Google Maps adds offline turn-by-turn navigation, search, and more

by: Andrew GrushNovember 10, 2015

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During this year’s Google I/O we learned that fully featured offline navigation would be making its way to Google Maps before 2015 was over. Now Google is making good on its promise, as they have announced that offline navigation and search is rolling out!

While it was possible to use Google Maps offline in a limited fashion before, the newly upgraded offline functionality gives you the power to select entire cities, counties, or even countries to download. Once downloaded, you’ll have the ability to get turn-by-turn navigations, search for locations, and more.


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.

While offline functionality is exceptionally important for those with limited data or for those in countries where data speeds are slower, this is also a welcome addition for those who find themselves travelling country roads, small towns, and other areas where data connections might be spotty. As someone who has family in a neighboring city and has to pass a dead spot that lasts about twenty minutes every time I visit them, I certainly am very excited about getting access to fully-featured offline maps! Of course, in usual Google fashion, you can expect the functionality to start rolling out gradually.

What does everyone think, do you see yourself using this regularly? Or are the data connections in your area strong enough that it is really a non-issue? Let us know your thoughts in the comments.

  • Jeff Moreira

    I’ve never managed to use this off-line option on GMaps, if you zoom out you download only the main road, then if you zoom in you cannot see the little streets.
    if you zoom in and download the map, the area will be very small so it will be pointless.
    Hopefully this update will fix it, otherwise I stick with Here maps for offline use.

    • You’re missing the point of the article. Google maps USED to have limited offline functionality, where as now it has full offline navigational support.

      So only from today onwards have you been able to use this feature.

      • Jeff Moreira

        Yep, you are right. So I guess I will stick with Here maps then.

  • Deb G


    • Gangsta101

      Seriously, its taken forever. I absolutely love Google Maps. I tried to replace Nokia Here for a while, and then one day I was searching for a UPS office in a neighboring city and HERE took me to a restaurant, insisting it was UPS,?
      Let’s just say I’ve stuck with Google since then. For better and worse

  • Kliment Stamenkov

    I need offline turn-by-turn navigation when I go on vacation and Nokia HERE Maps have offered me that while Google Maps didn’t even have online turn-by-turn navigation in my area. It’s nice to see Google Maps have this feature as well. I’ll check it out and hopefully it will finally have turn-by-turn navigation in my country. But I’ll say Google Maps have definitely saved me and my family when we were on vacation a few years ago.

    • mcdonsco

      Where are you that Google maps doesn’t work? I haven’t even heard of places at all that Google maps doesn’t work in for navigation; always thought it was pretty much universal.

      • Пешо Пешев

        He lives in my country and obviously is fucking idiot… Turn-by-turn navigation work great here and every month Google maps eats at least 2GB from my data plan…

      • Kliment Stamenkov

        Turn-by-turn navigation doesn’t work in Macedonia. Only shows a preview.

  • ChrisPollard77

    This will be great when travelling out of country – and being able to download maps for navigation before I leave. That gets rid of one of the very few reasons I get a second SIM when I cross borders … data for Google Maps. Can’t wait for the update!

  • Arman

    This is one of the best features! Very welcoming improvement..

  • Da_James

    US only. One more time. I’m a hardcore android enthousiast, but this is getting on my nerves.

  • Paleorecipe24

    Really amazing works and also save Google Maps for offline use

  • Rooney-

    Wow! finally it is here! I say it is “HERE” :P

  • Richard M Henderson

    When is this going to happen? I just got a maps update and can still only download about 300 miles worth.

  • Paulo D’Andréa

    This is not working in Brazil, is it US only again?
    It makes no sense because in the I/O the showed Mexico City.

  • Chris Eager

    “As someone who has family in a neighboring city and has to pass a dead spot that lasts about twenty minutes every time I visit them, I certainly am very excited about getting access to fully-featured offline maps!”

    You need GMaps to find your way there still?