Google has updated its Google Maps for Android with the ability to download offline regional maps and use turn-by-turn navigation, even without an Internet connection. The updated app is now rolling out to Android smartphones in India.
Apart from offline navigation, you can also access information about any specific location. This includes information about nearby tourist places, banks and ATMs and restaurant. In offline mode, you can also pull up information about hours of operation, ratings and contact information as well.
It allows you to predetermine the exact area which you wish to gain offline access to in Maps. Once you’ve done that you can get turn-by-turn driving directions, search for specific destinations and find useful information about places from within your chosen patch even when you don’t have an internet connection.
However, the offline maps have a limitation. You cannot get real-time traffic information or even satellite view, for which Internet connectivity is required. However, I tried the offline navigation feature in Noida and found it to be quite handy with accurate turn-by-turn navigation as well as voice prompts.
Here’s how you can use the new Google Maps offline navigation feature from your Android smartphone.
- Open Google Maps application on your Android smartphone, tap on the three-bar Menu button on the top left corner and select ‘Offline Areas.’ On the bottom left corner, you have a ‘+’ button in blue color, tap on that, which will display the area map.
- You can pinch to zoom in/zoom out and select the area map you wish to download. At the bottom, it will also show you the amount of offline data the needs to download and the available space in the phone’s internal memory.
- To download the offline data, you need to be connected to a Wi-Fi network. While the earlier data download limit was 10MB, it has now been raised to 400MB. This data will expire in 30 days, after which you will have to update it to use. There is an option where you can manually update the maps as well.
- Now, even if the mobile data / Wi-Fi is turned off, you can search for directions within the map area. It will not only display the route from source to destination but also offer offline turn-by-turn voice navigation. For offline directions to work accurately, the GPS on your Android device should be turned on. While you do get offline navigation, for satellite view and traffic information, the phone should be connected to the Internet.
The update which brings these new offline features to Google Maps is live now on the Google Play Store and is expected to hit the Apple App Store in the coming weeks.