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November 10, 2015

Full-Featured Offline Google Maps

Google Maps has a really cool mobile app for Android and iOS, but most of its features aren't available when you're offline. You can cache maps for small regions and that's pretty useful, but what if you want to cache the maps for an entire country or use navigation and driving directions when you're in a different country? The Here app offers this feature for free and now you can use it in Google Maps too.

"Now you can download an area of the world to your phone, and the next time you find there's no connectivity — whether it's a country road or an underground parking garage — Google Maps will continue to work seamlessly. Whereas before you could simply view an area of the map offline, now you can get turn-by-turn driving directions, search for specific destinations, and find useful information about places, like hours of operation, contact information or ratings," mentions Google.

"You can download an area by searching for a city, county or country, for instance, and tapping 'Download' on the resulting place sheet, or by going to 'Offline Areas' in the Google Maps menu and tapping on the + button. Once downloaded, Google Maps will move into offline mode automatically when it recognizes you're in a location with spotty service or no connectivity at all. When a connection is found, it will switch back online so you can easily access the full version of Maps, including live traffic conditions for your current route."

The new feature is gradually rolling out in the latest version of Google Maps for Android and it will soon be added to the iOS app. 6 years after launching turn-by-turn navigation, this feature works offline and Google Maps can finally replace paid navigation apps.


  1. This is handy when my buddies go camping. If we stray or take a pit stop, sometimes the map data won't load. This could potentially be a life saving feature.

  2. Should hope Google maps will be able to start the maps on a SD card--otherwise pretty useless.

  3. Offline feature is not working. ( unable to search for navigate)

  4. Offline feature is not working. ( unable to search for navigate)

  5. Doesn't anyone remember that this USED to be a feature of the Google Maps app about 4-5 years ago? Then Google revamped the Maps app in the name of "simplifying" and removed so many of the features that made it actually useful.

    1. No, it hasn't been. Caching only displayed the map, most features weren't available (search, navigation, directions).

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