Google Maps on mobile will now be benefiting from a major update that introduces some key new features into the app. Google has thus far done a fairly comprehensive job of bringing semi regular updates to its Maps app for Android and iOS, but this new feature, is the largest feature addition to be offered for some time. In an effort to make the app a lot more usable in all situations, Google has already started rolling out full offline support for Android, with iOS support to follow soon.

Those familiar with Google Maps for iOS and Android will know that it already offers a certain level of functionality in an offline environment. As an example, the current version of Google Maps allows users with no Internet access to see a very limited section of the map out of the display that has been cached to the device when there was an active connection. It was a similar story for Android users as well, and while it begins changing right now for those on Google’s mobile platform, iOS users will soon be able to enjoy this new feature as well.


So, just what exactly can Google Maps users expect from the next notable release? Offline functionality will include the ability to interact with full navigation features within the app, even without the existence of an active Wi-Fi or cellular data connection. Those interacting with the latest version of Google Maps will also be able to search for localized business information via Google’s built-in business database. The app will work much in the same way as it already does by allowing users to download sections of maps prior to actually going offline. The additional benefit being that navigation features have been unlocked as part of that, along with being able to search and view business information.


Of course, the new release doesn’t mean that an Internet connection isn’t required at all. Like any application of this nature, an active connection will still be required for some feature, like getting live traffic updates. Still, for those who may be on a capped data plan, or just find themselves traveling in network dead spots, this should be an excellent update.


The latest amendments are rolling out on the Google Play Store today, with iOS version soon to follow on the Apple’s App Store.

(source: Google)

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