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Good News for Travelers: Google Maps Going Offline

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Wish you could use the Google Maps smartphone app while traveling in foreign cities, but don’t want to pay expensive roaming charges to access it? Or perhaps you’re visiting a country where mobile data service just isn’t available? Well, good news has arrived: Google announced plans to make navigation and GPS features available offline on the Google Maps app by the end of 2015.

Say goodbye to annoying paper maps and getting lost while traveling! Photo courtesy of Shutterstock.
Say goodbye to annoying paper maps and getting lost while traveling! Photo courtesy of Shutterstock.

In the past, the Google Maps app has offered a shortcut that allows you to save portions of a map offline, then turn on your GPS or use drop pins to pre-plan routes. This is far from an exact science, however, so the app’s upcoming offline capability will soon make navigation much more user-friendly, enabling you to find destinations and use audio navigation features in low-connectivity scenarios, such as when you’re traveling through remote areas, subways, parking garages and even on airplanes.

Google Maps will have offline support by the end of 2015. Photo courtesy of Shutterstock.

Present Google technologies are proving useful to travelers in other ways, as well. Google Flights is a great way to search for airfare, and if you click on “Save the Itinerary” button for a flight you’ve chosen, Google will monitor the price for you and advise you when it changes. As long as you also have the Uber app installed on your smartphone, you can order an Uber vehicle to your current location via the Google Maps app. Joining Google Now can also give you useful info about your travel destination like weather, activities, sights to see and restaurants to visit, as well as live train, subway and bus timetables.

No target launch date for Google Maps’ offline capability has yet been specified, but we’ll be sure to keep you informed. In the meantime, check out this post for more useful travel apps.

Will you be using offline Google Maps?

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