Announced back at Google I/O 2015, Google Maps’ offline navigation and search are finally here. Users can now find their way without the need for an Internet connection, which will be immensely useful in many situations.
The ability to save certain areas in Google Maps for offline use has been possible for quite some time now, but this latest update enables the option to search and navigate within the saved areas as well. Needless to say, this will prove to be useful for users who are in a foreign country or have a spotty Internet connection.
However, in offline mode, the navigation will take the best route based on average traffic time instead of real-time traffic. Once Maps has access to an Internet connection, it will “switch back online so you can easily access the full version of Maps, including live traffic conditions for your current route,” Google wrote. This should prove to be a seamless experience.
Over time, Google will be introducing more offline features to Maps. The offline navigation and search functionalities are gradually rolling out to Android devices, although we have yet to receive the update on our own devices. Those on iOS will also receive the update sometime in the future.