How to save offline maps with Google Maps for iPhone

BY Osas Obaizamomwan

Published 16 Mar 2016

Living in Los Angeles has taught me one thing. There is nothing more essential to avoid traffic than having numerous alternate routes. While, I would love to tell you that I have all the possible shortcuts memorized – I don’t. While Apple Maps has vastly improved over the years, I am 100 percent loyal to Google Maps. One huge reason – offline maps. 

Instead of me worrying about going over my data limit when searching for an alternate route during rush hour, I can save an offline map of a particular area or location and use that instead of being on the cellular network. It is also useful when you’re in the basement and you don’t get the cellular network. Let’s see how simple it is to save a map in Google Maps for the iPhone.

How to save offline maps with Google Maps for iPhone

Of course you will need to have Google Maps installed on your device, so make sure to grab the free app in the App Store. Once you have that installed and ready to go, follow these steps:

  • Open the Google Maps app and search for an area or location you want to save
  • Once you have that area entered, tap on the menu icon (three horizontal lines) and choose Offline areas
    Offline Maps - iPhone
  • In Offline Areas tap on the plus (+) icon in the lower-right corner
    Offline Areas - Icon
  • You can pinch and zoom around to get the exact area you want. There is a limit to how big you can go, and also know that the bigger map you save the more space it and time it will take to download.
  • Tap on Download, title your new offline map and tap Save. Your offline map will begin downloading to your device.
    Save Offline Map

That’s pretty much it. That location will be saved on your device for 30 days. After 30 days Google will delete it from your phone in an effort to save space. You can of course re-download the offline map at any time. There is also an update feature that you should try to use a much as possible. There is always construction and new buildings coming up in Los Angeles, so an updated map is extremely helpful.

Whenever you are offline or disable cellular data that map will be available for you to pinch and zoom like a digital map, and can still dictate driving directions. The driving direction is great for getting around an area without the need to be online at all (sans real-time traffic updating). It can come very handy while you’re travelling abroad and don’t want to use data to rack up crazy data roaming charges.

Offline Driving Directions

Of course, if you are offline there will be no traffic information detailed so walking, biking, and transit directions will all be unavailable.

No Internet - Google Maps

You can view and edit your offline maps by tapping the menu icon and selecting Offline areas. All of your saved offline maps will be listed in this section. When you tap on an area you can delete or update it. To view a workable version of the map just type in the location in the search function and the map will load when you are offline.

Delete:Update - Offline Maps

We hope Apple adds the offline maps feature to the Maps app in iOS 10.

How useful are offline maps to you? Let us know in the comment section.