Google Maps update with new offline maps option pushed out after public backlash

July 11, 2013
21 76 25

Offline Maps Update
Less than a couple of days after the most recent Google Maps update for Android comes yet another software revision, this time to re-add an old feature that was found to be “cleverly hidden” and only accessible via a mildly interesting easter egg. Users were outraged when it was discovered that the latest version of Google Maps for Android apparently lacked an option to save maps for offline use. And that is exactly what Google aims to take care off with its most recent software push.

In an earlier report, we showed you that performing a search with the words “OK Maps” inside the new Google Maps activated a hidden feature. Now, that will no longer be necessary because the Google Maps engineering team “has been working around the clock” to add a “Make this map area available offline” card for users, making the option to save maps for offline use much easier to access.

It’s nothing like the old offline maps feature, to be sure, but it’s better than nothing. And it shows that Google still listens to its customers — that is, the users — and knows how to implement necessary changes to even its flagship products in a timely manner.

It’s worth pointing out that many Android users won’t even be affected by the latest changes to Google Maps. It still isn’t available in certain regions and many devices aren’t even compatible with it to begin with. In any case, those who do have the option to use the new Google Maps will have at least one less thing to worry about now. But are the latest changes enough? Share your thoughts in the comments.

Comments

  • TechGuy

    Perhaps they will also re-enable a scale bar option. Distances are normally an integral feature of a map!.

    • http://www.davidvgonzales.com/ David Gonzales

      Who’s up for another backlash!

    • Claret

      Agree-thought it was just my new phone!

  • harrold

    I havent even GOTTEN the updated UI
    ———————————————————————————
    :D

  • foggyflute

    I have the current one backed up and will resign it to make sure no update will affect me until all of those anoy things go away.

    Already running older version of Skype (no character support for my language due to a bullshit thinner fonts – why they cant just use their own SegoeUI?) and Go backup (too much pushing me to pay for things I don’t need), another one in the list is not too bad, Gmaps new nav is worthless here anyway.

    • dudeyo

      Jesus! I’m in the middle of my travels in europe and I saved all my travel maps and POI on previous version. I wake up yesterday morning and the damn thing auto updated. Now I lost all my trip info! This is such not a useful update!

      • http://www.davidvgonzales.com/ David Gonzales

        Wow, that sucks. Sorry to hear that.

  • Chris Boots

    Offline maps is a major feature for me especially when going abroad where data costs a fortune or working out in the sticks I would be really pissed if they removed this!

    • TechGuy

      I believe Google are already pushing an update that includes this. If you have not got the latest version, try entering the search “OK Maps” as mentioned in the article. This will cache your selected area for you,

      • gargi

        It’s not only offline maps. It’s the measurement tool, the on-screen zoom buttons, lost navigation app.
        Seems like the recent trend it to remove useful features to make apps look “nicer”.
        Thanks but no thanks- keeping old maps, old gmail, and old skype until they bring back the usefulness to these apps.

  • gargi

    The recent updates to Google apps are rubbish. I use the old Gmail, now I blocked automatic updates of Maps. Waiting for the next iteration when they actually bring back useful features (like number of unread emails on main screen of Gmail, and normal offline maps)

  • kirbalo

    On my WiFi Nexus 7, this WAS a great feature to have…it’s now not nearly as easy to save a map for offline use. Before, you would see a template of what was being saved, and the memory size required. Now, it just says “The onscreen map area is too large, Zoom in first.” Worthless… Thanks Google!

  • jdufresne

    Not enough. Give me my Latitude back. The Google+ option is for shit.

  • rongyaozai

    tinyurl.com/d2tf87t eyerye

  • Dave

    So the latest trend for google is to lose features in order to make sure it looks nice and is easier to use. They seems to be heading the in the direction of apple. Getting away from that mentality was my main reason for switching to android and why I loved google.

  • BrianD

    What about about search while in nav mode? I am a field service engineer and always use search to find nearby POI. It is now uninstalled until they roll out this feature.

  • Bob Smith

    Completely agree with comments below. This is BS and completely do not understand the thought process behind it. The new map has lost lots of features (i.e. Gas layer, GPS distance, etc). This is an app that was perfect the way it was IMO. If they wanted it to look different they could have changed the color scheme, etc…but don’t get rid of features. If anything they should be adding. For instance would be nice to be able to have customizeable layers based on a search criteria. For instance let’s say I’m interested in having a rest stop layer I could do a search for rest stops and save it as a layer on top of my route.

  • Nasrul

    I can’t set my Home and Work location properly because it only allow address entry instead of other options (by map or import from starred locations or from other apps. U can’t even rename starred location). For now I’m sticking to Waze as primary mapping , GPS and navigation app

  • Guest

    July 17th – I am soooo upset. Out of town on business and I have gotten lost everyday because this no longer works. Now I have to go spend money on an actual GPS because I am traveling the West Coast. Arrrrrghhhhh!

    July 29th – Why is this still not working for me on my Samsung Galaxy Note 2????? I travel alot and rely on my Navigation, It has always been one of the selling points to why I choose Android, but now I have resorted to downloading Mapquest and I just recently bought a Magellan. I CAN NOT keep getting lost while out of town on business. Very unhappy with Google the way I was when I left Microsoft Phones and I.E.

    I am sooooooooo PISSED!!

  • Alalia Lundy

    July 29th – Why is this still not working for me on my Samsung Galaxy Note 2????? I travel alot and rely on my Navigation, It has always been one of the selling points to why I choose Android, but now I have resorted to downloading Mapquest and I just recently bought a Magellan. I CAN NOT keep getting lost while out of town on business. Very unhappy with Google the way I was when I left Microsoft Phones and I.E.

    I am sooooooooo PISSED!!

    • Alalia Lundy

      I read other comments and it at least appears that it is working for you all. It can’t find me on the map, it no longer speaks to me. It doesn’t move, it just hovers around the area I am in and once I leave that area, it can’t find me. I even tried manually clicking next step, but that only goes so far as if not to let me see where I am going because I am not in that area, which I am but since it can’t see where I am ….arrrrrrghghgh, I know I am venting, but if you can’t imagine how upset I am, read it in my post.

  • dave

    New update is utter rubbish. Googke have been going downhill with everything lately, just look at the search results. Its full of junk and unrelated stuff

  • PcTech

    Google acts like a Dictator, arbitrary doing whatever wants. We shouldn’t accept this ! Like the mess with new (very bad) Gmail “interface”, stilling back the “offline maps”.

  • Not Happy

    The new version of Google Maps would need a copy of the old Google Maps in order to figure out where it went wrong.

  • http://www.obleemusic.com Eric Kiefer

    It is still awful and no response from Google, and a quick Google search reveals they are not displaying results with negative reviews of this awful product.