Google announced today that Google Maps will be available to use offline, including turn-by-turn directions.
Whether you’ve run out of data, are in a dodgy reception area or are just abroad and don’t want to spend a fortune on roaming fees, you will now be able to use Google Maps to find out where you are and get where you need to be.
“With offline maps you won’t need to suck down expensive data or have super reliable connectivity every time you want to navigate.” explained Jen Fitzpatrick Vice President of Engineering while speaking at Google I/O 2015.
You’ll need to have saved the map you will be using beforehand, but once it's on your Android phone you'll be able to use it just as you would when on 3G, 4G or Wi-Fi. Aside from being able to scour the map for what you want to find, you can also set directions offline and Google Maps will provide you with turn-by-turn instructions of how to get there without even a sniff of an internet connection.
Key locations will also be available to find on map search. So if you want to find a specific landmark you can search for it in Maps – autocomplete included – and find its location, as well as reviews and opening hours.
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While Google is predominantly aiming this at the emerging market, or as it calls it “the next billion users who have spotty internet access”, users in developed markets will also find it extremely useful in low-signal areas.
There are no details on how much storage each map will require, but offline Google Maps will be released later in 2015.