You can now take your Google Maps experience offline. No more relying on Wi-Fi or Internet connections. The update has been added to the Google Play Store, allowing the more than 400 million activated devices (assuming they have Android 3.0 and higher) in on the exploring action. The new functionality makes regions of a map available for saving in more than 150 countries worldwide.

If you're an international man/woman of mystery, an update like this will allow you to trot the globe with ease. You can store up to six large metro areas on your device for quick reference, which is handy when Wi-Fi or cellular data is MIA. In addition, GPS will still work without an Internet connection, so you can easily navigate Paris or London or wherever it is you're traveling to this summer.

Finally, there's also a smoother and faster Compass Mode for Street View, Google said, which the search giant described as "the next best thing to being there." The update is available for free now. We're downloading now, and as soon as it's down, we'll be sure to bring you our hands-on impressions.

[via Google LatLong Blog]