What is the best way to save reading for later, without Wi-Fi?
October 17, 2016 7:00 AM   Subscribe

I sometimes end up in areas without Wi-Fi, for days at a time, and I do not want to be bored. It's there a good way to preemptively save reading to an iPad or iPhone for this scenario? What strategies work for you? What is the best approach for news feeds? How about magazines or ebooks?. Any other tips?
posted by mortaddams to Society & Culture (18 answers total) 10 users marked this as a favorite
With my Kindle on my phone, I can download books and read them anytime. No wifi needed after they've been downloaded.
posted by xingcat at 7:04 AM on October 17, 2016 [1 favorite]

There are several apps that do this, such as Instapaper and Pocket. You have a bookmarklet for your browser and an app on you iPad or phone. The app will download the full text so you can read it later, offline.
posted by cushie at 7:05 AM on October 17, 2016 [2 favorites]

See if you can get ebooks from your library via an app like Overdrive.
posted by ocherdraco at 7:06 AM on October 17, 2016 [1 favorite]

I second Pocket - easy and reliable. I think there are many similar apps.
posted by Hugobaron at 7:08 AM on October 17, 2016 [4 favorites]

Instapaper. I love it so much. Get the browser widget. Anytime you see a long article you like, put it in Instapaper. You can also do this from your phone when you download the app. You do want to open the app on your phone once you've sent a few to it because it needs to load them in but then they are ready for offline viewing. Plus, they generally strip out the ads and the reading experience is so much better.
posted by amanda at 7:09 AM on October 17, 2016 [1 favorite]

There's a number of apps for this purpose, including Instapaper and Pocket. Pocket is my favoured solution, and it allows "clipping" articles from the browser, syncing them to an app and keeping / favouriting / deleting articles one they've been read. About the only negative thing I can say is that if you collect a massive number of articles (as I do), it can take up a lot of space on your device.

(I suppose Evernote would also work, especially it's "simplified article" mode.)
posted by outlier at 7:09 AM on October 17, 2016 [1 favorite]

Fourthing Instapaper. It's what I use for exactly that reason.
posted by ejs at 7:23 AM on October 17, 2016

I've never used Instapaper, but Pocket has changed everything about my online reading habits for the better.
posted by athirstforsalt at 7:33 AM on October 17, 2016

Kindle (for books and magazines) and Pocket (for articles) are both great apps for offline reading. Instapaper and Readability are alternatives to Pocket. You can also use Evernote to download web pages (including pictures) to an "offline notebook", but it requires Evernote Premium.

If you use Feedly for RSS feeds, you can save directly to Evernote, Instapaper, Pocket, or Readability from a feed; you can enable/disable links for each one in Preferences > Favorite Sharing Tools.
posted by neushoorn at 7:49 AM on October 17, 2016

Just make sure, if you decide to use Pocket, that you sync it (open the app and allow it to refresh) before you leave civilization. It requires wi-fi to actually update your list. Many times I've saved something for reading on a plane, only to open the app on my phone and realize that I didn't sync it before taking off.
posted by kevinbelt at 8:08 AM on October 17, 2016 [4 favorites]

If you are in fandom, note that archiveofourown allows downloads in various book formats (mobi and epub usually work best for me) which on my phone open in Overdrive. The formatting is really good, especially for 60-chapter type epics.
posted by dorothyisunderwood at 8:35 AM on October 17, 2016 [1 favorite]

Nthing Overdrive for library books (including audiobooks! My library has so many audiobooks!)

Pocket for articles (there are some web pages that Pocket can't put in its reader format so they just display as web pages, and I don't think those are saved offline),

And Kindle for purchased eBooks.

There apps available that will download web pages for offline reading, which could be useful if Pocket can't handle a certain page.

As for an approach: I try to anticipate these scenarios (e.g., flights) and download a bunch of stuff just beforehand (e.g., in the terminal). But Overdrive, Kindle, and Pocket will download things automatically so you don't really have to anticipate offline times as long as you have been using the app on your phone / tablet recently.
posted by Tehhund at 9:26 AM on October 17, 2016

Nthing Pocket for articles and webpages. I really enjoy it, and have been using it for years.
posted by hootenatty at 9:38 AM on October 17, 2016

What is the best approach for news feeds?
You can use Calibre to handle this so that it ends up putting them into your Kindle or other ebook software automatically. There are several ways I have read and you can find a lot by searching just "calibre rss". This one is good and so is this one.
posted by soelo at 12:19 PM on October 17, 2016

I switch between text & audio, using Kindle for book purchases & free book downloads from my Amazon Prime membership, Audible for purchased audio books, & Hoopla. Hoopla is used by my county library & I have books, audiobooks, movies & music available for download. Thereby being able to read/see/hear any of these when not on WiFi

In addition, you might look into Podcasts, there is such a variety, and you can download those as well.
posted by IpsoFacto at 3:55 PM on October 17, 2016 [1 favorite]

I used to go out of network a good bit, and a slightly more labor-intensive process, but one that has worked for me forever: find an article or long post you want to read, save it to pdf. I know, it sounds antiquarian, but it works wonderfully. Also, I eventually got a usb 3g dongle and put a simple, cheap, 20-dollar sim on it. It didn't solve all problems, but it worked fairly well, especially if you treat it like a trip to the library: fire it up for an hour or so to do a lightning-fast sprint through your favorite sites, download like a demon, then spend time reading, at your leisure, off the net.
posted by eclectist at 5:30 PM on October 17, 2016

Similar to eclectist's suggestion of saving to PDFs, I use a Firefox(/Chrome/Android) addon called GrabMyBooks to save web pages as epubs.
posted by MoTLD at 7:43 PM on October 17, 2016

I'm a tad late but I use Documents for saving articles, webpages, PDFs, basically anything, onto my ipad using the app's internal browser. I do not know what i'd do without it. It also downloads and plays MP3s so I d/l podcasts ALL the time. I don't have wifi at home so I have to use this frequently when i'm not at the library or on my lunch break. You can access your photos, ipod library and itunes files from within the app too and copying files out of the app onto your desktop (and vice versa) via itunes is easy enough if you need to do that. I think you may be able to save Microsoft Office docs too...
posted by ihaveyourfoot at 5:05 AM on October 18, 2016

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