These days many smartphone owners use Google Maps for navigation and directions almost daily, simply because it’s so easy and convenient. However if you’re like me, you’ve been frustrated by a lack of cell phone service or signal while traveling at some point. Thankfully Google Maps has a feature built-in where we can save maps offline for later use.
As we all know while traveling across the country, or even your own state, you don’t always have service or a strong data connection for Google Maps and navigation. In fact, some could lose a connection altogether and have Google Maps give you a blank page right when you need directions the most. Google’s “make this map available offline” feature has been around for a long time, but the way you use it has changed. Here we’ll show you how to do it with a few simple steps.
Back in June of 2013 an update to Google Maps actually removed this extremely useful tool and feature, but thankfully less than two weeks later Google issued an update adding it back, and making it even easier to access. If you’ve ever wondered how to save maps to use while offline, the video below will explain all three easy ways to do so.
Simply open Google Maps on your smartphone or tablet and navigate to the area of choice you’d like to save for offline use. If you know a certain part of a drive may lose service, or just in general for certain parts of a trip, and make sure it’s on your screen. From here it’s dead simple. Tap the white Google Search bar up top and type (or say) “ok maps” in the search bar, and it instantly caches (saves) the map and puts it temporarily on your phones internal storage.
This little feature is extremely easy, and extremely convenient. Google Maps temporarily takes up a small portion of the users internal phone storage to save the Map, so as long as you have some free space on your device you’ll be fine. As you see from the video and our screenshots below, you’ll get notified that it’s caching the maps, and once it has completed.
However, if you’re trying to save an area too large you’ll get an error from Google Maps suggesting you zoom in and make your request smaller.
Now next time you aren’t connected to the internet, you can go to this area of Google Maps and view it offline. That’s it. It’s worth noting that my sample was a very small area to save, and Google Maps can actually capture and temporarily store a much broader size for navigation.
If you don’t have it, get the latest Google Maps from the Google Play Store today and give it at try.