watch TV shows. Learn more about the pros and cons of binge-watching. Read More , watch a YouTube video, and stream latest releases from Spotify without sparing a thought.


But things change when you’re in a plane, on a trip or on any sort of public transport. If you don’t want to get bored for hours at end, download some entertainment beforehand using the apps listed below.

1. Spotify

If you’re a Spotify Premium subscriber Is Spotify Premium Worth Its Premium Price? Is Spotify Premium worth its premium price? Discover what Premium offers and whether you should upgrade from Spotify Free. Read More , you can download songs on your iPhone or Android phone for offline use. Spotify lets you download up to 3,333 songs on up to three devices. And as long as you connect to the internet once every 30 days, you’ll have continuous offline access to these songs.

commute friendly apps spotify

Spotify lets you choose if you want to download songs, albums or playlists individually. When you’re browsing around, tap on the Download toggle to start downloading. If you go into your Library section, you’ll be able to download your entire library in one tap.

Download — Spotify for iOS (Free) | Android (Free)


2. Apple Music

Paying Apple Music subscribers 10 Essential Apple Music Tips You Really Need to Know Since its launch in 2015, Apple Music has come a long way, baby. Unfortunately, it's still not the easiest or most intuitive service to get to grips with. Which is where we come in... Read More can download songs for offline use. You first need to add a song to your library by tapping the + button. Then tap on the download (a cloud icon) button next to a song, album or playlist to start the download. Once it’s downloaded, you’ll see a Downloaded icon with a checkmark next to the song.

commute friendly apps apple music

Apple Music also lets you automatically download everything you add to your library. On iOS, go to Settings > Music > Automatic Downloads and turn it on. When you’re in the Library section, tap on Downloaded Music to view all the music that’s stored offline.

On Android, you’ll find the Download button after tapping on the three dotted menu next to songs and playlists. Apple Music also allows you to save songs directly to your SD Card. From the sidebar, tap on Settings > Downloads > Download Location and select a folder in your SD Card.


Download — Apple Music for Android (Free)

3. YouTube

YouTube has an Offline feature that’s available only in some countries like India, Pakistan, Egypt, Thailand, Vietnam, South Africa and more (full list here). If you’re in one of those countries, you’ll find a download button next to the video title in the YouTube app.

commute friendly apps youtube

If you’re in the US or elsewhere, the only officially way to download YouTube videos offline is to sign up for YouTube Red Is YouTube Premium Worth the Cost? 7 Things You Need to Consider Is YouTube Premium's cost worth it? We look into the pros and cons of YouTube's paid version. Read More .


Download — YouTube for iOS (Free) | Android (Free)

4. Netflix

While the option isn’t available for everything you can stream on Netflix, you’ll still find a sizeable collection (including Netflix Original Series 15 New Netflix Originals You'll Be Watching in 2017 Netflix is now producing its own original content. And some of the new Netflix Originals set to debut in 2017 definitely look like they'll be worth watching. Read More ) that you can download for offline use on iOS and Android.

In the app, you’ll find a special Available for Download section in the sidebar that lists all the movies and TV shows you can download. When you’re browsing around, you’ll find the standard Download button next to movies and TV show episodes. Tap on it and the download will start. You’ll be able to monitor and pause downloads from the My Downloads section.

commute friendly apps netflix


From Settings, you’ll be able to change the quality of the download file. On Android, there’s another option called Download Location from where you’ll be able to choose any folder you want to save Netflix files to, including an SD Card You Can Now Download Netflix Content to an SD Card You're no longer limited to the space on your mobile device, as you can now download Netflix content to an SD card. Caveats notwithstanding. Read More .

You need to check in every 30 days with an internet connection to continue watching the downloaded media. There’s also a time limit for downloads but it depends on the content. Some will expire in seven days, some in 30 days. Netflix will send you a notification before that’s about to happen.

Download — Netflix for iOS (Free) | Android (Free)

5. Amazon Prime Video

commute friendly apps amazon prime video

One of the many benefits of a Prime membership Is Amazon Prime Worth Your Money? We Help You Decide! Amazon Prime is a big deal. But is it worth the money you pay for it? We answer your questions and concerns. Read More is access to Amazon Prime Video, and the service has had an offline mode for a while now. When you’re browsing a movie or TV show, you’ll find a download button to the right. From Settings, you’ll be able to change the video quality for the video files as well.

Download — Amazon Prime Video for iOS (Free) | Android (Free)

6. Pocket

commute friendly apps pocket

The data-friendly way of killing time during your commute is to read. Pocket can be a great way to catch up on all the articles on the web you don’t have time for.

Install Pocket’s app, and their extensions for desktop browser and start saving articles. They’ll be downloaded in the Pocket app and you’ll be able to read them without internet access. Don’t want to read? Use Pocket’s built-in text to speech feature to have it read to you.

Download — Pocket for iOS (Free) | Android (Free)

7. Podcast Apps

commute friendly apps podcast

Listening to podcasts is a great way to learn new things 8 Alternative Ways to Be Smarter Without Reading Anything Reading can be time consuming and a strain on the eyes. Here are eight alternatives to become smarter without reading anything. After all, you do want to learn things always. Read More or be entertained when you can’t really do anything else 12 Podcasts Guaranteed to Make Your Commute Easier Commuting to work can be both boring and frustrating, but many of us do it every day. Thankfully, podcasts can make your commute much more entertaining. Read More . You can listen to podcasts when you’re walking to work (when you can’t really watch or read), walking your dog, or even doing chores around the house.

