Technology with attitude

No Internet Access? Google Maps still Guides You Home Safely

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Navigating to a remote place with no internet access can be a challenge sometimes.

For those living in rural areas where internet connection isn’t much a priority or a possibility, there’s a reason to smile. Google has just made it possible for you to get to your destination safely, even without data access, all courtesy of Google Maps. In May 2015, during the Google I/O conference, Google made it public that it was working in an offline mode of the popular navigation app to get people through their journeys even without a connection. The great invention has indeed hit the markets, and you have a reason to smile once again without giving a thought about internet access.

But how is that possible, since Google Maps, just like Waze, has always depended on the internet for all its functionalities? So, you thought. Well, according to the tech giants, you will be able to download a map of a place you intend to visit and use it when the appropriate time arrives. And the process is so simple.

Just get yourself some internet connection and sign into your Google account. Open your Google Maps app and type in your destination. Now, at the bottom, tap the bar with the name of your searched destination. On the upper right side, tap the menu option. You can simply save the map by tapping “Save offline map” option and follow the directions given on your screen.

So, what features does the Google Map offline give you? You will get a turn-by-turn direction guide, venue reviews, and search for different locations in the saved map. All without a connection. What’s even interesting, you don’t have to type a complete word, the autocomplete search will do the rest for you. You can also get new routes suggestions, same as on Waze, while in offline mode. For the lovers of voice commands, no room for worries as the feature is still intact in the offline mode. Another feature includes a display of hours of business for different shops, restaurants, museums and others on the map.

The map downloading facility is limited to a radius of 50km but allows a wider view through zooming. The saved map pages are more of the original maps on the app with an internet connection and not a screenshot. As you get closer, the map also displays the names and streets of buildings.

All these had already been tested and proven, and Google even gave a demo during the Google I/O with a phone on airplane mode. The tech giants are also eyeing an entirely new era of the offline mode without having to save the map of a region which is later viewed via My Maps section of Google Maps. This will be especially useful for the saved maps only last for 30 days on the device. This can be viewed as a minor update, but it will go a long way to making the world a better place worth traveling with a smartphone.