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This is fantastic news for anyone who travels internationally — beginning today, Google is rolling out an updated version of the Maps app that gives you (nearly) full access to the application without an internet connection.

While you could pre-load or cache certain areas of a map before, you’ll have much more functionality now, letting you search for addresses, pull up information on businesses (including reviews, contact info and hours of operation) and even get turn-by-turn driving directions, just like you can do with a standalone GPS unit.

Google Maps

Once you have the updated app (which Google is now rolling out for Android, with iOS coming soon), there are two easy ways to add offline content:

  1. Search for a city or country and tap “download” on the results page.
  2. Go to “Offline Areas” in the main menu and hit the “+” button, then type in the destination you’d like to add.

You can manually force Google Maps into offline mode by setting your phone to airplane mode or disabling the data connection — note that while you’re offline, you’ll have access to everything outlined above, though you obviously won’t be able to see live traffic info, which is arguably one of Google Maps’ most valuable attributes.

Of course, the best option is to get Google’s Project Fi service — unfortunately it’s only available with recent Nexus phones, but once you sign up you’ll be able to get data in 120+ countries for $10 per GB. Speeds are capped at 256Kbps, though there are exceptions, and that’s plenty fast for Maps.

Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card

Even after the introduction of the Chase Sapphire Reserve, the Chase Sapphire Preferred is still a fantastic choice if you want to avoid the Reserve’s $450 annual fee, earn 2x on all travel & dining and earn a 50,000 point sign up bonus.

Apply Now
More Things to Know
  • Earn 50,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $625 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®
  • Named Best Credit Card for Flexible Travel Redemption - Kiplinger's Personal Finance, July 2016
  • 2X points on travel and dining at restaurants worldwide & 1 point per dollar spent on all other purchases.
  • Earn 5,000 bonus points after you add the first authorized user and make a purchase in the first 3 months from account opening
  • No foreign transaction fees
  • 1:1 point transfer to leading airline and hotel loyalty programs
  • Get 25% more value when you redeem for airfare, hotels, car rentals and cruises through Chase Ultimate Rewards. For example, 50,000 points are worth $625 toward travel
  • No blackout dates or travel restrictions - as long as there's a seat on the flight, you can book it through Chase Ultimate Rewards
Intro APR
Regular APR
16.49% - 23.49% Variable
Annual Fee
Introductory Annual Fee of $0 the first year, then $95
Balance Transfer
Recommended Credit
Excellent Credit

Editorial Disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airlines or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

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