We may live in a very wired-in society, but every day we pass in and out of actual contact with an internet connection. Whether we’re on a plane, away from home (or school) wifi connections, or outside of urban areas with reliable mobile data, we simply cannot rely on being connected all the time.
In fact many of us savor the moments when we don’t have the web distracting us from meaningful moments, or time set aside for hard work. The Chromebook platform is known for being a low-cost device angled at web-browsing and basic productivity needs, but there’s a common misconception that a Chromebook basically becomes a paperweight when the user disconnects from the internet.
Because of this, we decided to rank the top 5 ways that you can use your Chromebook without the internet!
1. Create and edit documents
First and foremost is the Google Docs suite—Drive, Docs, Sheets, Slides, Forms, and Drawings. A common misunderstanding, though, is that these thin office apps rely on the internet to function—not true! “Offline mode” isn’t activated by default on Chromebooks, but it’s a simple process, and once you’re back online, all of your data will automatically sync with Google Drive.
2. Manage and draft emails
Gmail also needs offline mode enabled, but once this has been selected, you’re free to compose and sort emails, create task lists and filters, and attach locally stored files. Similar to the Google Docs suite, any changes made during offline use will be synced once you re-establish an internet connection. Keep, Google’s notepad app, supports this same syncing feature, so you can also review and create all the notes you want.
3. Manage your calendar
Once offline mode has been enabled in Google Calendar, you’ll be able to perform almost everything you were able to while connected! With the exception of sending invites (these will instead be pending until you’re back online) and joining hangouts, the calendar can do all the things you love—from creating events and appointment slots to setting notifications and filtering personal calendars.
4. Manage and view locally stored files
Just like an ordinary laptop or tablet, you can manage and view most files stored in your local memory- videos, photos, music. If the file type is on this list, then you can view on on your Chromebook any time. And don’t let a small SSD get you down—most Chromebooks have SD slots to expand your space, and support NTFS or FAT32 formatted external hard drives.
5. Operate any of these hundreds of offline-ready apps in the Chrome Web Store
Don’t get the idea that Google content is all you can use without a web connection- hundreds of Chrome apps and extensions still operate (or have an optional offline mode) whether you’re connected or not. Angry birds, anyone?
If these uses still aren’t enough for you, and you’d prefer to avoid going offline as often as possible, there’s a solution for you too! Check out this list of Chromebooks that support a 3g or 4g data plans, and never leave the internet again! Are there any specific applications that you love using offline? We’d love to hear about them!