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.