Listen To PodcastsYou can listen to music to pass the time or you could go with informative podcasts. We have previously written about podcast apps for various platforms (iOS,Android, Windows Phone).
One Android app we haven’t covered, yet, is Podcast Addict. Using this app, you can search audio and video podcasts by keywords or networks, subscribe to your favorites, manually add RSS feeds or YouTube channels, import OPML files, and download episodes for listening or watching them offline.
Download: Podcast Addict for Android (free)
Catch Up On Your Reading ListIf you’re like most people, you hardly have time to read all the interesting articles you come across on a daily basis. Maybe you could get through some of them, if you started reading during your commute. While doing nothing or reading novels can be very relaxing, it’s not always the best use of your time. Plenty of applications support offline reading and syncing between your desktop and your smartphone, it’s just a matter of finding what works best for you.
Pocket, formerly known as Read It Later, lets you save pretty much anything you can view in a browser, including articles and videos. You can even email content to your Pocket. When you have some Internet downtime, check your Pocket for entertainment.
Do you already use the Kindle app to read books? With Readability you can send articles from your desktop or its mobile apps to your favorite ebook reader and read them on the go. Simply add firstname.lastname@example.org to your Kindle approved email list, then send articles to your Kindle email address.
Download: Readability (free) for iOS, Android, Bookmarklets, and more.If you’re using RSS, you can go through your feeds with this add-free Android app that supports offline reading and Feedly. You’ll find more mobile RSS apps for various platforms in our Unofficial Feedly Guide.
Download: FeedMe (free) for Android.Did you know the web clipping service Evernote had an offline feature for mobile devices? It’s only available to Premium subscribers, but if you happen to be one, this is a feature you should take advantage of!
Download: Evernote (free, Premium option $5 per month or $45 per year) for iOS (our review), Android, Windows Phone, Blackberry, and more.
Improve Your Foreign Language SkillsWhether you’re a bloody beginner or have some basic skills, practicing a foreign language has many benefits. Apart from being able to eventually speak a few sentences or even have a conversation, it’s also a great way to sharpen your memory and expand your horizon. With new words and phrases come new insights.
The question is, can you learn a new language using your phone? Absolutely! If you’re lucky, the language you’re interested in is offered by Duolingo. You can learn Spanish, French, Italian, German, or Portuguese with the most engaging, fun, and best tool out there. And it’s completely free!
If you’re not so lucky, give Babbel a try. Here you can currently pick from 13 different languages. You can try the tool for free or try to get a Babble study licensefree via MakeUseOf Rewards.
Play Games To Improve Your MemoryIs it possible to have fun and be productive at the same time? Kill two birds with one stone by playing games that sharpen your memory. Be sure to set an alarm, as time will fly as you are drawn into these brain teasers.
Edit Your To Do ListsYou can be all low tech and do this on a digital or even physical notepad or you can employ an app. If you pay for Premium, you could use Evernote to manage your TO Do list while your phone is offline. A free alternative that offers unlimited offline editing and one free sync per 24 hours is Remember The Milk.
Download: Remember The Milk (free, Pro option for $25 per year) for iOS (our review), Android, and more.
How Do You Kill Mobile Downtime Productively?There is so much more you can do to pass the time in a constructive way. Sometimes, doing nothing can be the best thing do do and it doesn’t require an app! If you need to stay buy, however, you can find many more free productivity apps for Android and iOS on our respective Top Lists.
What else do you do with your smartphone?