It wouldn’t be a stretch to say that most of our work lives now revolve around the browser – specifically Chrome. We work on Google Drive, send emails with Gmail, manage tasks with Wunderlist, and use a plethora of other web services – right in Chrome or Chrome OS.
But that means if for some reason your internet connection is out, you’re left with essentially a dead computer. And no matter how fast your internet connection is, outages do happen. At some places, more often than you’d like.
For times like these, you’ll need an army of Chrome apps on your side. Chrome apps that will work offline once you’ve downloaded and set them up right. Chrome apps, for the uninitiated, are not extensions. They’re sometimes fully formed apps that sometimes run in their own windows (but mostly they work like websites). You can launch them from the Apps tab in Google Chrome or Chrome’s Apps Launcher in Windows, Mac, and Chrome OS.
Now, let’s talk about the essential offline apps.
1. Google Drive
This is a no-brainer if you depend on Google Docs, Sheets and Slides to get your work done. Once the app is installed and active, you’ll be able to access your files offline as well as create and work on new files. When the internet connection is back, the changes will be saved to Drive’s servers.
When you spend most of your day in Gmail’s web app, it can be a bit sad when the website refuses to open. In times like these, it’s useful to have the offline app installed. Gmail Offline works like a desktop email client would. It downloads a database of your email so you can read all your email and take actions. You can even create new email messages. Once the internet is back, the app will send the emails out.
If you don’t use Google Docs, you do need a basic and reliable text editor for Chrome, especially for a Chromebook. Use Writebox whenever you want to write anything. Doesn’t matter if it’s only notes or if you’re working on your next big project. It will save everything in local storage.
5. Enjoy Music Player
Yup, there’s a basic music player app for Chrome. This one’s for Chrome OS users. If you have some songs stored offline, you can use Enjoy Music Player to play them instead of streaming songs online from Rdio or Play Music.
6. Polarr Photo Editor
Polarr is a heavy Chrome app. But it’s feature-rich photo editor. It’s nothing like Photoshop but if you want to do some basic editing like cropping, color correction, add filters and more, it’s a great app that runs offline.
When the internet is down, bring out the Solitaire!