Google Maps just made a huge change, and road trips will never be the same
If there’s one thing we have to have on our phones, it’s Google Maps. It’s the one-stop-shop for information while on-the-go, and since it’s on your phone, you can sneak peeks at the map without looking like a full-blown tourist while in a new city. But as anyone who has been lost without cell phone service knows, Google Maps doesn’t come in handy when you can’t get online. That is, until now.
Google just announced that Maps will now have limited offline capability, meaning you can get directions when your phone doesn’t have signal. Thank. You. Google.
Although you won’t have access to real-time traffic information or user reviews of businesses nearby, that’s a small sacrifice to make in order to find your way out of lost city. You know when you’re on a road trip and you decide to take the shortcut—which happens to be in a signal-free zone and also happens to lead you in the wrong direction? Yeah, you never have to deal with that again.
Here’s how it works. Google Maps will let you select a region and download that information to your phone. You won’t be able to get every single Google location, but you can download an entire city. So ahead of a trip to NYC, you can make sure you have all the information for that location on your phone. Once you have that downloaded, you’ll be able to access it wherever, whenever. It’ll include business information, like hours and locations, too. Then, when you are able to get online again, everything will update seamlessly.
There is a catch, though. The downloads are huge, as one would expect given how much information you’ll have access to. Using NYC as an example, you’ll need 250 MB of free space for that download, compared to the 36.1 MB taken up by Google Maps itself.
But the good news is you’ll (hopefully) be downloading the information before your trip, so you won’t be caught in the middle of nowhere frantically deleting selfies to make extra room.
Good looking out, Google!
(Image via Paramount Pictures, Google)