Wednesday, November 11, 2015

A new Google Maps update makes the app more
powerful even when offline.
It's already possible to get directions to almost any
destination with the press of a button thanks to apps such as Google Maps,
Apple Maps, and Waze.
But without an Internet connection, these navigation
apps can only do so much.
Google is aiming to improve that with a new update to Google Maps.
The
company announced Tuesday that it's bringing a handful of useful new
features to Google Maps that make it more functional without an Internet
connection.
Google Maps users will now be able to search for specific
locations, get turn-by-turn driving directions, and receive information about
places (hours of operation, contact information, star ratings) offline.
Before this update, using Google Maps in offline mode only allowed for
interactions like panning and zooming.
Google Maps users will still have to download a map for a specific area
before going offline in order to use the new features.
If a map for a specific area has been downloaded, Google will automatically
kick info offline mode when a user is in an area without service.
The company
updates these maps over time, too, so users shouldn't have to worry about
locations being out of date.
Then, when the user returns to an area with
service, Google Maps will transition back to online mode.
The new features are available for Android starting Nov.
10, with an iOS
update coming later this year.
Google previously detailed the Maps update
during its I/O conference in May, but didn't offer a release time until now.
Many navigation apps are capable of retrieving directions without an
Internet connection, as the GPS sensors in smartphones don't require a
connection to track a user's location.
While this new functionality is a big
benefit for Google Maps users, Nokia's HERE app has been offering it for
quite some time.
With HERE, users can download maps for offline use, find
places, and get turn-by-turn directions without a connection similar to the
updated Google Maps.
Apple Maps doesn't have an offline mode, but it does
store information the user has already requested.
This story originally appeared on Time

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