Remember when you used to have to pay for a GPS navigation device if you wanted turn-by-turn directions when you drive? Most smartphones now come with maps software and navigation features that work for free… assuming you’ve got an internet connection.
But what happens when you drive into a cellular dead zone? Now there’s a Google Maps for that.
Earlier this year Google announced that it would be bringing offline navigation support to Google Maps for Android, and now it’s ready to go. Offline navigation is also coming to Google Maps for iOS in the future.
In order to use offline navigation you’ll need to do a little prep work. You can download a map of a specific area to your phone when you do have internet service. Then you can continue to get directions as you travel, even if you’re underground or miles away from a cellular tower. Google Maps will automatically switch to offline navigation if it detects a poor connection.
Google has offered the ability to download maps for a while, but up until now if you didn’t have internet access you could view the maps but navigation wouldn’t work. Now you can get turn-by-turn directions.
The update also allows you to search the maps and view information about places on the map and view business hours, contact details, and ratings.