Reading Anywhere & Anytime

This guide is designed to offer some advice on how to read information on your mobile without the need for an internet connection.

One of the great things about mobile devices is that they can connect to wireless internet anywhere, anytime – when there’s one available! If you find yourself in a black spot and out of reception, running low on data or on a WiFi only device in the middle of nowhere it can be a struggle to really use the device. Never fear though there are a range of options to ensure that you can download and store information for times when you choose or are forced offline!


Not only are they extremely portable and handy but eBooks live on your device. Regardless if they were bought in the Kindle, iBooks, Kobo or Google stores eBooks remain accessible on your device and don’t require an internet connection. Additional services – like page, notes and annotation syncing – might not be available, you will be able to read and annotate locally which can sync later on.

Save it Later

There are a number of services that allow you to access and save web resources to read later. These require you to sign up to the service but then by using a simple bookmarklet you can save it to read later. Many of these services also allow remove advertising and site navigation to improve the reading experience and allow you to focus distraction free on the article or post.

There’s a comparison of the services on Lifehacker if you would like to know more.

Create eBooks

Send to Kindle is a really interesting feature provided by Amazon that allows you to send documents and web pages to read on your device. This service isn’t limited to Kindle eReaders – you can send it to any device with the Kindle App. Open the app and download the files while online and you’re ready for you to read offline!

Wikipedia has an amazing (and under-utilised) feature allows you to create eBooks based on articles on the site. The Book Creator allows you to assemble posts into a downloadable eBook or PDF and allows you to actually order a printed copy. This handy workflow shows you how!

Another option for creating eBooks is Calibre – which not only helps you manage your eBook collection across devices, but also lets you create and convert them from existing documents!


PDFs allow you to save almost anything to a file which can then be accessed on your device in a range of different applications. PDFs can be created by saving or exporting from most application but you can also use the Save As PDF option or by using Adobe PDF as a printer when you choose to Print a document or file. Once you have a PDF you can send files to your device via email or use a cloud service to sync like Dropbox.

Offline Cloud

Dropbox does have an offline mode built into the mobile application. Any documents or folders you want to access offline just add them to your favourites. This stores a copy locally on the device which will remain synced. It’s always best to open the app while connected to the web and check you have the most recent copy of the file before you head out!

Image Credit: Zak Mensah on Flickr

I’m the Innovation Technology Officer here at CSU where I make, think, help, support, train and advise on technology in Education.

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One comment on “Reading Anywhere & Anytime
  1. Sue Sturgess says:

    Hi Tim. Just want to let you know that I found th course that you ran with Karen on using your mobile device to be REALLY helpful. Thanks for your patience with all of us!