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The One Feature the Offline Maps in Google Maps Need Right Now
The support for offline maps is, without a doubt ,one of the most important features of Google Maps, and it’s not difficult to see why.

The One Feature the Offline Maps in Google Maps Need Right Now

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With offline maps, the application can continue offering step-by-step guidance to a user-defined destination even when an Internet connection is missing. In other words, this feature comes in super handy when driving in a tunnel, in regions with spotty cellular reception, or simply when you don’t want to use mobile data for the whole thing.

The offline maps in Google Maps are what prevent so many users from switching to other navigation apps, which in some regards, offer even more advanced capabilities.

For example, Waze is an excellent piece of software when it comes to finding a faster route to a specific destination. However, given it relies on real-time data received from other mobile devices and drivers on the road, Waze needs a permanent Internet connection. As a result, the support for offline maps wouldn’t make much sense, so the feature isn’t available (you can still use Waze without an Internet connection, and we detailed the entire process here).

But while the offline maps in Google Maps are such a great feature, they come with one major drawback: a poorly-implemented downloading system that makes getting the offline maps quite a major pain in the neck.

More specifically, whenever you want to download offline maps in Google Maps, the application restricts the process to a limited area – you can pinch in and out to reduce and increase the area to download, but even so, you can’t retrieve large maps anyway.

In other words, if you want to download offline maps for an entire country, this isn’t possible. You’ll have to get the maps for a specific region and then repeat the process until you cover the entire land you want to save offline.

It goes without saying this isn’t at all a convenient workaround, and just imagine how difficult it’d be to download all the necessary maps before leaving on a journey and passing through the borders of several countries. You’d first have to figure out which route you want to go and then manually download the maps for each region just to make sure Google Maps covers the area.

Other navigation apps out there, including the software from HERE, allows you to download offline maps for an entire country. And this makes a lot more sense, especially for drivers who want to stick with the offline navigation within the borders of a specific country without worrying they didn’t download the maps in advance.

The easiest way to download the maps for a specific region in Google Maps right now is to search for the location in the application and then look for the Download button in the lower right corner of your smartphone (the process works the same on both iPhone and Android).

For instance, if you want to download the offline maps for New York, just type the name of the city in the search box. Then look at the bottom of the screen, and you should see a download button that lets you save the offline maps on the device – however, you’ll still have to manually select the region you want to save, as you can’t get the entire city, as explained earlier.

At this point, there’s still no indication that Google is working on any improvements in this regard, but we drivers would definitely love a more straightforward way to download the offline maps for a whole country, especially given there’s no logical explanation for not allowing such capabilities in the first place (other than the storage factor, but this doesn’t make much sense today anymore given new iPhones, for instance, come with 1TB of storage).

 
 
 
 
 

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