Google is adding a much-demanded feature to the new version of Google Maps, out today: The ability to navigate offline. In the updated software, once a user downloads maps of a particular city or geographic region, directions will continue to work even if there is no data access.
Amanda Bishop, a product manager at Google, said in a blog post:
The next time you find there’s no connectivity—whether it’s a country road or an underground parking garage—Google Maps will continue to work seamlessly. Whereas before you could simply view an area of the map offline, now you can get turn-by-turn driving directions, search for specific destinations, and find useful information about places, like hours of operation, contact information or ratings.
The new Google Maps functionality was first demoed at the Google I/O conference earlier this year. Right now, offline directions are only available in the Android version of the app. Google says the new feature is planned for the iOS version as well.