Google will soon be bringing a major new feature to its Maps app for iOS: full offline support. Google Maps has some utility already when used offline, but an upcoming update will make it much more robust when used without Internet access. For example, before you could see an area on Google Maps offline but not do much else with it. Coming soon, Google will enable features including navigation and business information lookup without requiring an active Internet connection.
Google Maps’ upcoming offline features work by allowing you to first download sections of the map for offline use ahead of time. Once you download an area over Wi-Fi, even features like search and viewing business hours and ratings will work without ever touching your cellular data.
Some features will still require an active Internet connection when using Google Maps, as you would expect, like receiving traffic alerts during your route. But all in the all, offline mode for navigation and search should be huge for loads of users whether you’re counting data under a capped plan or just have poor access to a cellular connection in low coverage areas.
Google Maps’ new offline mode feature is rolling out on Android today, the company says, and coming soon to iOS. Google also recently updated Maps to work with Apple Watch.
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Great! Downloading maps has been useful for me when overseas and not wanting to pay extra for cellular data. (As GPS still works, it’s great for figuring out where you are without looking like a tourist, pulling out a map.) This will make offline mode even more useful.
Am I missing something? Right now, when I download maps in Google Maps I cannot zoom in to see street detail. It’s pretty useless at the moment. Will this fix it?
That’s what it says:
> but an upcoming update will make it much more robust when used without Internet access. For example, before you could see an area on Google Maps offline but not do much else with it. Coming soon, Google will enable features including navigation and business information lookup without requiring an active Internet connection.
I assume navigation means more details on the streets/lanes and so on.
Here by Nokia … offline maps with navigation for at least a year …
Apple Maps on iOS had this since day 1. It downloads the directions you ask for in the background. Works like a charm when abroad.
I generally like the Apple Maps app, but at least here, it’s often not nearly as good as Google Maps for directions.
Apple Maps still doesn’t have Offline Maps like Google has had for a while now, much less what they’ve just announced. At issue is being able to download an area in advance and save it to your device. You can then be offline, and view the map data. Google has had this for a while, Apple has not developed this yet. Google is now announcing that in addition to viewing the map data, you’ll be able to request routing, lookup business information and receiving navigation all while offline, as long as you downloaded that map in advance.
Think of it this way…
Imagine you’re going to a city in another country and won’t have international data roaming. With Google Maps, you can download that city before leaving the country. When you land, you’d be able to use Google Maps for the city just as if you were online the entire time.
Don’t confuse this with Map Caching, which is what Apple Maps (and Google Maps) is capable of. With Apple Maps, you can look up an area and it will stay on the device, until the cache is purged, which the user has no control over. Additionally, you can’t start a routing request offline, or lookup any business. At best, for offline use, Apple Maps can cache navigation instructions, but if you drive far enough offline, the maps become a grid of blank tiles.
Another important point here is safety. If you go hiking in a particular area, you might not want to always have navigation turned on, but with Google Maps, you can download the area and then use it offline during an emergency.
You’re absolutely right. Caching is the correct term, this is what Apple Maps does. For me, it works like a charm. I live in Europe, and cross countries by car until I reach my destination. I don’t buy SIM cards for the countries I cross but do at my endpoint. So without Internet in some countries Apple Maps uses its cached data which works fine. Indeed, only if you don’t wonder off too far.
Is this for the US only? I’m wondering if Japan will be supported in the future.
Google Maps is adding offline navigation and search.Offline maps. I like this new features.
Good job Google.https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IKeUe8Bn-Tg&list=PLK2ccNIJVPpAlYHL7UaTP5uUs6eux28ZG