How to save offline maps in Google Maps 2.0 for iPhone and iPad [Video]

Last night, Google released Google Maps 2.0 which includes a number of new features and improvements such as iPad support, enhanced navigation including live traffic updates and incident reports, indoor maps etc.

Google has also included the “Ok maps” easter egg first discovered in the Android app that allows you to save offline maps.

Here’s how to save offline maps in Google Maps 2.0:

  • Launch the Maps app
  • Zoom in or zoom out the map screen so that the area you want cached is displayed

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  • Tap the search box near the top of the screen and type “OK Maps” into the field, and tap on the Search button on the keyboard.
  • It will display a splash screen informing you that it is preloading data.

googlemaps-saveoffline-2

  • And then inform you that Maps in that the on-screen maps area has been cached at the bottom.

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That’s it. You should now be able to use Google Maps for that area even without an internet connection. However, please note that searching for a location or getting directions still can’t be initiated without an internet connection.

Here’s a video walkthrough of how to save the offline maps in Google Maps 2.0:

While this may not be the most intuitive way to save offline maps, it works. Offline maps can be a useful feature while you are travelling abroad and don’t want to use data to rack up crazy data roaming charges. So let’s hope Google makes it easier in the future.

Let us know how it goes.

Update:

It looks like the pre-loading feature is not available in all countries. You will get the message “Maps pre-loading is not available in this area” if offline maps is not available in your area.

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  • Luciana

    Looks like it doesn’t work in brazil…

    • http://www.iphonehacks.com iPhoneHacks

      You are trying this on Google Maps 2.0?

      • Luciana

        Yes. I’ve downloaded it today, when I try to save the map, it says: “Map pre-loading is not available in this area”.

        • http://www.iphonehacks.com iPhoneHacks

          Yeah, just updated the post. It looks like it is not available in all countries.

  • Alan

    This is awesome, I have been waiting for this feature for such as long time. Google, what’s the deal with the easter egg.

  • Shane Fela

    how to view the map after you saved it?

    • http://www.iphonehacks.com iPhoneHacks

      If you haven’t saved the maps then you won’t be able to access it without an internet connection. However, after you save it, you will be able to use the map without any problem. You will be able to zoom in or zoom out into the map.

      • Shane Fela

        i have saved a map how do i view it with airplane mode on? how do i view my saved maps?

        • Ed Coffice

          Just open the maps app as normal and view the map.

          • Shane Fela

            its says no network connection when i search for the place that i saved offline

  • Anonymous

    it works for Germany and Norway

  • Shane Fela

    i have saved a map how do i view it with airplane mode on? how do i view my saved maps?

    • toker

      Simply follow the guide above ;)
      OR
      Here are the instructions written in a different way:
      -Open Google Maps app
      -Zoom on the area you want to cache (frame the area within the screen)
      -Tap on the Search bar and search for: okmap
      -A pop up will show saying “Pre-loading map…” (if the feature is enabled in your contry)
      -Once done, another small popup at the bottom of the screen will say “The on-screen map area has been cached”

      To confirm you can see the map with airplane mode:
      -Kill the google maps app (make sure it is not in the multi-task switcher anymore)
      -Turn air plane mode on
      -Launch the google maps app
      -Confirm you can see the area you have cached (you might see even more than you cached as it seems to automatically cache the maps around where you have used to app.

  • Damian W

    Nice one. At least a small improvement. Apple maps already gave us offline mode but without search just like google now.

    This type of offline map, however, is very frustrating. If you can not search then it is not useful.

    For example, one day i was using apple maps. I was driving from one end of the city to the other end. About 30 min drive. IN the middle of the way apple maps lost the address and I could not reenter it again. Basically, the trip was done. I had to find my way without the maps.

    Very unreliable. It is only good for fun or short ways.

  • shasha

    Awesome Application. Now that i have Google maps ,I might have to sell my GPS.Kudos to Google !

  • Oscar Cespedes

    In Spanish?

  • Jammy

    Surely it’s easier to use a map app that is designed for offline use (or only requiring GPS). Useful if you’ve landed in another country and don’t want to rack up expensive data. eg, Skobbler’s ForeverMap and others that use OpenStreetMap data.

  • Met

    If maps are cashed, the battery will work twice, iPhone seems overheating.

  • liam

    once you’re done using the cached map, how do i delete the data from my device?

    • james hogg

      Menu>Settings>Offline And Cache>Clear all map tiles

  • toker

    Works in Canada!

    • toker

      Just writing “okmap” in the search field does the trick too.

  • toker

    If you want to delete cached maps off of your device:
    -Kill the Google Maps app (make sure it is not in the multi-task switcher anymore)
    -Delete the following files:
    /var/mobile/Applications//Library/Application Support/*.sqlite
    -Turn on Air Plane mode and lauch google maps app
    -Confirm there are no cached maps anymore (all you will see is your location on a yellowish background until you turn air plane mode off and reload the maps)

    I have also noticed the region of the maps you have recently seen are cached automatically, I wonder how long they last or if there is a cache size limit coded in the app.

    • toker

      Oops. my post was mangled by some HTML…

  • Vladimir Shpuntov

    How do I switch between saved maps without having a mobile or a WiFi connection?

  • MG

    Works fine for me in India.
    In general, does anybody know on what happens when I cache map twice? What happens to the first map area offline data?

  • kimberely hawlkinz

    You sound like gabe from Braxton’s Family Values

  • Sarah Pearce

    The Google maps update took away the icon and I can’t get it back no matter what I do. Halp!