Google announced last spring that it was finally going to deliver a full-featured version of offline maps. Sure, you’ve been able to store maps offline on mobile devices for a while now, but they weren’t very good for much other than panning around. Now you’ll be able to do a heck of a lot more.
Google said on Tuesday that Google Maps now supports full navigation, even when you don’t have an Internet connection. “Whereas before you could simply view an area of the map offline, now you can get turn-by-turn directions, search for specific destinations, and find useful information about places, like hours of operation and contact information or ratings.” That means the next time you’re on the subway moving into New York City, you’ll be able to figure out exactly where the nearest Best Buy is, and how late it’s open, all without worrying about having an Internet connection underground.
Interested in downloading an offline map? Just open up Google maps on Android, navigate to “Offline areas” in the menu, and tap the + button to add a new location. Then, you’ll need to choose the size of the offline area (the larger the area on the map, the more storage it will consume on your phone.) Then, whenever you don’t have a connection, Google will default to this saved data to provide you with navigation information.
The latest version of Google Maps for Android is rolling out today “gradually,” Google said, which means you might not find it available immediately. New features and support for iOS are coming later.