Google announced the possibility from today to download the desired part of the map to your smartphone and use it when the Internet is not at hand, wherever the user is – on a country road far from civilization or in the underground parking of a shopping center. Now offline users can view a detailed map, full-fledged route guidance, search for addresses, as well as other useful information, such as opening hours of organizations, their ratings and contacts.
To take advantage of the new feature, you must enter the address of interest, the name of the district, city or region in the search bar on Google Maps, and then select 'Download'. Another option is to go to the main Maps menu, select the 'Downloaded Areas' item and click on the '+' icon.
If the device has downloaded maps, the service will automatically go offline when the user needs it. As soon as the connection becomes stable again, the system will independently load up-to-date data, including information about road congestion, and will take into account the forecast of traffic jams when building a route. By default, the map download function only works when connected to Wi-Fi, which saves users mobile costs.
Over time, the developers plan to introduce even more offline features.