For a large number of users, Google Maps is likely to be one of the most useful apps they have ever downloaded. By being able to save you from twisted European streets, or getting you around all of that nasty traffic during rush hour, Google Maps is a very powerful piece of software that should arguably be on everyone’s phone.
However, there are those moments where you’re travelling about and find yourself unable to navigate where you are if you don’t have an Internet connection, which can be a real headache since you may have no idea where you are. Fortunately, the folks at Google were smart enough to include a feature that allows you to save certain map segments for offline use.
By saving an area for offline use, you’ll be able to get directions and see routes like you normally would be able to if you had an Internet connection. You’re also able to search for points of interest within that area, and it’ll load perfectly fine. There are a couple of drawbacks, though. You won’t be able to get walking, biking, or transit directions, and you won’t able to see traffic on those routes. Depending on the situation you’ll be using this in though, that may not be too bad of a drawback.
How to save a city for offline use
If you’re going to be travelling to a city overseas and won’t have Internet access, follow these steps and you’ll be covered.
- Make sure that you have an Internet connection and that you’re signed into Google Maps with your Google account.
- Search the name of the city in Google Maps.
- Tap the bar at the bottom to open up the page for the city you’re searched.
- Tap the “Download” button.
You can find all your saved areas by opening the Google Maps app, tapping the 3 lines at the top left, and then choosing “Offline areas.” You’ll also just be able to search for things in an offline area as you normally would –
How to save an area around a point of interest
If you need just the area around a certain restaurant or train station, here’s what to do:
- Get on an Internet connection and log into Google Maps with your Google account.
- Search the name of the point of interest in Google Maps.
- Tap the bar at the bottom to expand the information area for the point of interest.
- At the top right, tap the three dots to open another menu.
- Tap “Download offline area”
Just the same as before, you’ll be able to navigate around that area without a problem now.
How to save a custom area of any size
You can also zoom in on a specific amount of space (as long as it’s under 120,000 square kilometres) to save for offline use by doing the following:
- Ensure you’re signed into Google Maps.
- Tap the three bars at the top left of the screen.
- Tap “Offline areas” to open up your already saved areas.
- At the bottom right of the screen, tap the “+”
- Zoom in on an area you’d like to save and choose “Download”
All of the areas that you have saved on your device will expire after 30 days and be deleted automatically to save space on your device. To prevent this from happening, and to re-download new updates in an already saved area, simply tap the 3 bars on the top left, choose Offline areas, and tap on the area you want to update again.
Next time you’re travelling, consider using this nifty feature – it could save you quite a navigational headache.