How to use your smartphone GPS Offline

Google recently offered a new feature for Google Maps Appmaps to work offline (this should already be downloaded on your phone… unless you have the iPhone). This means you can use your smartphone as a GPS with turn by turn navigation on your travels without incurring any roaming charges! All you need is a smartphone, the Google Maps app and Wi-Fi to start initially.

Note: The blue dot blue_dot_circleshowing your location on the map does not require data. This has been a feature on your smart-phone for awhile. However, many people are still not aware of this.

There are 2 methods to use this feature.

Method 1:
Pro: Temporary storage.
Con: You cannot search for a new destination point without being in a Wi-fi zone
Method 2:
Pro:  Ability to search a new destination point even in a no Wi-Fi zone
Con: Takes up more storage on your device

Method 1:

Use Wi-Fi to start the GPS navigation on your Google Maps app.

Put in your final destination

Start your turn by turn GPS navigation. That’s it!

You will now be able to use the turn by turn offline

iPhone: If you make a wrong turn, you will either have to trace your step back to when you made the wrong turn and GPS would start working again OR find a place with free Wi-Fi (everywhere now a day) and start the process over from your new location.

Android: rerouting still works offline


Method 2:

Step 1: Search for the area you wish to use the GPS navigation for. In our example, we will be searching for San Francisco.

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Step 2: Click on the “San Francisco, CA” located at the bottom.

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Step 3: Click on the “Download” icon on the main screen.

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Step 4: Click “Download” and Name the area (whatever you wish).

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Downloading the map means your Google Maps app now work the same as the real GPS…allowing you to search a new destination point even in a no Wi-Fi zone.  Your Maps app will give you turn by turn navigation–with rerouting like the actual GPS! However, live traffic conditions will not be available.

To delete an offline area, follow the steps below.

  1. On your phone, open the Google Maps app maps.
  2. In the top left, touch the Menu >
  3. choose “Offline areas”.
  4. choose the area you want to delete.
  5. choose Delete.

That’s it! I don’t know about you but  I would be so lost without my phone…literally!

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2 Responses to How to use your smartphone GPS Offline

  1. Anonymous says:

    Cool info!

  2. Andrew says:

    Thanks for the tip!

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