Google has finally starting the roll out of offline navigation and search to Google Maps, allowing you to save a geographic area to navigate without the need for a connection. This feature was first previewed back at Google I/O, and it is just now beginning to roll out to users. With this, you'll be able to download an area by searching for a city, county or country, and then tapping the download button, or you can go to the Offline Areas section of Google Maps and add a new area.
Once the area is downloaded, you'll be able to navigate that as though you had a connection, meaning full turn-by-turn directions, the ability to search destinations within the area and everything.
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.
The feature will be gradually rolling out to Android users first, and Google will continue to add more offline features to continue to enhance your experience without a connection.