Google Contemplating Offline, Locally Stored Maps for Android?
Google may be considering taking its turn-by-turn Google Maps with Navigation offline soon to give non-connected devices the ability to navigate sans a continuous mobile broadband connection. This would benefit the Android platform greatly in a number of ways, and could potentially allow customers a way to save on data consumption in an age where carriers are mulling about moving to tiered and metered data plans and away from unlimited options.
First, offline and locally stored Google Maps for the Android platform would allow WiFi-only tablets and Android-powered music players with GPS built-in to navigate without having to rely on WiFi or a mobile portable hotspot router like a Novatel MiFi to provide broadband connectivity. These devices can be used like a standalone GPS navigator on the go, and Google can potentially better leverage its Android operating system for car units if it wants to enter the car info-tainment market and compete against Microsoft and QNX, which is now owned by Research in Motion.
Second, these maps would provide for more utility in areas where there is spotty cellular reception or in areas.
And more importantly, with more platforms looking at GPS solutions, it would give Google an advantage. As Windows Phone 7 will likely be getting navigation solutions from Nokia Maps, which is available offline, Google will be able to keep up with or stay ahead of the competition.
Tech enthusiast in Silicon Valley enjoying the possibilities of ubiquitous connectivity, information sharing, and collaboration enabled by mobile broadband. You can contact Chuong on Twitter @chuongvision or search +chuongvision on Google+.