Google Maps is one of the most useful apps on our smartphones. The only problem is, when you lose your internet connection (which happens pretty often when you’re on the move in strange new places) you lose your map. But an update to offline Google Maps has just made things much easier.
In the latest Google Maps update, there’s now an easier way to download maps for offline use. What’s more, you can save much bigger areas than ever before and do much more with those maps. So the new Google Maps will be perfect for getting around while on holiday without racking up roaming charges.
How do I download Google Maps?
So let’s start with how you download maps for offline use. All you have to do is search for a location, then bring the location menu up from the bottom of the screen and hit ‘Download’. You’ll then be able to drag and zoom to select the exact area you want to save offline and hit ‘Download’ again.
Once downloaded, Google Maps will automatically switch to offline mode when it recognises you’re losing your connection. Once you’ve got signal again, it’ll switch back online so you get the full version of Maps, including live traffic conditions for your current route.
By default, you’ll only be able to download Google Maps while on Wi-Fi so you don’t burn through your data allowance.
What can I do with offline Google Maps?
Until now, all you could do with an offline map was view it – you may as well have bought an A-Z. But with this update, offline Google Maps lets you do a lot more.
You can get turn-by-turn navigation, search for specific places and even get information like opening hours, contact information and ratings. That means there’s a lot of information in your downloaded Google Maps, so you probably do want to download them over Wi-Fi unless you have an unlimited data plan.
The new Google Maps update will be available in the coming days on your Android phone (sorry iPhone owners, you’ll have to wait a bit according to Google). And Google says this is just the beginning for offline maps, there’ll be more updates coming soon so you can do even more when you don’t have signal.