Best iPad apps, special offline snowflake edition
July 20, 2012 8:58 AM   Subscribe

Help me find awesome iPad apps that don't need the internet.

So I'm getting a new iPad. Yay! Only problem? I'm not going to have internet the vast majority of the times/places I'll be using it. All the iPad app lists I've seen so far are filled with apps that need the internet to work (the streaming stuff, Facebook, what have you.) For instance, I love the idea of Flipboard, but if it's something that needs internet access it's pretty much useless to me.

So what are the apps that /don't/ need the internet to be awesome?
posted by Tamanna to Technology (19 answers total) 30 users marked this as a favorite
Instapaper. You'll need Internet access periodically, but you can load up your reading list when you're online and do your reading offline. It's really nice. I use it whenever I see a link to a long-form story that sounds interesting but that I don't want to take time out for at the moment.
posted by adamrice at 9:07 AM on July 20, 2012

You should be able to play pretty much any game offline. My current favorites are Ski Safari, Tiny Wings, and Bike Baron.

Also, Instapaper is great. You can save articles you want to read later, and then they show up on your iPad in an easy to read format. It's completely usable offline, except for syncing, so as long as you sync it up while you have internet access, you'll be able to read the articles offline, and once you connect back up again, anything you've done (archived/liked articles, etc.) will be automatically synced to the web service. If you're into RSS feeds, Reeder does a similar thing—sync it up with Google Reader when you have internet access, and then use it offline to read your feeds later.
posted by deansfurniture5 at 9:08 AM on July 20, 2012

D'oh! Instapaper, of course!

To help narrow down any suggestions: I'm not a big photographer, but I do reading enjoy casual gaming. I played the hell out of Plants vs Zombies on my iPod.
posted by Tamanna at 9:11 AM on July 20, 2012

Spelltower is just fantastic on the iPad! No internet required.

If course, there's Kindle, which requires some access to the internet, but the actual download speed/time is very low. I was at a train station that had public wireless and was able to get a whole book in about 30 seconds (the time it took my train to arrive!). Might be worth a shot either way.
posted by two lights above the sea at 9:13 AM on July 20, 2012 [3 favorites]

That should say "but the actual download speed/time necessary for downloading books is very low."
posted by two lights above the sea at 9:14 AM on July 20, 2012

Eep. That should read enjoy reading and casual gaming. Coffee before posting, Tam...
posted by Tamanna at 9:25 AM on July 20, 2012

Wikipedia Offline is fun, you can learn about anything. Good airplane reading, though $10. You do need wifi for a couple hours to download it.

There are tons of games that work without a connection; my favorites are Plants v Zombies & the ever-popular Angry Birds.
posted by insectosaurus at 9:33 AM on July 20, 2012 [1 favorite]

Kingdom Rush
posted by elizardbits at 9:40 AM on July 20, 2012 [3 favorites]

I use CityMaps2go as for offline map service, for my homecity and cities I travel to.

Most of my apps do not require an active connection - games, my ebook app (Stanza), my home budget app, coordinated shopping list app (last two sync once a day or so with my SO, which is fine).

I've also downloaded an offline French-English dictionary (LaRouse), white-noise generator (cat purring!), the "This American Life" and "Planet Money" apps (both can download episodes for offline listening). My husband has even more - a daily routine app, many games (he loves his flight simulator).
posted by jb at 10:18 AM on July 20, 2012

I've noticed that Safari now has a read offline function built in (Reading List), which is pretty convenient.
posted by jb at 10:19 AM on July 20, 2012

The Khan Academy enables you to download videos to watch offline
posted by taltalim at 11:01 AM on July 20, 2012

DownCast (for downloading podcasts and listening later).
iTunes U (for downloading instructional podcasts and listening later).
iBooks/Kindle/Google Books (Play? - I'm not sure if this one lets you download) or any other eReader that allows you to download the entire book.
Almost any game, yes.

My FB friend had a discussion with a bunch of us a couple of days ago about iPad app recommendations that's public, so here's the link:

If you scroll down to the last 1/4 of the post and comments you'll see two gihugent comments from me about games (where I give a short summary in parens for most of them, not unlike this one). Reviewing those two lists, I don't see any of them that REQUIRE internet access. Certainly some have internet multiplayer modes, but I don't think they require it.
posted by kalessin at 11:24 AM on July 20, 2012

Tiny Wings HD and especially World of Goo are vivid, beautiful games with tons of replay value. Quarrel DX is lots of fun, too -- think Scrabble + Risk. Also Jetpack Joyride, whose great developer Halfbrick periodically releases free feature updates that keep the game fresh. Other favorites: Civilization Revolution (if you're a fan of strategy), Scribblenauts Remix (for the fun of testing its endless library of objects), and Alter Ego (the old school "game of life" from this post).

Offline information sources are useful. Wikipedia's the obvious one, but you can also download a free copy of TVTropes (!).
posted by Rhaomi at 11:50 AM on July 20, 2012 [1 favorite]

Overdrive is a good ebook app, if your local library subscribes to it. You can download when you have a connection but read anytime.
posted by sunshine37 at 12:59 PM on July 20, 2012

My fiance is loving the Magic the Gathering iPad game. It's apparently similar to playing the game for real, but there are apparently some added bits. If you played back in Magic's heyday, you might enjoy it.
posted by radioamy at 1:26 PM on July 20, 2012

can you link to the magic game? I was only able to find references and trivia, not an actual game based on the card game.
posted by sio42 at 4:57 PM on July 20, 2012

Magic 2013
posted by I am the Walrus at 8:47 PM on July 20, 2012

posted by oceanjesse at 8:05 AM on July 21, 2012

Try Figure for simple music making.
posted by doctord at 1:19 PM on August 6, 2012

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