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offline maps


Google Officially Releases Offline Navigation And Search In Maps, Available Starting Today On Android

Back at Google I/O earlier this year, Google teased offline maps and turn-by-turn navigation in Google Maps, a feature that many of us have wanted for a long, long time. Today, that feature comes to fruition.


As of today's Maps update, users will be able to save specific areas to their devices when they know that they'll be in an area with poor data coverage. When an unacceptable connection is detected, Maps will automatically switch to offline mode; turn-by-turn directions, searches, store hours, and the like will all continue to be available.

You'll be able to grab the desired areas by searching for a city, county, or country, then tapping the "download" button on the card.

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[I/O 2015] Google Maps Is Getting Offline Search And Turn-By-Turn Navigation

Let's face it, Google Maps' current offline functionality sucks. Even saving an area for offline viewing is a relatively hidden option that you either stumble upon by mistake once or that you have to actively remember how to get to when you need it. But Google seems intent on making offline maps better.

It doesn't look like they're changing the way saving offline maps work, which is a shame because it's difficult to find and there's no option to easily download a state or city, but they are adding more functionality that will be accessible when you're offline. During the I/O keynote yesterday, Jen Fitzpatrick, vice president of engineering at Google, announced that both search and turn-by-turn navigation will be possible if you don't have a data connection.

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PSA: Offline Google Maps Now Expire After 30 Days, But It Will Prompt When Cached Maps Are Out-Of-Date

For those who may not know, Google Maps has an offline feature. It's not all that useful (it doesn't allow saved locations to be searched nor does it provide directions/navigation - it's essentially a paper map on a small screen), but it's still a thing that may be useful to someone at some point. Assuming you think ahead and actually save a map of the location in which you may need for it to be offline, of course.

With the recent redesign and release of Maps 8.0, Google changed the way offline maps are saved, as well as how they're managed once available for offline use.

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[APK Teardown/Download] Google Maps 7.1 - Google Is Testing Textured 3D Buildings, Offline Cache Access For The Maps API, And Possibly Some Bug Fixes

Maps 7.1 is slowly rolling out into the world. Google is making this teardown particularly difficult, because they haven't even gotten around to releasing a change log yet - it's up to me to come up with something. First though, we need to cover the good stuff that most definitely won't be in the change log, because this has me excited:

3D Buildings!

Remember when I found a "3D" button allll the way back in version 6.12? Google is at it again, this time with some extremely descriptive text in the newest Maps update:

<string name="STRIPIFIED_MESH_LAB_NAME">Detailed 3D Meshes</string>
<string name="STRIPIFIED_MESH_LAB_DESCRIPTION">Enable/disable visualization of detailed user-generated meshes for important buildings and monuments.

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PSA: Offline Maps Still (Sort Of) Exist In Google Maps v7, My Maps Not Supported But Will Return [Updated]

There are a lot of cool things about the new Google Maps update, but a few features from the old app didn't make the jump. Google made a big deal about offline maps when it was added a few years ago. So it's a little surprising to see this feature missing in Maps v7... or is it? Mountain View has included a bit of an Easter Egg here.

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If you want to cache an area for offline access, just go to that part in the app, then type "Ok Maps" in the search box. Speaking the phrase with voice input will also work.

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TomTom Finally Releases Offline Maps And Navigation For Android, But It Doesn't Work With Any Modern, High-End Device

I imagine there was a meeting at TomTom some months ago where it was decided, for whatever reason, that there was a need for them to bring their own maps and navigation apps to Android. Now, after who knows how long, those apps have come to fruition. Only they're quite expensive ($38-$60), and not compatible with, well, any modern device. Not the HTC One X, Galaxy Note, Galaxy S III, or Galaxy Nexus. And no tablets. Or many other relevant devices.

Why? Because the apps are only compatible on devices with 480x800 or 480x854 resolutions. So, high-end phones from two+ years ago.

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Google Announces Google Maps Offline Out Of Labs With Improved Interface, Coming Soon

Google has just announced at today's Maps events that Google Maps offline download feature, previously a "labs" option inside the Google Maps for Android app, is going official. According to the Google, the feature is "coming soon." Unfortunately, there was no word on support for offline navigation.


Here's are some (less than great) shots of the interface in action on a tablet:


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From what we can tell, the interface has been improved and it is now much easier to make an offline area selection than it was in the Labs version of the feature. We'll update this post as we learn more.

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