Patchy Internet No Longer A Concern, Courtesy Offline Google Maps!by Rajshree Faria November 20, 2015
All of us love adventure…going on a road trip, exploring uncharted territories, getting lost in unfamiliar regions. Well, at least some of us do; for the others, getting lost on their way to a destination can be a reason for panic rather than delight. If you are one of those panicky pandas, then worry no more, as our very dependable Google Maps has become even more dependable. Google India recently announced that Google Maps will now be available for offline use.
We may be living in an age where 3G/4G internet connectivity is fast gaining an audience, but the fact remains that not all areas of the country fall under high coverage network. Even within the urban areas, 3G connectivity is patchy at its best. So what do you do when you’re navigating to an unknown place, relying solely on your Google Maps to see you through the journey when you suddenly lose internet connectivity? Sigh in exasperation? Curse your communication company? Think about turning back? If you do any of these, then my dear amigos, Google has some happy news for you: you can now download Google maps for offline use!
At the Google I/O this year, the company had shown a few glimpses of this offline feature. However, it was only last week that they started rolling out this wonderfully helpful feature across the world.
Let’s give you a better idea as to how this will work. Say that you wish to head to Ladakh for your next trip. You have your cruiser bikes, gang of friends and everything else set for the plan to work. However, you soon realize that internet connectivity in the hilly terrain of Ladakh is a bust and your plan to Google Map your way ahead needs to be reconsidered. Instead of whining, thanks to the new Google update, now all you need to do is download the offline maps for Ladakh over Wi-Fi, and you are all set to go! No more relying on the internet for finding your way through the beautiful mountains…
Here is the step-by-step guide to download the offline Google Maps:
1. First of all make sure you are connected to the internet
2. Go to the Google Maps App
3. Sign up if you don’t have a Google Account. If you have one simply sign in
4. Search for a destination place, say ‘Mumbai CST’. Select the precise area you wish to save by pinching and zooming
5. To save the selected area go to the ‘Menu’ and click on ‘Make Available Offline’
If you think that it is only the route that Google offline maps will show you, you will pleasantly surprised to know that you are wrong. These maps will give you turn- by- turn driving directions, allow you to search for specific locations, help you with information like hours of operation of the selected café, shop, etc. However, offline maps provide turn-by-turn instructions only for driving, not walking or public transport. Yet, it is likely that Google will soon come up with ways to help with offline directions for other modes of transport too. Once the app connects to the internet, it will switch back to its online version, giving you access to the complete Google Map experience.
You may want to update your Google Maps app to the latest version, if you wish to make your way to your next dinner date without getting lost… as for iOS users; you will have to wait a while before the apple bites into this new feature!