Fear of traveling outside the scope of Google Maps is dreaded among hiker, traveler and cab-rider alike. With nearly 60 percent of the world lacking internet, it’s possible you’ve run into a dead zone during your trip from one side of Wisconsin to the other, or during your hike through mountains in Colorado. Thankfully Google Maps is acknowledging the need for offline navigation. Similar to downloading a certain song off of Spotify to allow listeners access whenever, this new Google Maps will provide availability to a certain area of the globe even when without internet.
Traveling abroad without a map is an anxiety provoking thought. However, Google’s update will target travelers who wish to save on pricey data plans by downloading the area of travel via Wi-Fi. Once saved, users will be able to access foreign cities, roads, business locations and more within the downloaded area. As reported by Google Product Manager Amanda Bishop, after downloading the latest Google Maps update, the app will automatically go offline once realizing it’s being used in an area lacking connectivity. These areas can be added to “Offline Areas” in the Google Maps menu with the “+” button. Because Google cares about your data bill, offline areas will only be downloaded when connected to Wi-Fi.
This update is available for both iOS and Android users. Older smartphone users be warned– the preliminary download is rather large, so make sure your phone has the required space (36.1 MB on iOS devices) and you have the time to stick around a Wi-Fi secure area. Once downloaded, it’s smooth sailing– and that applies to wherever you may go.