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Google Maps Is Adding A Useful, New Feature

Google Maps Returns To Apple's iPhoneGoogle Maps Returns To Apple's iPhone
The Google Maps app open on an iPhone.Photograph by Justin Sullivan — Getty Images

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.

This isn’t all just readily available on your phone at all times. Before traveling to an area that may not have a cellphone connection, you have to download that particular location on Google Maps, which can only be accomplished with a Wi-Fi connection. Once you have that, it will automatically switch offline when you enter an insufficiently connected area; when you move back towards stronger connectivity, it will automatically switch back to give you access to all the online amenities.

Google first previewed its offline maps at Google I/O, the company’s annual developer conference, back in May. It released its first set of offline features in the latest Google Maps update for Android, and says it will release them on iOS in the near future. The company plans to introduce more offline capabilities over time, but revealed no specific information about what those would be.