Travelers – download these things before you leave: maps, languages, books, movies.

When you travel, you are bound to be in places where there is no internet connection available. We are on our way to Indonesia. Although we have a data plan that works internationally, we still expect to be off-grid for much of this trip. We want to be able to use Google Translate, Google Maps, Kindle books, and Netflix movies at any time, so we will download these things before we leave.

Google Translate

They speak Indonesian, we don’t. We will use Google Translate to help us, but it needs an internet connection to work … unless you download the language beforehand. Here’s how you do that:

  1. Open the Google Translate app on your phone
  2. Tap the Settings button at bottom right
  3. Tap “Offline translation”
  4. Tap “Add a language” tap the language you want then Download.

Realize that downloaded languages will take up space on your device. To delete the downloaded language when you get back home, repeat steps 1-3 above. When get to the Offline translation screen, tap the Edit button at top right. Now you will see a red – before each language. Tap that to remove.

Google Maps

You can download specific segments of maps for offline use in Google Maps.

The highlight shows how much of the map can be downloaded. In this example notice you can’t get all of Italy in one offline map.
  • Open the Google Maps app on your phone
  • Tap the account button at top right and choose “Offline Maps”
  • Tap “Select your own Map”
  • Drag the map to the general location you need
  • Use two fingers to pinch and zoom – the highlight will show you the amount of map that is possible to download.
  • You may have to repeat this for more segments to get all the map area you need

If it is too cumbersome to delineate all the segments you need using Google Maps, you may want to use the offline app Maps.me app instead. For example, in Maps.me I can ask to download “Indonesia” and maps.me automatically picks 7 different maps to cover the entire country.

Kindle Books

I love having a book to read anytime, anywhere, so I use the Kindle app on my phone. The book needs to be downloaded to my device before I can read it, so I need to do that before I lose connectivity.

  • Buy the book at Amazon.com
  • Open the Kindle app on your phone. If it opens straight into a book, you need to get to your library by tapping the screen to reveal the tools at the top, then tap the left arrow
  • You are now viewing your library and any books you have purchased will be here
  • To download a book, simply tap on it. If you can read the book, that means it is downloaded.

For more information on using the Kindle app, see Episode 214 of our “What Does This Button Do?” show.

Movies

If you want to watch a movie from one of your streaming services like Netflix, Amazon, or HBO, you generally need an Internet connection. Did you know you could download some movies in advance so they can be watched offline?

  • You need the app for your streaming service. Just open your App Store on iOS or the Play Store on Android and find the app.
  • For example, with the Netflix app, once you open the app and select the person watching you will see a menu at the bottom with “Downloads” as one of the options.
  • Tap Downloads then scroll down till you see “Find More to Download” (I’m not talking about “smart downloads” here)
  • Not all movies can be downloaded, but the ones on this screen can. Tap on one you want, then tap the Download button.
  • Now, when you find yourself offline, you can open the app, tap Downloads and see the movies that are available to watch because you previously downloaded them.

Don’t care to watch a movie on that tiny phone screen? Here’s a video about using an HDMI cable to mirror your phone on a TV.

MrsGeek
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