CategoryTips

Tips I find online and use in my life.

Mainely Offline

Did you know you can download a large area from Google Maps for offline use?

Google Maps app with Offline Maps circled.
Select Offline Maps.

By opening Google Maps on my Android phone, I pressed the hamburger menu in the search bar, just below the Wifi-Only toggle, there’s an option for Offline Maps. Press it and press Select Your Own Map.

This will open the map with a large box. Move it around and zoom out as far as you like to capture the area. It will tell you how much storage you’ll need to use. (Almost the entire state of Maine was only 140mb). Download this and you’ll have it available to you offline.

Select area of map to download offline, with the state of Maine selected.
Zoom out for a larger area.

As a rule, I do this with my home area, just in case I’m ever in a situation where I need it. Maps will update your offline information every month automatically, with options to do so more frequently, or remove the data entirely.

It won’t give you the full Maps experience, but you can search for specific places like “Hannaford” (a local grocery store) or “Acadia National Park” and you’ll be given turn-by-turn navigation. It worked flawlessly for the entire week we were without non-roaming cell phone reception.

The state of Maine selected for offline use, using 149MB and expiring in a month unless updated.
Maine, Offline!

As I lack even the most basic sense of direction, this saved me and got me all over the state without issue. Here’s a sample of the trips made with completely offline Google Maps while in Maine.

131 miles from Belfast to Acadia National Park.
150 miles from Belfast to Booth Bay Harbor. (Not counting the whale watching.)

Stop YouTube videos from autoplaying

I subscribe to a number of YouTube channels. I like to queue up the videos I want to watch all at once. Then I go back and reorder and watch them. As you may know, YouTube loves to auto-play every single video you open.

I’ve stopped Flash from auto-playing on the Google Chrome browser already. But YouTube uses HTML5 video when Flash isn’t available. So they play anyway.

Until now!

So if you’re tired of videos bleating in the background without your consent, we’re completely with you! 🙂

That’s why we’ve created a Chrome plugin to help you stop HTML5 videos from playing. The videos will auto-pause right after page load. Buffering will start anyway.

Here’s a link to the plugin in the Chrome Web Store

This plugin works flawlessly with YouTube. I can open 10 videos and while they buffer in the background, not a single sound comes across my headphones because nothing is playing.

When I’m ready to play them, I press play and they’re already pre-loaded.

Chrome Quick Tip – Pull multiple tabs into a new window

If you’ve ever used the Google Chrome browser, you know all about tabs and how you can drag a tab into a new window. But did you know you can select a group of tabs and pull all of them into a new window?

  1. Select a tab
  2. Hold CTRL on the PC or on the Mac and select multiple tabs.
  3. Pull those tabs off the tab bar and into a new window.
  4. Enjoy your new set of tabs.
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