Google Maps is putting the nail in the coffin on standalone GPS units by making maps available for offline use for turn-by-turn navigation. Those standalone GPS units were great when you didn’t have access to the internet or when you didn’t want to use data when travelling, but their days are numbered.
There have been other apps that have downloadable maps with GPS functionality, but the reality is most of us use Google Maps and don’t want to use another GPS app on our smartphones. Google Maps is one of the most inclusive mapping apps you can get your hands on with the ability to provide traffic updates, gasoline prices, satellite images, public transportation routes, terrain and so much more. And with Google Maps we have been able to download maps for offline viewing, we just couldn’t use it in combination with a GPS signal for navigation.
You can now download areas of the map by searching for a city, county or country and then tapping “Download” or by going to “Offline Areas” in the menu and tapping the “+” button. Google Maps will then recognize when you’re in the area with spotty service and automatically switch to offline mode. Once a connection is found again, it will move you back into online mode so you can stay up to date on things like traffic conditions. A GPS signal does not require cell service to work but it does need a map to show you where you are located on a map. And of course, Google will download areas of the map to your device when you are on a Wi-Fi signal unless you specify otherwise since maps do take up a large chunk of data.
Are you ready to sail the route of Christopher Columbus? Let us know in the comments below.
Source – Google Maps