This feature was announced at Google I/O in May this year, and now the company is making the Offline maps available to Android users.
With this update, you will be able to use Google Maps without internet connection and use features such as turn-by-turn driving directions, search destinations, and find information about places – such as opening hours, contact information or ratings.
As mentioned by Google, you need to initially download the area over WiFi connection to make it available for offline use.
To download an area, you can search by city or country then tap Download, or you can add by going in to Offline Areas under Google Maps menu then tap the plus (+) button.
With areas downloaded for offline use, Google Maps will automatically switch to offline mode if you lose internet connectivity, then back to online mode should there be connection available.
Though other features on Google Maps such as live traffic and other traffic related alerts still require internet connection.
Basic offline maps feature was available since 2012, but not as robust as this update. Before, you can download an area and see it offline without the ability to search places and turn-by-turn directions. Now you will be able to download an entire city and search places such as movie theatres without internet connection.
Additionally, Google recommends downloading areas for offline use over WiFi connection to avoid large data fees. Offline Maps features is already rolling out to Android users, will be available to iOS users soon, per Google’s blog post.
According to Google, average phone is offline about 10 percent of the day, and 60 percent of the world is still without internet. Thus, this robust Offline Maps feature could be really helpful when you are travelling to a new city or do not have available internet connection.