Just pick a podcast app — Overcast or Podcasts app on iOS The Best Podcast App for iPhone and iPad: 7 Top Choices Compared Looking for the best podcast app for iPhone and iPad? Enjoy your favorite podcasts with these great feature-filled podcast apps. Read More , PodBeam or Pocket Casts on Android The 8 Best Podcast Apps for Android Looking for the best podcast app for Android? We have you covered with apps that help you download, discover, listen, and more. Read More — and start downloading podcasts you find interesting. New podcasts will be downloaded automatically when you’re on Wi-Fi.

Subscribe to half a dozen podcasts and you’ll never be in a position where you’re stuck in a subway with nothing to do (which is the worst).

Download — Pocket Casts for iOS (Free) | Android (Free)

8. Hyper News [No Longer Available]

commute friendly apps hyper news

Hyper News is like a video podcasts app but for news. When you’re at home, connected to Wi-Fi, the app will download short news videos automatically to your iPhone. When you’re on your commute, just open the app and start playing them. By the time you get to work, you’ll be all caught up and ready for the water cooler talk.

9. gReader [No Longer Available]

commute friendly apps greader

Google Reader is dead but gReader is still here, alive and kicking. gReader is a feature rich yet simple RSS reader that lets you manually add sources and syncs with Feedly as well. gReader’s offline sync feature works reliably so you’ll have the latest feed ready to read when you step on the subway.

10. Newsify

commute friendly apps newsify

Newsify is a news and RSS reader that will automatically download new articles from subscribed sites. You can add sources directly from Newsify or just connect your Feedly account. Newsify is a free app that comes with ads (but that shouldn’t be a problem when you’re reading news articles in offline mode).

If you don’t mind paying, look into Reeder 3 for iPhone and iPad. It is, in my opinion, the best RSS reader for iOS 7 Best iPad News Apps to Follow the Latest Headlines Whether you're hungry for the very latest happenings or just looking to catch up on the week's events, your iPad is a great news reader. Read More .

Download — Newsify for iOS (Free)

11. Kindle

commute friendly apps kindle

While it’s not the best experience, you can still read entire books on your iPhone, iPad or Android device. Just download the Kindle app, buy some books, and start reading.

Download — Kindle for iOS (Free) | Android (Free)

12. Audible

commute friendly apps audible

Again, reading on a crowded subway can be a bit too much. This is where audiobooks come in. If you’re looking for a no-nonsense approach to audiobooks, just download Audible and buy audiobooks from there. For free options, check out the LibriVox app for Android [No Longer Available] and Audiobooks app on iOS.

If you already have a collection of DRM-free audiobooks, just load them up on your iPhone Top 3 Apps for Listening to DRM-Free Audiobooks on iPhone Don't listen to audiobooks using your iPhone's Music app, use a proper app and vastly improve the experience. Read More or Android device 3 Simple Ways to Listen to DRM-Free Audiobooks on Android Want to listen to audiobooks without the restrictions of DRM? We sure have a treat for you. Read More before heading out.

Download — Audible for iOS (Free) | Android (Free)

And Don’t Forget the Work Files

We’re increasingly moving to a world where work documents are stored in the cloud. But an internet connection isn’t available everywhere. What if you want to access an important document, or looks something up on a PDF that’s stored in your work Dropbox account? It’s best to plan ahead and have these important files stored offline always.

In the Dropbox app on Android, open the file in question and select Available Offline. On iOS, the option is called Make Available Offline. You’ll find similar options in Google Drive and apps like Google Docs, Sheets, Quip and so on.

For more entertainment that doesn’t require an internet connection, check out these iPhone and iPad games that work offline The 12 Best Offline Games for iPhone and iPad to Play Without Data or Wi-Fi Here are the best offline games for iPhone and iPad. Who says you internet access to play games on your iOS device? Read More :

Image Credits: Iakov Filimonov/Shutterstock

Related topics: Media Streaming, Offline Browsing, Podcasts, Reading, Streaming Music, Travel.

Affiliate Disclosure: By buying the products we recommend, you help keep the site alive. Read more.

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  1. Yaron
    May 15, 2017 at 1:42 pm

    THe problem is not finding something to do when you off line. The real problem is the 16gb iPhone, where you don't have room even for 1 or 2 albums of music. Especially if you have WhatsApp and Facebook installed.
    Unless someone has a solution for that?

  2. Glen LeBarr
    March 23, 2017 at 5:55 pm

    love Pocket, Instapaper too...but I use Pocket daily during my commutes

  3. Davin Peterson
    March 23, 2017 at 5:18 pm

    What about Google Play Music instead of Apple Music?

  4. Davin Peterson
    March 23, 2017 at 5:17 pm

    Forget Apple Music. What about Google Play Music (streaming)? It existed years before Apple Music and can do the same things as Apple Music. We don't need Apple for our music needs

    • Jan Peterson
      March 27, 2017 at 8:35 pm

      I second (third?) the vote for Google Play Music... and if you subscribe you get Youtube Red for free.

      Also, for eBooks and audio books, check out Overdrive... link up with your library and check out (borrow) eBooks and audio books for free.