Google announced the launch of its new offline navigation and search capabilities for Google Maps on Tuesday.

Previously, when looking at Google Maps offline, you could only look at a certain area without seeing any details. Now, you have access to online capabilities such as turn-by-turn voice directions and the ability to search for specific destinations. When using the search bar offline, autocomplete will still be available and you’ll be able to see hours, contact information, and reviews for a specific location.

You can download an area by searching for a city, county or country, for instance, and tapping “Download” on the resulting place sheet, or by going to “Offline Areas” in the Google Maps menu and tapping on the “+” button. Once downloaded, Google Maps will move into offline mode automatically when it recognizes you’re in a location with spotty service or no connectivity at all. When a connection is found, it will switch back online so you can easily access the full version of Maps, including live traffic conditions for your current route. By default, we’ll only download areas to your device when you are on a Wi-Fi connection to prevent large data fees.

There’s one small but unsurprising catch: The new feature is available now on Android and is “coming soon to iOS.”

We first previewed these new capabilities during Google I/O in May, and today we’re gradually rolling out the first set of these improvements with the latest version of Google Maps on Android (coming soon to iOS). Over time, we’ll be introducing even more offline features to help you find your way—even when you can’t find a connection.

Step By Step Guide

If you’re going where mobile data is expensive or you won’t have an Internet connection, you can save a map to your device and use it when you’re offline. Here’s how:

  1. Make sure you’re connected to the Internet and signed in to your Google account.
  2. Open the Google Maps app maps.
  3. Search for a place, like “San Francisco.”
  4. At the bottom, touch the bar that has the name of the place you searched.
  5. In the upper right, touch the menu three vertical dots.
  6. To save the map, select Save offline map. And follow the directions on the screen.
  7. To view your offline map, see the directions for viewing your saved maps below.

Tip: The biggest size for an offline map is 50km x 50km. If you try to save an area bigger than that, you’ll be asked to zoom in to a smaller area.

Note: Using Google Maps offline isn’t available everywhere. Features might become available or unavailable as we work to improve Google Maps.

Source : Google