Google Maps has an offline mode that lets you download maps and get directions even when you're not connected to the internet. If you're traveling abroad or heading to a location with limited internet connectivity, a good option is to save that particular area offline so you can get driving directions and view points of interest and routes.
How to use Google Maps offline
- Search for the area you'd like to save offline from the Search here textbox. In this instance, I'm searching for New York City.
- Pull up from the bottom of the screen to access additional options.
- Tap Download.
- Select the area you'd like to download by zooming in or out. Larger the area, the more space it'll take up.
- Hit the Download button to start saving the area offline.
- Once the area is saved, you'll be able to use navigation options and look up locations even when you're offline as long as they're in that particular area.
Saved areas expire in 30 days, after which you'll have to update them to continue navigating them offline.
The feature is great for driving directions, but you won't have access to public transit information or walking directions, as both of those services rely on an internet connection to work. That said, taking areas offline is a good way to save data if you're on a metered plan or are navigation to a location with little to no internet connectivity.
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Harish Jonnalagadda is a Senior Editor overseeing Asia at Android Central. He leads the site's coverage of Chinese phone brands, contributing to reviews, features, and buying guides. He also writes about storage servers, audio products, and the semiconductor industry. Contact him on Twitter at @chunkynerd.