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3 Google Apps Tools You Didn’t Know You Could Use Offline

2 minute read

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Whether you are on a plane, on the subway, or just trying to conserve data usage, there are plenty of times when you will find yourself unable to connect to the internet. This doesn’t mean your work needs to be immediately substituted for a new game of Angry Birds. Google provides plenty of tools that can be used while offline.

You can read and compose emails, view and edit Drive files, and even navigate to your next destination with Google maps, all while “off the grid.” I find these features essential during long commutes or in the off chance, in a power outage. These are three of my favorite offline Google Apps tools that you can use while disconnected. Additionally, the above video from The Apps Show highlights more offline tools that allow you to keep working, even when your internet is not. 

1. Use the downtime to catch up on emails

Gmail Offline is a Chrome Extension that allows you to access your Gmail account without an internet connection. While you won’t be able to receive new emails, you can read what is already in your inbox and even compose new emails to send later. This can be a great way to get a head start on things during your subway ride to the office.

2. Edit your Google Docs in the dark

Although the online capabilities of Google Drive are great for collaboration, they are not necessary at all times. Google Drive allows you to edit your Docs offline both in Chrome and with the Drive desktop application. Once an internet connection has returned, your changes will sync back online so nothing is lost.

3. Navigate the world without navigating the web


What happened to the good old days of big paper maps that you kept folded up in your glove compartment? Remember when no data plans or Wi-Fi were necessary to find your way? Well, as it turns out, those days are still here but the maps are folded up on your mobile device. Available for iOS and Android devices, the Offline Maps function allows you to navigate the world much easier. Losing Wi-Fi can happen when we least expect it, and when we lose it on our way somewhere, this feature is a saving grace.

Now you can load, download, and share a map before your journey begins and never risk the chance of losing your directions. With this setting you can save areas like your office and home, and adjust the settings to update those maps automatically. You can also save places temporarily before you step out the door. When you save places, other information becomes available too such as business hours and contact information for nearby places.

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